Architectural design is an inherently "arrogant" act. This has nothing to do with the personality of an architect (although some of them deserve that adjective), but is really a result of the fact that because of the dynamic created in hiring a creative professional you end up with someone who is saying "my ideas for this project are better and more creative than yours." No matter how humbly this is presented, in the end that is the equation. On the other hand, when you build an object, no matter how much money you charge for it, you are still turning over something you built with your hands. It is a physical object, not an idea, and handing over something you built is I believe an inherently humble act. It is much more of a "gift", for it involves the essence of "craft", of making something by hand (unique, one-of-a-kind, personal) in an era where that is uncommon. In a sense the dynamic is the same as when as a young boy I brought home a napkin holder made out of popsicle sticks for my Mother (although hopefully the aesthetic has evolved since then).
I think that is what is unique about Lundberg Design, that we combine design and craft. We have designed some really beautiful things, and I hope we will continue to get better at it, but we also have built some really beautiful objects, most of which go into buildings we design. This ability to do both makes our work more collaborative - we are not just idea guys; we know how to build things. We can help with building issues, and we encourage the Contractor to contribute ideas, especially in regards to building technology. The kind of work we do is very personal, and the client, architect, and builder all need to be on the same team. That is the only way the kind of quality we seek will happen, and I believe critical to that is the fact that our shop makes us more accessible, both symbolically and actually.
It is amazing to think that we have been in practice for almost 20 years. Perhaps that experience shows most in our editing of the designs. I feel like our work is getting simpler, tighter, clearer; at least I hope so. The shop works really well as a laboratory for experimentation, and it facilitates innovation in our work. We are sort of tinkerers at heart; we love to invent, to surprise.
And we have a great staff, most of whom have been with me for years. We are even on our second generation of dogs - Chutney and Diesel are gone, but Chili and Carney have ably filled the void they left behind. It is the office I have worked to build my entire adult life, and my staff and clients are just a treat to work with. I hope our designs communicate how much fun we have making them come to life.