Tom interviews George Ehrenhaft, writer, educator and
ownerbuilder. Mr. Ehrenhaft suggests that we can
learn the art of living through the craft of building,
providing insight into the creation of his most recent
book. He speaks candidly about the lives of folks who
inspired him to write about the ownerbuilder
Whatever word label you use
to describe active learning during the Design/Build process, be careful your word choice doesn't
compromise your understanding of home architecture and construction.
point is to avoid the constraints of "labeling" by allowing yourself to remain
open to the full range of concepts
and facts and thoroughly engage the spectrum of information provided by the
variety of professionals with whom you come into contact.
professional - Construction Manager, Architect, Engineer, Contractor, Supplier,
Manufacturer, Inspector, Realtor, Lender - comes to the Design/Build process with
specialized information from
years of education, training and experience. Intellectually embrace them all !!!
Wisdom imparted by each professional becomes an important,
vital piece of the entire Design/Build
By recognizing the natural
connections which actually exist among the professions, you accept the
roles of the various players, the contributions each make, and utilize the
complex information base provided by the specialty of each
However, to really get a grip on the Design/Build process,
you must contend with the simultaneous interaction
of ideas and events.
There comes a time when you leave the comfort of
a local library, your office, or the kitchen
table and begin to relate ideas to actual events.
A sensible, rational approach to the sequence of events is a good start
but a more realistic and reliable track allows for the interdependent
and unpredictable nature of the Design/Build process.
You discover your endeavor to plan, organize and control a residential construction
project is both an art and a science.
Although your preparations are decisive and rational, there's a chaotic
side to the experience which demands you remain a creative problem solver.
Your attempt to give careful consideration to all aspects of designing and
building a home will only remove part of the uncertainty.
In reality, a modest number of possible Design/Build solutions will be considered,
and there's no way of telling whether your solution choices
are the best because so many other possibilities may go unexamined.
vision for active learning integrates the residential Design/Build process with
the necessary skills, knowledge, and attitude which prepare individuals for collaborating
with professionals and getting the most out of what they offer.
Major changes in the marketplace - technology, specialization, and participatory
styles of management - are having a major impact on how individuals interact with one another
and become positively involved in the residential Design/Build process.
Nothing will replace your ability to
think critically and analyze
the unique circumstances surrounding your project.
But, most important to active learning is your capacity to
let artistic and scientific energies combine to become the creative
force of your residential Design/Build experience.