Meaning and Life Experiences

Building a home should be an experience of a lifetime—the positive kind!

Great architecture and positive life-changing experiences should go hand in hand. AOME Architects strives to create positive design and building experiences — ultimately leading to a home environment that will add another layer of life-meaning for your family as they grow and spend time together eating, playing, studying, sleeping, reading, cooking, working and enjoying the home that is tailor made for you.

How does AOME it? By shepherding the client, consultants, crafts people, and contractors throughout the process with clear virtual models of what will ultimately be built, efficiently and cheerfully throughout. There is more to it than that however.

“All it takes is an architect with a keen ear and eye for what sparks a client’s interest”

Mark Elster — AOME Architects

Building a home really should be a positive experience of a lifetime. Unfortunately, too many architects miss opportunities to more deeply engage their clients in the design and creation process. The most effective path to enhanced meaning and engagement for clients is to selectively inject them into the “making” process.

Most architects engage their clients to make choices and decisions at the end points of several parallel design processes. AOME strives to go deeper, by involving clients with key subcontractors and consultants during the design process and then later connecting that with a directly related hands–on “making” experience at a fabricator’s shop.

Participating in some of the many steps in realizing a discreet part of the project will inevitably deepen the client’s awareness of the larger whole and create a deeper level of meaning in the architecture than they could ever achieve by only passive participation. All it takes is an architect with a keen ear and eye for what sparks a client’s interest, and a talent for fostering such interest where it may be lacking.

Fire Sculpture Making

This video shows our clients, Alex and Ange at the metal fabricator’s shop exploring design options as their AOME designed fire sculpture is being hand crafted. When participation was first posed they didn’t get why they should be involved. After some persuasion we got them out to the shop at a key point to view a mock up and weigh in on the size, orientation, density and placement of the metal bars that form the sculpture. Once they got into it, they had a fabulous time and will always remember the role they played and certainly enjoy their fireplace and its fire sculpture in a much more meaningful way.

The gate pictured at the top of the post was conceived and designed by AOME Architects in collaboration with Steve Lopes and Josh Jones of Steve Lopes Blacksmith. The clients found many of the pieces incorporated into the gate sculpture (with a “steam punk” design motif) and then went to the shop and worked with Steve and Josh to refine the design and brainstorm the intricate mechanisms and sculptural elements right at the forge. The client, architect and the fabricators all found the experience richly rewarding.

AOME Architects can cite many more instances of successfully engaging clients in the making process. Contact us to find out how you can increase the lifetime experience potential of your home by meaningfully participating in ‘making’ events.