The Art of Home Design

For nearly fifty years, Vishu Magee has sought to design homes in harmony with both Inner Nature and Mother Nature.

Such an aspiration requires more than an architectural skill set: it depends on a deep understanding of the psyche and of the physical world. What sort of physical structure can complement the structures of the psyche so that we may be happy? What systems and designs will reduce carbon footprint, conserve water, and be healing for both ourselves and the environment?

These are the two questions we should be asking. Why? Because a home that makes us happy without also tending to the world around us is simply self-indulgent and ultimately unsustainable – just as a house that only addresses environmental concerns, but fails to accommodate our human needs, will ultimately be unfulfilling.

If I accomplished nothing else in fifty years of work, I’d be happy if this Inner Nature / Mother Nature complementarity were to become a core part of our design ethos.

Meanwhile: I decided in 2018 to accept no new custom home jobs after my current project is completed in 2022. This is partly because I want to be free for other pursuits: possibly write a book or two, perhaps return to making music, and definitely spend more time in the garden.

But I love designing, and I’m really only retiring from custom home work. I hope to draw two or three homes the way I’d like to see them built, without a custom client calling the shots. One will be the Mountain House, one the Canyon

House, and one the Affordable House; all will aim to be carbon-neutral and a joy to live in. I’ll model them up, show them on the website – and we’ll see if anyone is interested in making them into a home.

Also: I will remain available for consulting on needs such as site selection, home purchase and remodeling.

And: between now and the end of ’22 I am ready to design one more small- to mid-size custom home – provided that the goal is to be super energy-efficient, if not fully carbon-neutral, and if the owners and I have the shared vision and excellent rapport required to build a gem.

Last: I’m thrilled to refer design-and-build work to my two sons Jed and Aaron, both of whom have long since established themselves as the best in Taos. Aaron Magee is a contractor (mageebuild.com and 741-0456) and Jed Magee is both a designer and builder (Magee Design Works, jedmagee.com, 770-3002).