Wabi Sabi is a Japanese Zen principle on aesthetics based on the acceptance of the beauty of nature and imperfection as they exist. This includes simplicity, asperity, modesty, and honesty. Architecturally, it is about the expression of natural materials, spaces and forms as they are and intentionally emphasizing the beauty of the ‘flaws’ and imperfections.
The meaning of Kino-bi is very similar to ‘form and function’. The Japanese meaning is the joining of beauty and function. In our design, everything has a function/reason and that function/reason is expressed meaningfully and aesthetically.
Size of your footprint
Environmental and sustainability are two big words, and when combined, they form an even bigger concept. It has become a focus, especially in the last decade when there has been considerable media attention surrounding this topic and celebrities started driving their Toyota Prius around Hollywood. Ever since the 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, featuring Al Gore was released worldwide, the words ‘environmental sustainability’, ‘renewable energy’, ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’ became part of the layperson’s vocabulary used during chatters over organic coffee and gluten free cakes with friends. The truth of the matter is, architects have been promoting and educating about environmental sustainability for decades! Do we get Nobel peace prizes? Nope. Just ridiculed and branded as ‘hippies’.
The negative outcome from the public’s enlightenment is that a lot of builders, developers, designers and even architects have used environmental sustainable design as a marketing tool without a true understanding of what it is all about.
Our approach behind environmental design is not just superficial application of water tanks, solar panels and insulation but we go right down to the core, the fundamentals of the building. Our entire design of the envelope and spaces created from it is a direct response to the site, the climate, the orientation and the occupants’ lifestyle right from the beginning with an environmental and climate investigation. It is about understanding nature and working with it.
We view environmental sustainable design as the way to reduce our consumption of energy and resources, to do more with less and to use nature to our advantage in the pursuit of reducing our ‘footprint’.
Sense of Humour!
The building process is often seen as a harrowing experience for most people including seasoned developers but especially so for the business owner whose livelihood depends on the outcome of their business premise and for the home owner who is spending their life’s savings on their dream home.
Our office motto is that we should take what we do seriously, but not how we do it. We try to make the journey as enjoyable and as painless as possible for ourselves and our clients. We like our clients to be as enthusiastic about their project as we are and to have as much fun as we are having.
A sense of humour is a prerequisite.