Episode 91 - Music is the space between the notes with Steph Richardson from In-Between Architecture

April 27, 2023
Episode 91 - Music is the space between the notes with Steph Richardson from In-Between Architecture

Aaron Kyle 0:00
Steph from In-Between Architecture in Melbourne. Welcome to build hatch.

Steph Richardson 0:04
Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Aaron Kyle 0:06
That's okay. Now I'm really looking forward to hearing about the history behind In-Between Architecture and on some of these really cool projects. So how did you get into architecture?

Steph Richardson 0:16
Well, I was a late comer. Out of school, I went straight into a music and arts degree, I was quite the performer. During my high school days, architecture was not on the radar,

Aaron Kyle 0:27
A particularly instrument?

Steph Richardson 0:31
No singing mostly yet been involved in lots of choirs and sort of musical productions started in an art in a music degree. I never went into it thinking I'm going to be a famous musician, or you know, or a musician as a master. Yeah, no, no, it's, it's something I absolutely love. So and I was concerned that if I did try and pursue it like that, it might become something that I resented rather than something that I loved. So I started thinking about what else I might like to do so made the really good decision of picking up an arts degree, went to a double degree arts and music. And then at some point, decided the music was not going to be what I wanted, and finished out my arts degree. But during my arts degree, I had I did a major in history. And a lot of the history I was looking at was about how we represent history, who writes history, what are the stories were telling, through recording of history, I did a really esoteric subject on the history of the musical, like how musicals came out of opera. And that sort of it was, yeah, it's obviously someone's passion project, but I loved it. But I also picked up a couple of subjects in architectural history and just loved it, like I just couldn't get enough of it. It was really old school, the professor would just sit in a dark room for two hours with two projectors, like old school projectors. And we just have two images. And he would talk through what they were, what they meant, how they contributed to the history of architecture. And I just, I just loved it, it was a highlight of my week, and two interesting things.

Aaron Kyle 2:21
So like, take me back, like, you know, for example, I have some context around that, like these old images on the projector and like, how old in a story.

Steph Richardson 2:33
So it would be more thematic. So we would look at, I guess, movements in architecture, and what buildings or what architects contributed to the development of those different styles or movements really more than styles. So I guess it was quite similar to how I was enjoying my history, subjects kind of breaking it down and understanding what contributes to how we understand history,

Aaron Kyle 3:00
Like, the influence of that particular sort of style?

Steph Richardson 3:03
That's right, but looking at it through the lens of architecture, which for me, I really think, you know, architecture is obviously a really strong representation of cultural history, the what we build says a lot about who we are as a culture as a society, what we value what we don't. So I think that's sort of how I came into it, it fit really easily with things I was already interested in. But also because it was so old school, the assessment was like 100% essay based and it was choose your own topic, and just go you know, down the rabbit hole, and write what you want. So I did one subject, I wrote about the caboose EA, you know, a huge giant in architectural history, and his brutalist university campuses in, you know, all on the other side of the world, mostly. So that was quite esoteric. And then the next semester, I did a really in depth essay about American domestic architecture, looking at shingle style housing, Cape Cod, like these sorts of domestic architecture languages that like the Hamptons house, you know, that kind of thing that have found their way in some aspects to Australia, but really interested in how the social setting determines how the how the house is put together in terms of what rooms you know, are we do we have the good room do come into a hole, you know, in Australia now, it's all about indoor outdoor connection, like what does that actually look like in a house?

Aaron Kyle 4:43
Like you mentioned Hamptons, and I love Hamptons architecture. So what, like, shed some insight into that, like, what's this sort of how did that come about that style?

Steph Richardson 4:55
I don't know the detail of Hampton specifically, but this it's one I have American domestic architecture that came about through sort of holiday houses, essentially, you know, they're like Lake houses or houses at the coast. And we have quite a culture of that here. And, you know, Australia, sort of down Peninsula and Bellarine Peninsula is looking at what people thought was appropriate for either a holiday house or a house by the house by the coast, and they're quite often quite different from what people are building in the suburbs at the same time. I'm really interested in why, you know, why, why wouldn't you just replicate your house? At the beach? You know, but people, I think most people kind of go, Well, of course, you wouldn't, it's a beach house, it's going to be different. And so I really like mac or something. That's right, and like, and why, what it what makes it different and sort of tapping into that rather than saying, you know, I liked the Hamptons style like that those sorts of stars came about, they've got more windows and what was being done in suburbia at the time, because you've assuming you've got some sort of view and you've got sea breezes, probably, it's quite a intense environment if you're close to the beach. So you also need different kinds of screening and protection for your house, often, they would have more like an enclosed porch. So your front door is not straight to the street, you've got this sort of interim space where you're not quite inside yet, but you you're sheltered from outside. So just little sort of titbits like this, that that really start to tell you a lot about how people were living at a time. And I found that just endlessly fascinating, I would just totally go down a rabbit hole, I always like handwrite, my notes, and I would just have books and books of, you know, little gems that I'd come across, and then weave it into an essay. And I still, you know, you go back through university stuff. And it's all very embarrassing. And so, you know, profound at the time. But those essays I've kept, because they really liked that was such a passion project for me. And it's a very long way to get to the beginning of my architecture degree. So I finished out my arts degree and knew that I wanted to go into architecture, I'd done no visual art, or creative art in high school. So I was already a step behind all the graduates that were coming out at the time, but yet managed to get myself into architecture as a mature aged student, a mature age 21 year old student at Melbourne University in their architecture programme and strapped in for another six years of study.

Aaron Kyle 7:36
Yeah, look at it is a long degree. But I'd imagine thing right up your alley, and literally something that you are really into at the time.

