Home Magazine Interview

To celebrate International Womens week, Home Magazine asked several NZ Women Architects about what influences, inspires them and what they most enjoy about their work. Lisa was interviewed for the article and below is an extract from the story.


The past year has been significant in terms of how we view our homes. How do you think our experiences of late will influence residential architecture going forward?


Our homes are becoming increasingly perceived as not just a sanctuary, but as spaces to assist us home schooling our kids, carving out room to enable focused work, as well as being able to recharge at the end of the day privately, or share a meal together. The interesting thing is that to many people who work from home and have raised children at the same time – this is not a new thing. As everyone has discovered recently, this often means wrestling with either the traditional fixed spatial arrangements of older houses, or find ways of adjusting open plan arrangements. Spaces today are, by necessity, requiring greater flexibility of use for every occupant. This requires us to not look at it in terms of adding more area to solve the problem, but to relook at what adaption can truly mean within a building itself. Our experiences are likely to lead us to create more dynamic homes, that are truly responsive to our needs by the spaces being less defined by a set use. This necessarily needs to go beyond the architecture, but also will involve an intelligent look at what we fill our spaces with as well.


What is it that inspires you about your profession?


Architecture for me is about creating a built form that will make a positive difference to people’s lives. This can be through creating an affordable home that works with the environment through its energy efficiency, materiality, low waste, and responsiveness to the climate. Equally it can be through creating healthy inspiring spaces for a family that gently encourages them to achieve their goals and vision for their lives. It’s inspiring to see the Architecture profession taking seriously environmental concerns that will affect the wellbeing of future generations. How we build today, will impact generations to come. As Architects, we need to be focussed on visionary thinking that will provide both practical and elegant design solutions that have a positive impact on the planet.


Can you tell us about a project (completed or in progress) that you have particularly enjoyed working on and why?


We completed a home for a family that encompassed our aim to create a beautiful tactile space of simple materials, that was also energy efficient and responsive to its environment. The passive cooling techniques and passive thermal design ensures the home stays at a comfortable temperature year around and it is highly energy efficient as a result. The design also enabled the family to have adaptable work, private and shared spaces that were designed around their lives and that were well tested last year during the series of lockdowns. We have loved seeing the difference it has made to their everyday. 


You can find the interview, with more from several awesome NZ women Architects who run their own practices, here.