a question or two (or a hundred and fifty...)

Architect 2d sent us a lengthy questionnaire concerning our future home. The questions centered on what sort of amenities the various rooms would have and our opinions on how spaces connect to each other. For example, for the living room, some of the questions concerned:

-       the television (Will there be one? How big? Wall mounted?),
-       furniture (Sofa? Chair? Coffee table? Entertainment center?),
-       amenities (Fireplace?),
-       entertaining (How many people does the room need to accommodate?), and
-       relationship to other spaces (Open to other rooms? Self contained?).

Similarly, we answered questions on the dining room, kitchen, utility room, stairs, study/office, master bedroom, master bathroom, master closet, guest room and bathroom, and other bedrooms. There were also questions on carport, garage, how interior spaces relate to each other and to the outdoors, suggested interior and exterior finishes, major landscape features, and outdoor cooking areas. I [ahem] added a section on desired green features.

Richard Neutra was infamous for sending new clients detailed questionnaires concerning their needs and habits. A good practice, methinks. Neutra referred to “client interrogation” as an art and a science which allowed him to have a deeper collaborative relationship with his clients. His questions included what spaces were needed and what would be done in those spaces but also concerned family history, habits, and likes and dislikes.

Methinks questionnaires are a good thing. One, it gets the clients (that’s us!) thinking about some of the multitudes of questions out there. Two, it let’s the architect know what needs to be considered when designing the house. And three, it documents these thoughts and “decisions” for prosperity and all of the parties (“I never said I wanted a helipad!” “Well, if you look right here on what you wanted for the kitchen…”). The only thing that makes me nervous about it is that it’s easy to give Santa a long list of wants and desires, but Santa may not have enough room on his sleigh…

[photo by mwah, taken last week at the Gorilla Run]

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