human centred design and the art
of Wabi-sabi

For most of us homework brings back memories of tiresome exercises and boredom. With the increasing availability of technology and social media platforms homework is seen by Pavlo Szyjan, bespoke creator, as an essential necessity for lifestyle inquiry into creating a brief for a unique architectural solution to the desire for creating a new residential residence.

Pavlo believes that a house – a home, is meant to be a sanctuary, a welcoming place you come home to, a place where you can be ourselves, a place where we can relax, a place to simply be. A place where we feel alive, where we respond with delight – a place which has soul, providing nourishment, healing our human spirit. By incorporating today’s appreciation of wabi-sabi ideas into residential design – whether a style proposed is traditional, contemporary or adaptive, Pavlo’s aim is to create peaceful spaces for everyday retreat.

For Pavlo the process of design begins with the question WHY and then listening to the architectural narrative provided by his clients in response to the question. EMPATHY and empathic design allows Pavlo to set aside his own assumptions and to develop a deep understanding of the problems and realities of the people for whom he is designing.

The Japanese aesthetic, Wabi-sabi, emanates from the 14th century Buddhist approach to understanding life and in particular to design and creation of built form. Imperfection, transience and simplicity are expressed by wabi, and the effect of time upon an object is expressed by sabi. In modern architecture Wabi-sabi, is seen in authentic expression – in simplicity, in elegant craftsmanship, in the use of natural materials, in rough edges, in imperfect glazes, even in imperfect flaws and in negative spaces.

In responding to the soul of a client through an iterative human centred approach to design the Wabi-sabi of Pavlo’s bespoke residential designs contrast with the often seen mass-produced uniformity of housing designs. Each design is unique to the site and created individually to respond to a client’s brief and represent a coalescing of imagination, data, innovation, logic and systemic reasoning into something new.

Pavlo not only places his client as the human centre of his design but he also places the building at the centre of its ecology – its place, treading as lightly upon the earth as possible, being cognisant of the relationship the building may have with its landscape and streetscape. Environmentally friendly design and carbon footprint minimisation are as important as beauty and functionality of a building design. In this way his architecture is constantly evolving, responding both to his client’s brief and to broader changes in building technologies, society and the environment.

Innovative architectural design must be capable of standing the test of time. Looking at architectural trends in residential design, Pavlo acknowledges increasing use of organic forms, curves on house facades, natural materials (for example, brickwork, rammed earth and timbers) and colours, smaller homes and provision for multigenerational living, inclusion of preparation kitchens or large sculleries, smart buildings involving the use of wireless technologies and the adoption of new construction methods using both hybrid construction materials and the repurposing of recycled materials.

Michael Burke and the team at Brian Burke Homes and the team at Refined Edge by Brian Burke Homes, being committed to the highest standards of customer service are only too keen to assist clients in completing their homework and in building homes which are authentic, incorporate elements of Wabi-sabi thereby allowing their owners to experience presence, harmony and practicality in their new home.

Pavlo Szyjan B. Sc. Arch. B. Arch (Newcastle)
Pavlo Szyjan Studio

17 Sep 2018