My name is Emma and I am an architect.
I help every day folk take on the journey to find their individual architectural language so they can design and build architecture specific to them.
I live in the Blue Mountains, Australia, with my male counterpart, a duo of adventurous toddlers and a pair of canines who think they are more human than the actual people in the house.
I have practiced architecture for over fifteen years, across four states of Australia – from working with indigenous communities in the north, to helping local council and commercial developers in the south, educational facilities in the west, and people building their own home everywhere.
My husband and I are on the verge of building our own rammed earth home.
You can follow our journey in our place.
What I have learned.
I have learned that architecture is for people, it is not for photographs and it is not for other architects.
I have learned that it is important to ensure the unique architectural language specific to purpose, place and people are expressed in every part of the built form in order for the building to work specifically for the people who are using it.
When I am not working with my clients or exploring the world of architecture, I can be found close to a coffee source, reading Jane Austen or adventuring on bushwalks and road trips with my family and friends.
Hopefully meet you out there soon!
What I do.
An architect is an interpreter.
I am interested in your place.
I am interested in your story.
I ask questions.
I listen to answers, look for patterns and help you interpret all the information you already have into your unique architectural language which can then be translated into a built form.
My job is to help you find your architectural language so you can apply it to your architecture, give you the confidence to navigate the process, problem solve the best solutions and include the practicalities and beauty of architecture in your every day life. Think of me as your guide.
I do this by keeping it simple – I help you take the information that you already have, find the information you are missing and interpret it all in combination to make architecture specific to you.
Why I do what I do.
There is a certain structure which architects follow in the services they provide.
This structure does not always allow for an every day person to afford the services of an architect and therefore the benefit of their services.
I want to provide an architectural service so that an every person can experience architecture in their every day.
There seems to be a broad gap between the options for building your own home – an ‘off-the-plan’ design and build or an architect. There is often nothing in between.
I want to give people the option of an in between and let them feel empowered to build their own architecture on their terms with the benefit of knowledge.
These are the main reasons I want to share my architectural knowledge and experiences with you, in order to provide you with the ability to find your own architecture, converse with knowledge and achieve your goals.
Plus, I love it.
I love architecture. It has been a part of my life since the first drawings I did in elevation and plan of the farm I visited with my family at the age of four. I used to draw up plans of buildings and build them out of lego while listening to audiobooks borrowed from our local library.
I love talking about peoples projects with them and problem solving solutions which work to make a difference in the every day moments of their lives.
I am an architecture nerd. But I don’t know the names of famous buildings or their creators and I don’t get excited about conventional designy stuff.
I DO get excited when someone walks through their built place for the first time with the excitement of a child on Christmas morning. I DO get excited about moving so smoothly around a space that you don’t notice how good it is. I DO get excited about a construction detail that answers every need for the purpose of the building.
What I believe.
Less than two percent of homes in the world have been designed by an architect.
I believe that everyone can make their own architecture.
I believe that everyone should experience the joy of architecture in their every day lives.
I believe that everyone knows what they want in their home or place and an architect interprets this information into a built form.
I believe that there is magic in the place you inhabit and that magic informs the comfort of where you live.
I believe that everyone has the capacity to design and build their own home or building, but the process can be daunting and it is the little things you may not yet know that can make all the difference at the end of the day.
I want to share the little ways that every person can find their unique architectural language so that they can make architecture specific to them and experience architecture in their every day.
Every architect has their own slightly individual process for creating architecture - this is mine.
I see the process of architecture falling into three main parts:
GATHER INFORMATION | PUT THE INFORMATION TOGETHER | BUILD The REALITY
Within each part are the steps that will help you put everything together.
PURPOSE The Why
PLACE The Where
PEOPLE The Who
PROGRAM The Numbers
PARTS The Products
Put the Information Together
PATTERNS The Design
PLAN The How
PROFESSIONALS The Team
PERMIT The Approvals
PAPERS The Documents
Build The Reality
PROCURE Make it Happen
PACT The Contract
COMMENCE The Build
COMPLETE Live Your Lifestyle
Architecture Specific to You.
The most important part of the process for me is the first. The information you gather informs every other part of the process that follows.
There are three main steps of information to gather when you begin.
P U R P O S E – P L A C E – P E O P L E
Once you have completed these three steps, you can find your architectural language.
It really is the little things about your purpose, place and people that will make your own architecture unique to you and the every day moments you experience within it will be special to you.
Finding your unique architectural language – In a nutshell:
Understand your purpose - know your end goal.
How can you move forward when you don’t know what you are moving towards?
Know what it is you want to achieve at the end of the day. This is your anchor. Every decision you make along the architectural journey comes back to this single purpose.
Understand where you are - know your place.
How can you know how to set your architecture in your place until you know your place?
Spend time on you place, and gather information about your place to understand its constraints, potentials and personality.
The Who + What
Understand your content - know yourself.
How can you know what lifestyle you lead or how you wish to live until you know something about yourself?
Understand yourself by really knowing your past, present and future - your memories, sensual triggers, values, needs and wants.
YOUR UNIQUE ARCHITECTURAL LANGUAGE
The unique combination of elements found in your purpose, place and people make up your unique architecture language.
When you take all of the elements that you have learned about your purpose, people and place, you will find patterns which when used in combination create a unique solution that works in every way for you – your own unique architectural language.
If you are curious and would like to learn more, you may be interested in a little book I have written.
Whether you use the little things I have made for you, or whether you would like to work with me one on one, let’s start the journey in working together to find your architectural language and make your little ideas a reality.