Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Building Green in Harlem House Project

We first got in touch with Alysia after hearing about her and David's search for "green closet designers." Being designers (designers-in-training at least) and all having a green-leaning mindset we jumped in with both feet. Here we pause to thank David and Alysia for taking a chance on a group of students. We traveled up to the upper west side to visit their current home, digital cameras and sketchbooks in tow.

Alysia and David's current closet situation was clearly not up to snuff. Clothes were crammed into a, shall we say small space. Stacks of jeans and overflowing hangers and all that. We spoke with Alysia for a while (David was up at the new house, toiling away), finding out what they liked and didn't like about her current closet, and what they wanted in a new one then headed up to Harlem to see the space.

We assume that if you're here, reading about our endeavors then you've seen the videos on Dwell. As nice as the house looks in those videos, construction and all, it's so much nicer in person. And the closet is huge. We continued the discussion with David, showing them both some of our preliminary sketches. And then there was wine. All in all, not a bad First Client Meeting Ever.

Still in high spirits, we were developing our ideas in between work for school. Then we got the call. California Closets was probably signing on, so we were losing our spot. Only we weren't losing a spot in the project. Somehow we had managed to impress David and Alysia with our bright eyed student-ness and they were going to shift us over to the office.

Now this whole process had taken place over a few weeks, including a week of limbo before we were sure that California Closets were definitely in. Which somewhat worked out to our advantage, since we had an opportunity to get some missed schoolwork done. But it cut down on our work time significantly.

We visited the house again as soon as possible, repeating the research and discussion we had previously done. The new office was a whole room, as opposed to the desk they had previously used. Still, it wasn't that large a room, so none of us wanted to waste any space. We also wanted to continue on a theme developed for the closet, that of combining Alysia's whimsy with David's practicality. Of course we didn't know how we would do that yet.

And that brings us all up to the present. The office design is in the works, with some concepts already posted. We're developing and then finalizing them and going full-scale later on in the week. Then it's time to do it for real.

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