A Design for Life… The Kevin McCloud Column

Designer, writer, and television presenter, Kevin McCloud leapt into our consciousness with his vastly successful Grand Designs show on Channel 4. This month, the affable architectural business owner talks about why space is so good for the soul.

In both architecture and life, space is a canvas for our existence. It’s where our dreams take shape, our memories are housed, and our deepest emotions find room to breathe. A well-designed space is not merely a container of things; it’s a reflection of who we are.

Kevin believes this shift towards a more personalized, autobiographical approach to our living spaces is indeed a healthy development. He often mentions that the architecture of a home is a silent dialogue between form and function, finding fascination in how space can be a balm for the soul.

In our frenzied world, the need for solitude and personal space has never been more acute. Our homes must be more than mere shelters; they must be sanctuaries. The quality of light, the texture of materials, the flow of air – every detail matters in creating a place where one can retreat and rejuvenate.

This concept was particularly prevalent when filming the most recent series of Grand Designs: The Streets. Not only did the almost futuristic properties stand as a testament to quality, but each had a tremendous sense of space. In 2023, this requirement is stronger than it has ever been in all his years of design.

Perhaps it is a consequence of lockdown, or the fact more people work from home now, so are surrounded by people and work; but there definitely seems to be a counter-reaction that leads us to want to cherish and preserve the space we have, and Kevin appreciates that.

It’s a haven where we can disconnect from the cacophony of the world and reconnect with ourselves. It’s where we can indulge in the art of doing nothing – an art that has sadly been lost in our relentless pursuit of ‘more’.

Kevin encourages us to think about this in our homes and in our lives. Perhaps revise that concept of solitude, because no matter what the connotations are of the word, it categorically is not loneliness. Instead, he believes it is in solitude that we meet ourselves, unmasked and unburdened.

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