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 eliminate our 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 accomplish nothing else in fifty years of work, I’d be happy if this Inner Nature / Mother Nature imperative were to become a core part of our design ethos!
Meanwhile: the time has come for me to retire from custom home design. I have committed to one last project, because it as close as one could come to this architect’s dream job: a commission to create a “one-of-a-kind” home on a gorgeous mountain site – carbon-zero, with no pressing timeline, an ample budget and a exceptional homeowner and friend who shares my vision.
I still hope to draw two or three homes just the way I’d like to see them built. One, the Mountain House, may in fact be the one I’m about to start. Then comes the Canyon House, and then the carbon-zero Affordable House. All will aim to be carbon-free and a total joy to live in. I’ll model them up, show them on the website, and we’ll see if anyone wants to buy the plans and customize them.