Tag Archives: Philosophy

Your Home Designed Globally, Created and Aligned Locally

I often get asked to explain what I do – even when I say I’m an architect, or that I run my own architectural practice, I still get blank looks, or people want me to explain more. I’ve met some very inspiring women entrepreneurs over the past few years, and many of them have great business advice – including how important it is to try and communicate what it is I do (for you) in one short sentence. I previously thought my ‘elemental design‘ tagline and philosophy had it covered, but it seems that this might have been a bit obscure.

I’m very aware of the ‘eco-fatigue’ that exists now that there is so much green-wash out there, so I was keen to avoid words such as sustainable, eco, green, environmental, ethical, natural, organic, healthy, earthy, and so on, yet of course I still want to evoke that this is my ethos! (Which is why I like the term ‘elemental‘ design instead to cover these). However avoiding these words does make things a bit difficult, doesn’t it?!

Ballarat Central Regional Victoria Home Design Green Building Eco Sustainable Renovations

“Your home designed globally, created and aligned locally.” – Talina Edwards Architecture

Continue reading

WHAT Is A Sustainable House? Ballarat Green Drinks Presentation

Ballarat Green Drinks Sustainable House

 

Talina Edwards Architecture is a Ballarat-based studio, specialising in sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes. We like to help answer your questions about environmental design. We recently began a series of posts covering the WHY, WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and HOW of sustainable design. You can read about the “WHY” here and the “WHO” here. We’ll be tackling the other topics in the coming months, but today I want to briefly discuss “WHAT is a sustainable house?”

I recently gave a presentation on this very topic to a large bunch of sustainably minded folk in Ballarat. I was invited to present at “Ballarat Green Drinks” which is part of a global organisation of volunteer-run events, where a guest speaker will chat about their particular interest in sustainability, and hopefully inform and inspire others. It’s also meant to be very much about having casual forum where the community can have a drink and meet with some like-minds. I’ve written about the “Worlds Biggest Green Drinks” Ballarat-event previously, and also a review about a Green Roofs presentation  last year.

Ballarat Green Sustainability Drinks community event sustainable house home eco enviro presentation

 

I only had half an hour to try to cover an enormous topic, so I tried to break it down into 10 main points of what I think the characteristics are that make a truly sustainable house. This was a bit of a utopian vision, as although there is encouraging progress with many new homes and renovations starting to take some energy-efficient principles into account…we still have a long way to go. This talk was not meant to be about HOW to achieve a sustainable house, nor was it about me spruiking my services and how I could help. In this forum, it was an opportunity to remind everyone WHY we should do sustainable design in the first place, and to understand the philosophy of what sustainable-houses of the future could (or should!) be. I also covered why I became interested in sustainable homes, and some historical references relevant to our region.

So…

“What is a Sustainable House?”

A sustainable house is a house like a tree.

I was first introduced to this idea by Michael Mobbs, in his book ‘Sustainable House‘, who said “A tree must meet all its needs for food, energy and water where it stands.” And also in Peter Graham’s book, ‘Building Ecology‘: “Buildings are a part of earth’s eco-systems…but they are rarely treated as such.”

My presentation had illustrated examples of each point with statistics and quotes, so I’ll cover these in future posts in much greater detail, but here’s a quick summary:

1. a sustainable house is… site specific

2. a sustainable house is… small

3. a sustainable house provides… shelter and comfort

4. a sustainable house is… well-designed

5. a sustainable house is… self-sufficient (solar energy)

6. a sustainable house is… self-sufficient (water)

7. a sustainable house consumes… minimal resources

8. a sustainable house… doesn’t pollute

9. a sustainable house is… responsibly inhabited 

10. a sustainable house is… beautiful and loved

So stay tuned for me to explain all of these in the coming months…as well as continuing to tackle the who, what, when, where, why, and of course the HOW of sustainable design.

Did you attend the Ballarat Green Drinks Presentation? If you haven’t already done so, I’d LOVE your feedback via this little survey – it will only take a few minutes. A HUGE thanks to everyone who have responded already, there’s been some insightful feedback, and it has given me plenty more questions which I will answer in future posts. (Or please feel free to leave a question in the comments below!)

Talina-Edwards-Architecture-Signature

P.S.  Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our monthly newsletter  (or over there on the top right-hand side of this webpage) so you won’t miss out on our posts!

