Thursday, 28 July 2011


And so it begins. After three years, over which time I started to think it might never happen, work on site for the new house starts. It's amazing how fast things move once work begins - this video was taken less than an hour after the start and already the vegetation is cleared and the old wall is down..

..apologies for the heavy music!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

My Worst Client!

If anyone ever asks me who my worst client ever was (not that they ever do mind you) then the answer is simple - unfortunately it would have to be me! Designing a house for myself has been the hardest job I've ever done, with constant changes to the brief mixed together with self doubt - "is that really the best design I can do?".. In order to find the "perfect" balance between budget, function, and design I created option after option but always seeming to run full circle back to the original concept.

It's certainly been an interesting process and it's helped me appreciate even more what it means to be a client - a heightened sensitivity towards: any costs incurred before building works begin; and to the risks that could prevent construction from starting at all or from it coming in at the expected price..

Well the long road to site seems to be nearly over. I am on the verge of signing a contract with my builder and the start on site is now, all being well, only weeks away...

Since I've done most of the design for the house in Revit I thought I'd share a simple animation of the house created directly from a shaded view within Revit. I exported the walkthrough as a series of JPEG stills and produced the movie from them using Adobe After Effects to give me greater control over the finished animation..

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Adobe Viewer Letdown

The problem with trying to be clever with Technology is that you end up exposing yourself to the inevitable bugs in new software or to pushing a slightly out of date (2 weeks old) piece of hardware too far so that instead of impressing potential clients you can look a little silly as they sit and wait while you wait for your computer to (hopefully) respond or for you to resolve the latest techno niggle. I've recently experienced something like this with the Adobe iPad App "Adobe Viewer" (see earlier post: "iPad and Adobe CS5.5"):

..all had been working well, I'd been impressing people with the general slick wizzyness of our new iPad presentations using flicks to change slides, integrated movies / animations, and an interactive spinning 3d model to top it all off, when I noticed an update to the adobe Viewer App on the Apple App Store. Never one to be able to resist an update (it's got to be better hasn't it?) I clicked download and installed it to make sure I was bang up to date. All was well until I was in a pub ( best place to do business ) with an important potential client, I took out my iPad, launched my wizzy presentation from Adobe Viewer, flicked a few images across the screen, started the animation to seal the deal and.. bounced straight out to the iPad home screen.. I tried it again and it crashed out again at another random point.. In the end I resorted to using the apple movie viewer instead..

So the moral is ( surprise surprise), if it ain't broke don't fix it. Unfortunately for me though I know that this is a lesson I will never learn!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 3 July 2011

A load of hot air

So after a fantastic wedding and a long honeymoon in France it's been back to work for the past week and a return to "ordinary" married life..

Whilst I was away everything started to happen for Design-Cubed so my business partner Mark was swamped with things do do. Quite predictably things settled a bit in time for my return - I probably couldn't have planned things better if I had tried!

Also while I was away the tender returns for the construction of my own single storey house came in. The first of these arrived on the day of departure for honeymoon and came in well above what I had expected and out of reach of my budget - not the best leaving for holiday news! However, in the end there was a wide range of prices and we are now thankfully close to agreeing a contract and getting started - albeit with the idea of reducing the scope and completing some areas ourselves to keep the costs down (including insulating and waterproofing the flat roof!).

But before I focus completely on Design-Cubed work again a little look back at one of the fantastic high points of the honeymoon - a hot air balloon ride over the Dordogne valley in southern France. I have to admit I was a little nervous of the concept but in reality there can be few things as serene and magical as a balloon flight in beautiful evening sunlight, over stunning scenery, in the company of a fabulous wife!!