Building Beauty: Week 14


We’ve really started work on our projects now. We’ve written up a project description – not unlike the way patterns are organised in A Pattern Language – and started interviewing people from our “community”.

I interviewed my tutor and two co-students at Building Beauty, along with seven colleagues.

Interview Notes Montage

The interviews themselves were all about reaching the deep feeling that people get in their workspaces. It’s not about just enumerating a list of functional requirements, but extracting a rich story of what makes a home workspace all the things it should be. I found these very similar to the way Jobs to be Done are formulated.

Over the weekend I’ve reviewed all the notes and tried to extract commonalities as proto-patterns; as in, not quite patterns yet, but the seeds of them. We’ll be elaborating on these over the coming weeks with help from the tutors.

Here’s an extract of my really rough progress so far. Already I’m seeing how these patterns will overlap and sometimes even contradict.



Takes motivation to make an AIRGAP. Plants or images of nature can inspire you
to go outside. VIEW is better, since it's *real*. Plant that closes up at
night. Real movement == life.

Office leading to garden nice; make outdoors room/place connection.



Working from home allows you to cook much better food and take a proper lunch
break (AIRGAP). Too easy to eat at your desk in office with everyone else
around working.


NATURE is always good art.

Abstract art isn't as personal. Personal pictures create BLURRED BOUNDARIES.

Wall art can be functional too (colour wheel).

Can also be creative or technically inspiring (Vinyl covers, Ferrari).

Easy to change is also good for variety.


Alongside the interviews we’ve been looking at the physical aspects of the site itself. In the house project I did a single “feeling map” (site diagnosis). For this project I want to go a bit deeper, so created a feeling map for each specific feeling that the room needs to create, depending on the task at hand.

Montage of feeling maps

Each feeling map conveys how well the room gives me each feeling for a particular “mode” of work. At the end I merged them together to give an overall diagnosis of the site. It’s clear the hallway has the least life, with the pinboard wall not far behind.

Blended feeling maps

Nature of Order

We had two guest speakers this week! Yaara gave a talk about her work in Bedouin Villages and Ross gave a talk about his Pocket Neighbourhoods.

Beautiful Software

Bruno joined us for the session this week as we were all really interested in his work.