I am interested in all scales of architecture, from large scale planning issues, to details like a wooden trellis, handmade tiles, or even how a knot on an old turkish carpet is made. The overarching theme in my work, what I aspire to, is the creation of real beauty. I want my work to be moving for people, to make them feel more alive in the places I help create. In a culture and era so preoccupied with media superficiality, this is a terrific challenge, but one which makes for lively and rewarding work.
I have a great deal of experience in residential design, as well as a variety of craft disciplines. I have also had the opportunity to work at larger scales on civic projects and urban planning projects. In all my work I bring a sensitivity to an existing place, to what is positive and what needs repair. My clients, coworkers and I together then, carefully consider how to build on what is already good there, and how what we do build can repair what needs help. Throughout, the primary intention - within budgetary constraints - is how to repair our damaged earth, in whatever way we can, at whatever scale, while we make beautiful places to live our lives in harmony.
In my work it is important that the ideas and strategies that drive the construction come out of the process itself. Preconceived ideas of what something should look like, whether in a specific or general stylistic sense, are usually not very helpful, in that they come from outside the process, they are abstract ideas which may or may not (probably not) be appropriate to the intention of making something beautiful in a particular place. So it is important to be open to the moment, and listen carefully to what is needed. Again, this is not easy, in fact it requires a great deal of emotional maturity, but the result is buildings, places and things that feel at home, in harmony with their place, natural and inspiring.
A brief history of my education:
I've wanted to be an architect since I was around ten years old, inspired by the creative bohemian environment of rural Sonoma County, California where I was raised. I was also strongly influenced by the quiet majesty of the rolling hills peppered with oak trees and framed by stands of eucalyptus; climbing among the roof beams of the old barns, the light streaming in between wood siding.
I continued my architectural education in high school where I was fortunate to have a great teacher for Architectural Drawing.
I attended the West Valley College in Saratoga, CA from 1986-88, then transfered to the University of Oregon, where I received my Bachelor's of Architecture degree in 1992 (technically awarded 1994).
I then spent a few years working for Jim Givens in Eugene, followed by a few years of freelance design and craft work.
In 1997 I went to London to study at the Prince of Wales's Institute of Architecture (now called The Prince's Foundation). I earned a Master of Philosophy degree, ratified by the ???. My thesis focused on Christopher Alexander's latest work, The Nature of Order, and it's relevance to contemporary architecture and other fields.
Having met Alexander while in London (and helping him with The Millennium Project schematic design), I returned to California and joined his Center for Environmental Structure/PatternLanguage.com team. I worked with him from 2000 to 2004 on a variety of projects including, The Athens Opera Complex, The Sullivan Residence, Sunrise Ridge Residences, the patternlaguage.com website, etc.
In 2005 I returned to Eugene, Oregon, and started teaching in the University of Oregon Architecture Department as an Adjunct Professor. I am also working on my own private commissions and consulting to James Givens Design.
© 2006, Demetrius González. All rights reserved.