I’ve just finished reading a book where the author postulates that our thoughts are either driven by the ‘Feeling’ or ‘Reason’ parts of our brain. This of course is not a new observation, as this theory has been around since the times of Plato in 300-400BC.
What is interesting in the case of this book is, that it suggests that ‘All’ decisions made by human beings are ‘Feeling based decisions’, and our ‘Reason’ brain simply seeks to regulate how far we take our ‘Feeling’ based needs. The author suggests that those with abnormally strong ‘Feeling’ based needs may sometimes fall into addiction or compulsive want behaviours, whereas those with dominant ‘Reason’ brain focus may miss out on a lot of experiences in life as they are too risk averse or patterned into a behaviour that does not allow them to grow.
This resonated with me on several levels, but in particular how we have experienced this process working with our clients over the past 18 years. It is common for us to receive a brief that is well in advance of the projects capacity to afford, or for planning controls to allow for that matter. These ‘Feeling’ dominant brief’s are often filled with statements like ‘well thats what I want’, or ‘I’m not doing the work if we can’t do XYZ’. In other words, requests that are most often driven by what the client wants over what is perhaps needed or allowed.
There is nothing wrong with this. We renovate or rebuild because we ‘Want to’. Also, very often the question of ‘need’ is subjective anyway and may result in a bland utilitarian outcome in the end, or day I say it, be engineered rather than designed :).
As a more reason based person, I find I spend a lot of time with clients refining all of their feeling based needs and helping them understand the implications of these decisions, be it cost based, impact based, or even aesthetically based. After all, I firmly believe it is our role to not only design you a fantastic home, but also facilitate the environment for the project to realise itself in line with your design brief, your budget and your time expectations.
So consider us as the ‘Reason’ dominant part of your brain distilling and refining the ‘Feeling’ dominant requests with the aim of turning these into a successful project on all levels. I am not all suggesting ‘Feeling’ based requests are wrong or should be ignored, but shaping them is more what we are about :).
Image to the left of the chimney stack being retained now supported by new structure so on completion it can continue to contribute to the original aesthetic of the home when viewed from the street.