One of the first questions people ask me about homes and buildings is "What kind of style do you do?" This is tough to answer because I don't consider my design principles, or philosophy, a "style". When designing a building, I simply absorb the information regarding the Client's needs, the site and climate conditions, local context, budget, materials, etc. and devise appropriate design options for those factors (ideally resulting in simple, creative, beautiful, spatial and material compositions). We often hear the terms "contemporary" and "modern" used interchangeably. Though the definitions are very similar, "contemporary" implies a current stylistic trend to me, whereas "modern" means the freedom to respond to a design problem with fresh, new ideas which come from within or from the problem itself. When it's modern, there are no limits to the imagination, whereas a style ropes you in with certain formulas or appearances that must conform to a specific "look".
"Modern" to me does not have to mean "cold", "barren" or "sterile". Just the opposite, "modern" can be gentle curves with colorful accents and a variety of new materials, textures and forms integrated together. Rather than the large, empty metal and glass box trivializing the human being, modern architecture should be warm and full of life while embracing honest construction, clean lines, human scale and the beauty of nature! That is what "modern" means to me.

My Design Principles

The Reverent Act of
Constructing a Building

The Importance of Travel

Desert Architecture



Saving Energy

What Modern Architecture
Means to Me

© 2023 Colin Edward Slais