sleeve shakings

Sleeve Shakings is a collection of editorial features published in the North Hills Monthly Magazine, the first year of an ongoing series addressing architectural issues of the home.

List of essays included: Icicle Lightsabers, Bumps in the Night, The Shrinkage of Space, Affordance for Living, What is ‘Good’ Architecture?, Where does Architecture reside?, Houses Designed by Kids, Tailored Houses, What’s in a Door?, Privacy of a Home, Shifting Center of a Home, Resonant Architecture.


But a home is not a house designed for the many, it is a place lived in by a particular family. Each with their own personality, interests, ways of doing things. For a house to feel like home, it must respond to these forces, not a market force. Yes, Sears considered the buying market when they designed The Pittsburgh model house. However, it was also designed with another thing in mind, which designers today often overlook – something we in the visual design industry call affordance.

For example, when a tree grows, branches sprout out in all directions. However, there is always a certain arrangement of branches that fork in a particular way, which make the perfect condition for nest building. Year after year, a different bird each Spring will find that same spot, attracted to its inherent qualities to build a nest. The physical design of that tree’s branches ‘afford’ the making of a nest. It is not that the other branches couldn’t support a nest, rather these branches naturally work better.

sleeve shakings (North Hills Monthly Magazine 2015)
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