Semester in Sustainable Design/Build - Life Advice from our Clients

October 16, 2018
By Madi Visser, Semester Program Teaching Assistant


Written by Natalie

If you haven’t read much about our clients yet in the blog posts, you are about to glean a sliver of the plethora of wisdom they have bestowed upon us. What you are about to read are the favorite words-of-wisdom each student has taken away from Ben and Ellen over our 3-4 meetings/dinners.

Hannah: Scene: After presenting two schemes to our client pair, Ben divulges some truth about a diagram he saw of the creative process:

We all agreed with his assessment that while true, there will always be new ideas that feel better, and it is up to us to determine when to be happy with a good idea.

Becca: Scene: After presenting two schemes to our client pair, a Judge and Ben agree that some of the best ideas come from confusing beginnings: “Don’t censor yourself from ideas that seem un-feasible/too grand. Don’t hold the idea back because you think other people will think it’s ‘crazy’. It may turn into a really good idea!”

Jacob: Scene: After dinner, post critique/during critique Ben and Ellen help to explain one another's behaviors: Ellen (watching Ben fiddle with a kitchen drawer)-- “He just doesn’t like to sit still.” Ben (after having a short discussion with Ellen)-- “She has strong ideas initially but reasons other solutions really well.”

Orly: Scene: The first unofficial meeting with Ben and Ellen at their house: “Can you tell us about yourselves? You can tell us whatever you want about your background, or where you’re from, and what you say will be what we go with… It can be made up, we don’t mind.”

In reference to being honest about how you feel and what you connect with.

Shannon: Scene: At dinner, after presenting the final design which included a trellis with a vine: Ellen (contemplating)-- “Poison Ivy is a climbing vine too, just don’t eat it. We had a friend eat Poison Ivy to get out of school but then ended up in the hospital for 3 weeks.”

Josie: Scene: At dinner after presenting the final design: “Get dogs in pairs. They need the support and keep each other company when you can’t be with them.”

Me (Natalie): Scene: Our first client meeting where a lot of questions were asked and many answers were given: Ellen (after speaking to being supportive of Ben, his metal work, and art)-- “I don’t want you to think that I am the only one supporting in our relationship, our marriage. Ben supports me and provides me with things I never had, and I do the same for him.”