 

 

 

 

Talina Edwards Architecture: elemental design philosophy

Talina Edwards Architecture is a Ballarat-based studio, with a passion for sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes. We like to help answer your questions, and this post hopes to answer some questions we are often asked: “So what sort of architecture do you do?” and”What sort of ‘sustainable’ design do you do?” 

For out latest blog post, we wanted to share with you our philosophies…regarding design, sustainability and our services. Our philosophy does occupy a permanent page on our website here, but we wanted to dedicate a post to it. The thing is that behind the scenes we can reveal that we’ve been busy writing and designing a new guide, especially for you, which will be ready for launching soon… and whilst working on that, it’s been a really good reminder to revisit WHY we do what we do.

These philosophies have been developed over many, many, many years! In fact the foundations of my ethos emerged in early childhood when my love of architecture and nature first began. They were really cemented during my university years, and especially with my architectural thesis, “e[co] healing retreat” (which you can see here – scroll down toward the bottom of the gallery), which was about all of these same ideas. Since graduation, I’ve been very fortunate to have worked in practices where they shared a similar view. When I started my own practice, and I was chatting with my graphic designer about my “brand” it was pretty evident which direction to take  based on these philosophies…you’ll see how that works in the image of my logo below! So far, I’ve been very fortunate to be working with some amazing clients who are absolutely on the same wavelength, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the result of my theories being put into practice! So watch this space…

The other thing to remember, is that sustainable design is NOT a style. My philosophies are more like a set of guiding principles that can result in very different outcomes for each client. Each project has a unique site and existing conditions, specific client requirements, different priorities  with regards to quality/timing/budget, and different regulatory controls (planning/building permits) etc… This is why the “one-size-fits-all” approach of mass-produced spec-homes doesn’t fit with my philosophy…

Our Elemental Design Philosophy

“Elemental” design for us is about the fundamental elements of our lives… we need food, water, air and shelter for survival. For the first three, it is preferable these should be as fresh and pure as possible; un-contaminated and un-polluted, for our health and wellbeing. We believe “shelter” and comfort (or “home”) is just as important, and it too should be comfortable, healthy, and not cause pollution (or depletion of our earth’s resources) in its day-to-day operation, its construction or in the manufacturing of its components. Ancient Chinese philosophy talks about the five elements in terms of earth, air, water, wood and fire… and these are inextricably linked to our sustainable design philosophy. We also believe there is a fifth element needed for survival beyond just food/water/air/shelter….   “love” (connection/care/compassion). Without love for others, love for our planet, love of what we do, what is the point? At Talina Edwards Architecture, we LOVE what we do…. and we care about helping you get your ‘elemental shelter’ (sustainable home) that won’t cost the earth…

Talina-Edwards-Architcture-Elemental-Design-Philosophy

.

Our Sustainable Design Philosophy

Our sustainable design philosophy is a holistic approach:

Environmental sustainability: wellbeing of the planet (solar passive design, responsible use of resources, energy-efficient, honest materials, minimal waste, positive relationship between built environment and natural environment)

Social sustainability: wellbeing of occupants (health, comfort, natural light, fresh air, quality of life) and also positive contribution to the community

Economic sustainability: wellbeing of the wallet (economical design) and sensible solutions that will help reduce running costs over the building’s life span, with smart choices for future flexibility

The practice also addresses the functional, physical, and aesthetic requirements for each client. We believe the best design solutions come from a collaborative approach, with a close client-architect relationship throughout your project.

.

Our Services Philosophy

At Talina Edwards Architecture, we pride ourselves on providing high-quality, professional architectural services, that are delivered in a friendly, down-to-earth way. We understand that the building process is a big deal, so want to make sure it is as easy as possible for you to enjoy the journey with minimal stress. We are here to listen to your needs and wants, and to help guide you on your dream-home journey, as a collaborative process. Find out what some of our happy customers are saying here.

.

Do you share a similar philosophy/ethos? I’ve love to hear about it in the comments below!

We’ll aim to answer more questions about sustainable design, green buildings and healthy homes, also with reference to our local climate (Regional Ballarat area and Melbourne) in future posts. Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our monthly newsletter  (over there on the top right-hand side of this page) so you won’t miss out on our posts!

Talina-Edwards-Architecture-Signature