Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Thinking about Houses

Specifically, Winifred Gallagher's House Thinking. Good book. And look what a pretty cover:

It was quite recently that I realized not everyone plans their dream house by thinking about which rooms need to be oriented in which direction, let alone plans rooms from an ideal-use perspective. I want a kitchen on the north and east, for example, so it's sunny for breakfast, but not too hot for cooking supper. I had a kitchen on the south and west last time. Shudder. [Full disclosure: I only cook supper maybe twice a week. But still.]

So, much of what Gallagher addresses so well is familiar to my way of thinking. She includes a great deal of recent psychology research, most of which was new to me. Oddly though, there's no mention of Christopher Alexander, let alone a fairly ground-breaking work on the topic, A Pattern Language (1977). Alexander covered much of the same topic and created a way for clients and architects to talk about the sort of features that make buildings and communities appealing and livable. And in linking, I discovered a great Pattern Language site. If you're interested in building homes and communities that are pleasing, sustainable, and working with humans, rather than against us, check it out.

On a personal note, just turning on the other light in my office has made me feel much more productive and efficient. I love easy fixes.

No comments: