It’s graduation season. Young adults are graduating from colleges all over the country. Locally, the University of North Florida has a Building Construction Management degree. Not too far away, the University of Florida offer degrees in architecture.
Many of these graduates will pursue careers in commercial construction. I remember when I graduated (yes, I can remember that far back), we all wanted to become the next “Starchitect” designing the statement high-rises or museums. Very few said they wanted to design houses. The few that did were only interested in designing high end custom homes. No matter how you spin it, it’s difficult to make the term “production housing” sexy.
But production housing has so much more of an impact than larger-than-life high-rises! Fortunately for me, my career path led me by happenstance to production housing and it has become my passion. When I consider the impact my designs can have on people’s lives, there is no doubt in my mind that this is my calling. Housing not only satisfies our basic needs like warmth and safety, it also goes a long way in satisfying our psychological needs as well.
I don’t believe it to be an overstatement when I say production housing changes and enhances lives. Allow me to briefly geek out and consider housing against Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.
Level 1: Physiological
Our houses provide us warmth in the winter, a place to store and prepare food, refreshes us with water and provides a place to rest. That one was maybe too easy.
Level 2: Safety
Certainly, houses provide us safety from all sorts of dangers like extreme weather, wild animals and crime. With builders and designers often going above and beyond code to provide a safe and efficient home, it would be hard to argue against housing fulfilling these basic needs.
Level 3: Belonging
Well, just ask Dorthy: "There's no place like home." This includes intimate relationships and friends. Indeed, we strive to create places where intimate relationships can flourish and friends can gather.
Level 4: Esteem
Our houses have become an outward expression of our prestige and accomplishments. From gourmet kitchens to stunning celebratory wine rooms inside to proud, yet tasteful exteriors, owners should be proud of their homes!
Level 5: Self-Actualization
Certainly, the environment we create has the potential to facilitate and inspire creativity. This is where we move beyond the bare necessities to creativity with rejuvenating and inspired spaces. For many, the way they furnish, decorate, color and landscape their homes becomes a creative outlet and a chance to express their uniqueness and personality. We want to design homes that encourage this kind of creativity and freedom. That's why the goal of our Daily Lifestyle Solutions is to relieve the burdens of daily life so that homeowners can focus on what's important.
As builders and designers, we get to provide each and every homeowner with the opportunity to fulfill all of their needs and dreams. How cool is that? I’m so glad I’ve chosen housing as my profession. I hope other talented young people consider it as well. Yes, housing design really does matter because it makes a difference in someone's life!