Transformation Through Design
This portfolio is a selection of projects spanning my past twenty years. The work covers projects post university design school with the practice of Paul Merrick Architects, a renowned design focussed practice in Vancouver, British Columbia, Rural + Urban Architecture which was my practice for a decade, and work while with Kasian Architecture, Interior Design and Planning, an international firm of three hundred staff.
My initial interest and pursuit of architecture stemmed from my sense that the design professions provided a great generalist education and primarily the learned ability to conceptualize, to develop vision around small and large things and environments, rural and urban design and city making, and to bring innovation and visionary ideas into being. To date my experiences in design have been all this and more.
Of significance in my personal education and professional development are the few mentors I have had that have given me significant opportunities in work engagement, to lead work and to develop and provide leadership and mentorship to others. To these mentors I am very grateful-great mentors are few and far between.
My first working experiences post technical school prior to university were in engineering offices focussed in heavy industrial work and this is where I learned basic sound fundamentals of developing design and delivering design with quality, accountability, dependability, and general rigor of professional responsibilities and expectations. It was at this time as a technician that I realized I wanted more than my technical training gave me, and so focussed on a path that would lead me to studies in architecture.
Design, imagination, innovation and vision have been the consistent quartet of interests to me, particularly as these elements are and can be change agents in many other creative areas of life beyond architecture. I see design thinking and the process of discovery, ‘to find out’, the most useful transferable skills which support working in an interdisciplinary manner.
In my view design can enhance life but is not a substitute for intuitive, adaptive and organic processes. In my experience I have found that design is a most potent change agent when it truly understands human nature and the environment, does not always apply the same process or rules to any given opportunity but is adaptive. Having had the opportunity to travel and study I feel that experiencing and seeing the variety of life and places on the planet is essential criteria for understanding and appreciating what design can offer. I feel that for a designer experiencing the world is critical in developing a range of sensitivities towards the profundity of how places and environments affect human life, behavior and our sense of wellbeing.
Lastly, I have been privileged to work with some amazing, gifted and creative people over the years, in both architecture, interior design, and engineering, from which I learnt a great deal, enjoyed providing leadership to, and was inspired by. As a leader and team member these people made the day to day experience of working through design more meaningful and enjoyable.
In my mind the quality of our engagement with others has a lot to do with the quality of the outcome. The photographs of project work in this portfolio are courtesy of Paul Merrick Architects Ltd (now Merrick Architecture), Rural + Urban Architecture, and Kasian Architecture, Interior Design and Planning Ltd. Credits are referenced in the project titles.