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A Liberal Mind

More Thoughts on a Liberal Mind

When Remodeling the Design Matters.

When picking someone to trust with the very personal and critical task of coming into your home and making changes, there are many things to consider. You certainly want to hire someone that is experienced and competent, but those are just the basics. You can have so much more. The icing on the cake is hiring someone that can bring a designer’s eye to the project.

Doing a quick Google search indicates that scientists have been unable to find a direct connection between creativity and brain chemistry. But while reading John Dean’s book Conservatives Without a Conscience, I came across the following:

“… an unprecedented survey of nursery school children, commenced in 1969, that revealed the personalities of three- and four-year olds to be indicative of their future political orientation. In brief, this research suggests that little girls who are indecisive, inhibited, shy, neat, compliant, distressed by life’s ambiguity and fearful will likely become conservative women. Likewise, little boys who are unadventurous, uncomfortable with uncertainty, conformistmoralistic, and regularly telling others how to run their lives will become conservative as adults.”

Contrast the traits that make a conservative with what it takes to be creative.

“In order to be creative, you need to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective. Among other things, you need to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives. Tests of creativity measure not only the number of alternatives that people can generate but the uniqueness of those alternatives. the ability to generate alternatives or to see things uniquely does not occur by change; it is linked to other, more fundamental qualities of thinking, such as flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity or unpredictability, and the enjoyment of things heretofore unknown.” 

In changing my career from original design/new construction to design/remodel I have discovered a different creative challenge. In designing a new house you have a piece of land – informed by it’s topography, environment, and neighborhood, to lead you to the design. In remodeling, I find that it is often not until the deconstruction phase of the job that the opportunities present themselves. That is not the moment for someone unadventurous and uncomfortable with uncertainty. That is when to see not just what is, but what can be. Only then can you discover a result that is beyond what you could think to hope for.

It doesn’t matter if you are starting with just a rough idea of what you want or have detailed designs prepared, having the designer’s eye onsite will avoid the missed opportunity and/or add the exquisite detail that makes all the difference.

I’m a believer. And I believe it does take a liberal mind to remodel your house.