Experience Design is about creating meaningful cultural and embodied experiences for users, and it is an area that has been gaining increasing attention in the field of architecture and home design. Architects such as Eileen Gray and Pierre Chareau as well as the guiding principles of ancient Vastu Shastra ayurvedic texts have all contributed to the development of human-centered design, which focuses on the needs and preferences of the user. At Tangible Places, our approach to experience design is a hybrid one, combining the best of traditional design principles with the latest innovations in technology and materials to create comfortable, functional, and sustainable homes.
Home design has a rich history that spans back to ancient times and are most inspired by written treatises from India and Italy, where architects focused on creating spaces that were in harmony with their local environments and housed cultural practices that are still relevant to this continent. In pre-contact North America (aka Turtle Island), indigenous dwellings were designed to be in harmony with the local ecosystems and serve the human cultural practices within. This tradition of designing and building residences and other structures that enable balance and cultural health in concert with their surroundings has continued throughout the recorded history of tribal and first nations. More and more mainstream architects and builders have begun to recognize the importance of these architectural principles after the societal failures of modernism’s material and human-centered blindness. Energy efficiency, passive heating and cooling in residences and municipal codes fostering these values sprung to the fore of shaping our built environment thanks to the civil, indigenous, gender, ecological rights, and technological advancements of the 70’s and continue to enhance human experiences in the built domain within local ecosystems to the present day.
Visionary and accomplished architects such as Eileen Gray, Pierre Chareau, Adolf Loos, and Rem Koolhaas (OMA) have shown more dedication to exuberant designs to address domestic functions as opposed to formalist aesthetics like Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies Van Der Rohe who design for visual effect primarily.
AI-generated illustrations of interiors based on the design of e1027 house by Eileen Gray and the Maison de Verre by Pierre Chareau © Tangible Places 2023. For actual photography of these masterworks of residential design see: Villa E-1027 at IconicHouses.org and Maison de Verre at Atlas of Places
Tana Green worked for a globally recognized and leading museum exhibit design firm, RAA in New York from 2004 to 09. This firm is known as an innovator in museum experience design which designed permanent exhibitions and planned national and cultural landmarks around the world since the early 1990’s. She had the honor of designing exhibits in three national museums with this firm and another including the National WWI Museum's interactive exhibits, scenic recreating, mediated experiences, the positioning of artifacts, and interior material and color palettes. Tana has also designed corporate interiors, hotel lobbies, health care facilities. In 2009, she jumped to IT consulting as a User Experience Designer and worked at agencies in New York, Chicago, and Seattle designing digital marketing and products (mobile and web) for the customers and employees of global brands in telecom, insurance, health care, pharmaceuticals, hospitality, travel, cybersecurity, non-profits, and energy. Ms. Green has an extensive background in museum exhibit design and corporate interior design. Her experience in IT consulting as a User Experience Designer in various industries has further enhanced her design skills and capabilities.
Making Peace Gallery at the National World War One Museum in Kansas City, MO. Designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates. Photo by Tana Green (3D Designer of these exhibits while employed at RAA) from 2017 (built in 2006).
Our current era
The lessons of the global pandemic of COVID-19 has created a significant shift in humanity’s notion of workspaces, as radical a departure to human productivity as the creation of factories in the industrial revolution brought laborers out of fields, barns, and shops. While many are returning to hybrid work in offices on occasion, remote work through effortless video calls and cloud productivity software is probably here to stay. The design of homes will likely always need to include at least one home office with acoustic isolation, and support new spaces for relaxation co-habitation and co-working with nuances in privacy for separating work from residential spaces. Intentional mindfulness for the design of the home office is needed to represent this space and the home worker as professional and authentic, helping him or her reinforce their image as diligent and trustworthy, reenforcing their credentials and capabilities, without requiring them to rely too much on video background filters or excessive physical props.
