Please introduce yourself and tell us what you do!
I'm Starin Butler. I'm a student in the Master of Landscape Architecture program at ASU.
What got you started/interested in architecture/construction/building/design?
I've always had a passion for architecture and design. My grandfather was an architect.Maybe it's in the genes.
How did BAR Desgn, Inc. come together?
Last year Patrick McCue spoke to my construction class about the importance of designers getting real world construction experience. Traci Arellano and I were inspired and decided to sign up for Microdwelling. Last fall, I asked Alba Rodriguez to join the team. Alba was an architect in Mexico and is now in the Landscape Architecture program as well. We knew she could add wisdom and experience to the team. Other family and friends have come together
to help. My brother-in-law, John Beaulieu, has been an amazing addition, guiding us in
all aspects of construction.
What is your inspiration for the microdwelling you're building this year, and how did you get started designing and constructing it?
In the fall of 2013, our Studio class traveled to Kyoto, Japan. I loved how Japanese architecture blurred the line between indoors and outdoors. I started thinking about what kind of home office I would like to have as a future landscape architect and knew that that combination of indoor and outdoor spaces was a priority.So I incorporated that concept into the microdwelling.
Will you be using any sustainable/salvaged materials or techniques?
Yes, the foundation came from a salvage yard as well as design elements like the movable desk. We will also be incorporating passive heating/cooling techniques by having large overhangs as well as building materials that are considered "green".
The moveable table and desk drawer unit can be used indoors and out
Can you explain the “rain chain” you’re installing?
A rain chain diverts rainwater from the roof into vegetated areas. It's a way of getting more rainwater into the garden. Rain chains can also be very decorative and different designs can amplify the soothing soundof water.
Where did the idea for the offset/askew double roof come from?
Certain elements are being pushed and pulled through the wall (the desk, drawers, and doghouse/coffee table) to be able to expand the space. I wanted to continue that design thread by making the roof look like it had been pushed and pulled as well.
Night view of the offset double roof
Vertical wall planters continue the design theme of indoor and outdoor use
What is the most important lesson you can take away from your build experience so far?
I have learned so much from this whole process from construction techniques to working with a budget to finding interesting materials. But the biggest lesson I have learned has to do with people. The most valuable asset to any team is the people. Finding talented, enthusiastic, reliable team members makes all the difference in the world. The volunteers that have helped with this project have been fantastic. I have been very lucky.