Introducing Designer Jeffrey Kelly
Recently one of Arciform’s talented Junior Designers earned his “stripes” and has been promoted to Designer. He’ll begin taking on his own design projects this year. We thought we’d take a moment to learn about what inspires him most.
When did you know you wanted to be an architectural designer? Tell us how you got inspired to do this work.
My father was a carpenter so building is in my blood. During my childhood, despite my brother’s and my protests, we spent many hours of our family vacations looking at open houses and visiting sites of architectural interest. It must have all sunk in at some point, because in my adolescence and early adulthood I would find myself exploring friend’s houses and looking at details that defined the architecture of the home. It took some years to realize this is what I wanted to do for a living. Once I did there was no looking back.
Describe one of your favorite design projects. What were the challenges? What were some of the features that made it memorable?
One of my favorite projects so far was the recently completed Snyder job. I have to admit I’m a bit partial because this was one of the first jobs I designed to go to construction. The scope of the project was a very compact bathroom that needed some more breathing room. We were able to capture space from an adjacent closet in order to make a more functional bathroom. The most memorable part of the project for me was working with the client. She had a very strong idea of what she wanted, in terms of finishes and overall aesthetics, so it made it a fun and collaborative process.
Tell us what you consider the hallmarks of a well-designed project. How do you know when something is “right?”
For me it is important to respect the existing structure and be an advocate for the lifespan of the home when designing a project. At the same time there have been vast improvements in building technology and the way people interact with their homes is constantly changing. Finding a balance between modern upgrades and lasting style is the challenge for every project. It’s hard to pin point when something is “right” but finding that balance is a great start.
What’s your working style? How do you like to work with a client?
I’ve found that most clients know what is needed for their project to be successful even if they don’t have a clear vision of how to achieve it. It is my job to interpret their needs and provide solutions that help them make their home a more functional environment. I enjoy providing a collaborative relationship for a client and welcome their input at all phases of design. While I enjoy space planning and coming up with configurations that I think are the most effective, the end result has to put the client’s needs first. No one knows how a space functions better than the people who live with it every day and to not utilize the client’s feedback as a resource would be a disservice to the project.
What are the top 3 things on your “bucket list?”
1. Visit every National Park in the United States. This is a goal of my mother’s as well and my parents are currently working their way through this challenge. We live in such a beautiful world and what better way to see it than exploring our own country. It is very important to me to spend time in the outdoors and experience the natural world. Unfortunately it is very easy to get caught up in the day to day life and forget to get outside and explore all the wondrous places that surround us. I have never been disappointed by a National Park and I look forward to checking more off my list.
2. Raft the Colorado river. I am an avid fly fisher and a novice rafter. This past year I purchased a cataraft and have been working on my boating skills. Hopefully one day I will be able to take it down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon.
3. Drive from Portland to the tip of Argentina and back. If you can’t tell by now I really love getting out in world and experiencing unfamiliar places. Central and South America has been on the top of my list for a long time and I hope to get there in the next 5 years.