Introducing…Yvonne

Continuing our series of introcucing you to our team, I sat down with Yvonne (graduate architect and office worm farm manager) and asked her a couple of questions –

Who/What inspires you?

  1. Beautiful things. Or rather, the detail in beautiful things. At each scale, singular parts make up a whole and the execution of such becomes an expression of the whole.
  1. Honesty. For example, an honesty of material, which can present itself proudly without embellishment.

…brick says to you, ‘I like an arch.’  And you say to brick, ‘Look, I want one too, but arches are expensive and I can use a concrete lintel.’  And then you say: ‘What do you think of that, brick?’ Brick says: ‘I like an arch.’ 

-Louis Kahn

What is your area of architectural passion? 

If I could reframe the question, it might perhaps be posed: “what is so appealing about architecture / the architect?”  Architecture is ultimately a generalist profession, encompassing a holistic approach to design – everything from the mainstream to the marginalised.  Each project comes with a unique contextual complexity of challenges, and therefore must be approached as a unique entity.  That is the role of the architect – we are given the power of suggestion, such that realities can be made out of the ideas that we present.

Architecture is exposed to life.  If its body is sensitive enough, it can assume a quality that bears witness to the reality of past life.

Peter Zumthor, Thinking Architecture

What is your favourite piece of design outside of Architecture?

Not quite the answer to my favourite piece of design, but it comes close to illustrating what it is that I love about good design.  This is a model 1227 Herbert Terry (developed by engineer Edward Carwardine) anglepoise lamp (c. late 1930s) that I recently purchased on TradeMe.  This model superceeded the industrial 1208 for a residential market, incorporating three springs instead of four, and minus a third tier on the cast iron base.  Some people have posited that this was due to the need to save metal needed for bomb production in WWII, while others have attributed it to the waning of the Art Deco movement.  I am currently in the process of restoring this elegant, functional all-steel construction (minus the shade, which is aluminium). 

Yvonne Lamp

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