Exercise 1: Developing your character profiles

I have a narrative of my client’s life and have created a mind map which shows my client’s attributes. This process of defining my client’s character helped build on the information already gathered to design his micro-dwelling. George is actually feeling quite real now, at some points through my day I seem to be thinking about what he may be doing in his new home. Have I done enough to create a design worthy of this wonderful character, will it be everything he has ever wanted!

The next part of the course suggested inventing scenarios based on my client’s character, thinking about the details in his life, job, activities and attitudes. I tested these scenarios on myself similarly to part 3 ‘someone else’s shoes’ and this should help develop my character.

Firstly, I imagined coming home from work, opening up the bi-fold doors that run the breadth of the rear elevation, the sun was beating down on my back, the first thing I did was run the cold tap in the kitchen and sit and have a lovely cold drink in the kitchen dining area, looking out to the garden and the beautiful late afternoon sunshine.

Secondly, I took myself into the snug area, behind the open plan kitchen next to the bedroom to read a book, a psychological thriller, one of those that is difficult to put down. This was a great end to a productive working day, a way of escaping real life for a couple of hours, sitting in a comfortable, calm space with my feet up in peace and quiet.

So, with these two scenarios in mind, I then imagined them in slightly different ways. Firstly, coming home with two children at the end of their school day, one in a pushchair and one hungry teenager. Sweaty palms all over the bi-fold doors, no sooner had I put the key in the lock and pulled the doors open that they were in the kitchen, throwing their bags down at the back door, almost tripping over each other, heading straight to the snack cupboard in the kitchen! Overall, there is plenty of space around the table in the kitchen/diner for them to trip over themselves and once the bi-fold doors are open wide the space is then opened up to an outdoor terrace area.

Secondly, that calm space in the snug area is taken over by the children, one reading aloud, one playing on a games console, this also works because I am then able to prepare dinner listening to my favourite music whilst enjoy the sunshine beating down on the back terrace.

When designing my client’s micro dwelling, my first thought was to have a fairly large open plan kitchen living space, with this in mind I think it would also suit a family situation, it would change the dynamics of the space entirely but the openness out onto the terrace would be a great advantage. The only major change would be a need for an extra bedroom space, maybe then the snug area would need to be rearranged or taken up with the second bedroom.

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