At Tangible Places, we take a hybrid approach to agile user experience design and 3D design and development. Our approach is rooted in human-centered design, which focuses on the needs and preferences of the user. We also use principles established by Lisa Herschong in Thermal Delight in Architecture, which focuses on the comfort and freedom of the user, and the principles established by Don Norman in the Design of Everyday Things, which focuses on intuitive usability.
Resident daily flows
One of the key tools we use to understand the experiences desired by our clients is the Resident Daily Flow diagram. This diagram shows how residents move through the property and how they interact with the space. It provides insight into how the property is currently being used and informs our recommendations for improvement.
Resident annual journey map
Another important tool we use to understand the experiences desired by our clients is the Resident Annual Journey Map. This map shows the journey of the residents in the property throughout the year. It provides insight into how the residents use the property throughout the year and informs our recommendations for improvement.
These experience diagrams define the custom user needs for your family and help us begin to shape the home design. We can then explore floor plans and sectional views of a dwelling on the property to ensure we are crafting spaces that are right-sized and equipped to suit your needs satisfactorily.
Schematic cross sections of the Slope Home and Guest House ©Tangible Places 2022
Property Usability Evaluations
At Tangible Places, we understand that every client has different needs and preferences. That's why we offer a range of service options for you to purchase. If you’re not sure where to begin we offer a one-hour consultation workshop to listen to your ideas, provide advice, and make some recommendations.
If you have one existing or potential property we can evaluate it for you. If you have two or three properties in mind, we can compare their usability qualities to help you choose for your and your family needs.
Hand-sketched overlay of water elements and features for the back yard of the Slope Home © Tangible Places 2022
Tailoring a just-good-enough home for your goals, tasks, and dreams
When it comes to deciding on a property to buy, it's important to understand your options. You can buy a house, buy open land and build on it, or blend the two approaches— buy a house and renovate or add-on to it.
When renovating a house, it is important to tailor the project to your specific goals, tasks, and dreams. One way to do this is by adding an accessory dwelling unit, or ADU. An ADU is a separate living space that is attached to or within the same lot as an existing single-family home. The benefits of an ADU include increased living space, rental income, and the ability to accommodate aging parents or adult children. However, there are also challenges to consider such as zoning restrictions, permits, and financing.
Designer's rendering of the Slope Home living room and garden patio doors. ©Tangible Places 2022
Another option for renovating a house is to add an addition to the existing structure. This can provide additional living space and improve the overall functionality of the home. However, it is important to consider the impact of the addition on the existing structure, as well as zoning restrictions and applying for permits.
AI-generated illustration of an indoor-outdoor living spaces addition to a standard home in the Pacific NorthWest. © Tangible Places 2023
Building a house from the ground up is a more extensive option, but it can provide the most flexibility in terms of design, materials, and technology. This option can be more complicated, requiring a construction loan application and is more time-consuming, but it can result in a home that is tailored to your specific needs and preferences.
AI-generated illustration of a Pacific Coast ground floor living room with fireplace and two dogs on a warm-toned rug and large leather bean bag cushions. The sun sets in a large window over the ocean and beach. © Tangible Places 2023
Digital strategy, design, and delivery
We understand the importance of digital technology in home design and we are proud to refer our clients to AIM Consulting - leaders in IT Consulting services. For digital strategy, planning, system design, to determining your level of comfort and with smart home automation, home entertainment and security. AIM’s IT design, development and management experts can help you plan and integrate your preferred digital experiences within your home. Our partnership allows us to offer our clients a full range of digital solutions.
Learn more about how AIM Consulting’s Digital practice can help you define and deliver the experiences you hope for with AIM Consulting’s Digital Experience capability.
At Tangible Places, we specialize in designing and building adaptable spatial and material residences that deliver on human-centered design principles. Our systems focus on passive heating and cooling, air flow management, natural lighting, privacy, energy production, storage, and efficiency, defining home offices for our era, responsive lighting design for your family’s comfort and daily activities— year round, healthy water management and irrigation systems for indoor and outdoor spaces for year round entertaining and shared enjoyment of your balanced home ecosystem.