There appears to be a trend amongst the enlightened, towards more natural materials and design concepts. A move towards more ethical and sustainable design and a recognition that clients are looking for more of a holistic process to reflect their principals (or Company ethical practices), life style choices and conscience.
If I may, I should like you to consider, just for a few moments, the notion of reintroducing ornamentation into architecture. I realise the thought f ornamenting either buildings or spaces might strike you as surprising. I agree the building's form can lift the spirits but ornamentation can add so, so much more.
I am witnessing an awareness that design extends beyond the structure itself and more attention is being paid to the emotional response and the possibilities for wellbeing (and productivity) that can be induced by providing emotionally cohesive spaces. It is clear from recent political events that the Public are unlikely to be moved by anything characterised by austerity and it seems to me there is an appetite for something new and exciting.
You might start by just thinking about the adjoining outside spaces. With careful ornamentation outside spaces can become inspiring fair-weather meeting places, they can set the scene to encourage fruitful relationships and provide room for contemplative thinking. Is it too fanciful to suggest that such an emotionally charged space might help defuse conflict between persons whom find themselves surround by representations of the very best of Human qualities, kindness, femininity and friendship?
Solid timber will be particularly useful on the path from Net Zero Carbon buildings to Total-Life Zero Carbon buildings. The inclusion of solid wood is likely to become wider spread in design and this gives us an opportunity to exploit the wood not just for ecological benefit but for aesthetic style too.
No form of ornamentation is more effective in drawing an emotional response from people than figurative sculpture. It has of course, been applied to architecture and garden design as far back as the ancient Greeks, and arguably, figures have been used to manipulate human feelings ever since. Figurative art was of course hijacked by religion for a long time, but I can offer you a new way to include figurative work in your designs that reflect the times and environmental values of our contemporary society.
My figures are warm, real and uncannily alive, they can be absolute portraits (your Clients perhaps), representations or symbolic. I can make any style or fashion to your design, natural or painted finish. I can make figures to ornament structures or stand alone.
I can make anything you want for internal or external installations. Because I’m an artificer not an artist, I’ll make any style or fashion, almost any scale, to your design or I can offer you my own ideas.
The mermaid pictured above, is installed at my own home. She is a small and inexpensive piece that has had an enormous effect. Visitors comment, delivery men love her, neighbours (and the Postie) who have seen her dozens of times smile and take her hand as they climb the adjacent steps – she lives here as much as we do. A piece like the mermaid lifts your frame of mind, it makes meeting people more conducive and for children who are literally stopped in their tracks, an opportunity to experience how something graceful can affect their mood and spark the imagination – priceless!
Why live in one of those 'modern' austere, plain and it has to be acknowleged, rather dull buildings. When you could live in a 'now' ethical, sustainable and ornamented building that makes you feel good.
The Mermaid is hand carved from Scottish sustainable oak.
She should last for decades and will slowly turn black as she is treated only with an occasional coat of boiled linseed oil.
Now tell me you don't feel anything
Accessable entrance designed and built by Robert Lawrence.
The two figures are designed to ornament a bannister and ultimately they will be two of several figures making up the total piece. It is a representation of the 'twenty teens'. A Olympic gymnast, an uncertain voter and other people of today that will hopefully give us a striking reminder of contemporary times and values.
The bannister is modern and made from Douglas Fir with glazed panels. The two pieces are made from slow grown Scots Pine and painted white to give a contrast against the dark red of the Douglas Fir. The Scots Pine and Douglas Fir are Scottish grown and sustaianble.
Please note that there is nothing holding her in place, she is perfectly balanced on her own one foot.
We all recognise the value of outdoor spaces particularly if they relate to a specific building. I’m drawing a distinction here between gardens (which have their own page on this web site) and other outside spaces that can say, serve as fair weather meeting or quiet spaces. Such spaces can be vital to the overall success of a building’s design. I’m suggesting you consider ornamenting these outside spaces with my life size figures that are intended to inspire creativity and to encourage positive attitudes. They reflect modern life, values and serve as a metaphor for shared ecological principals.
With the use of strategic ornamentation, you can induce a powerful emotional response from visitors, before they even reach the front door.