Steph Richardson 7:46
Yeah. And I think at the time, I thought, well, it's five or six years in the rest of my life, you know, like, that's not, that's not a lot of time when you're 21. And to make sure that I was doing something that I wanted to be doing. And I was yeah, very lucky that I was able to get into a course at that point with not a lot of, you know, graphic and arts background or, you know, creative arts background.

Aaron Kyle 8:12
But it's a process. It's that it's that process, like breaking down history that that analysis, that reflective learning, I guess assessing and taking a project and interpreting in your own creative way, like essentially.

Steph Richardson 8:29
Yeah, and I think there is a gap between studying architecture and practising architecture. And I think coming at it, I mean, obviously, you have to study at first, but coming at it from that sort of academic approach suited me because that's where I'd been, you know, I'd been studying already. And I think if I'd come straight out of school, into architecture, I wouldn't have survived. You know, I already had some experience in that sort of critical thought, unpacking things. And I guess by that stage, I'd really decided, like, I'd had to make some big decisions about is this what I really want to do? It's a big call to say, Yep, I'm going back to uni for six years. So especially my, my boyfriend at the time, who's now my husband, you know, he'd finished uni by then I was just about to, and we were supposed to be like, Okay, here we go. And it's like, Absolutely. Do you mind if I go back for another six years? So? So yeah, look, it was I was coming at it from a very certain position that this is what I wanted to be doing. Which was good, because it was really tough at times. So yeah, but it was quite different to what I expected. I didn't struggle as much without the artistic background that I thought I might. As I said, like in the academic setting, it's more about the thinking or equally about the thinking as the doing. So yeah, it was it was a lot long, a long course very challenging at times long hours, high expectations, some, some classes were really full on the GFC hit during when I was doing my course and I lost my job. So

Aaron Kyle 10:17
So, you mean architecture?

Steph Richardson 10:21
Yeah. I worked in, I worked in retail, you know, for a little while. And then the way Melbourne, their course was set up, then it's different now was up to three years undergraduate general building and planning degree. And then you had a year out where you went and worked in a practice as a student. It was the end of that year that the GFC hit. And so when I went back to uni, to do my masters, the following that the final two years, yeah, there wasn't enough work for me to stay on there. But my subjects that semester were intense. So it kind of worked out well. You know, I don't know how I would have managed all of it at the time. So things just kind of I played every semester, as it came, the level of work was quite variable, it was always full on. But some semesters were more so. And I did feel I had a fair bit of catching up to do with, you know, students that had come out of doing creative arts and visual arts and were very digital savvy, and but I felt I could really hold my own in subjects that were more critical.

Aaron Kyle 11:33
Yeah, that's really cool. So once you had graduated and finished uni, what did you do then?

Steph Richardson 11:40
So I, where I'd worked as a student I did was that one semester that I had no work with them. And then I did go back in some part time capacity for the rest of my masters, which was great. And it was sort of medium sized, firm. So I met a lot of people, and got to see a lot of how practice works, I wanted to change, I wanted to go to a different practice, because I felt that the way that you're seen as a student, it would be good to go somewhere fresh as a graduate, just because the role, you know, it's quite a different role. So I asked around, lots of architects to partner with architects ask the people that I was working with, and lots of their partners are in different practices, I've got a few interviews and found a position with another medium sized practice a bit bigger than where I'd been, which was a really great place to start lots of projects.

Aaron Kyle 12:33
Did you find it really challenging, like, I'd imagine someone with so much energy and enthusiasm on the on the history and the purpose of the project or the flair of the design? Or some? Like, I'd imagine you struggle a little bit with the commercial side, back then, like was that a real shock for you, the commercial side of the business, you know, like, it's like people, like I find people that I know that they love designing, it's a bit like running a building business, like actually building the project and getting involved at the start of the job. But then, behind the scenes, there's this other aspect to it, that someone who has that energy from a building perspective might struggle with?

Steph Richardson 13:21
Well, I guess the beauty of being in larger practice to start with was I had nothing to do with that sort of part of the business. You know, I was really there as a bit player, you know, I did my bit and the business side of things kind of happened elsewhere. Having said that, where I was a student, because, you know, I was cheap, and I wasn't really, you know, contributing to their output so much as their paid employee, you know, full time paid employees, I was paid. I got to go along to heaps of meetings that I wouldn't have gotten to go to if I had been a graduate, for example, and got to see the inner workings not of the commercial side of financial side of the business, but the project management and practice management side of it, which while I probably wasn't doing as much project work as I thought I wanted to at the time when I was a student was actually really, really helpful because when I did go into practice for smaller firms, I had seen so much of what goes on behind the scenes that you know, a typical graduate wouldn't have went you know, someone who'd been sitting at a computer sort of pumping out bathroom elevations and stuff, which is typically what graduates get to do.

Aaron Kyle 14:48
While it petitions be often talked about, right, yeah,

Steph Richardson 14:51
wouldn't would never have seen so and the company I was working for did a bit of commercial work. So you know, I was in meetings with major projects, Victoria Yeah, negotiating on huge projects. Like I wasn't negotiating on him, obviously, but seeing how that worked and seeing like really complex stakeholder meetings, and understanding sort of the inner workings of, of the whole picture, you know, and from a client perspective, in a way that I look back on now and think that was really unique, like, I was very, very lucky to get that, that vision on the on how projects worked. And I guess also that really appeals to me that sort of, and yeah, working at the project from the other side, like how do we, it's not just the project for the project sake, obviously, it's for a client, and it's on a site and understanding how we get all those wants and needs from the beginning of the project to the to the end of the project, regardless of what the actual architecture is, is a is a project in itself. So that was an interesting aspect of architecture, which I didn't know existed until I, you know, started being part of it. And again, I guess it wasn't immediately useful, or I wasn't drawing on it immediately when I was in the larger firms. Because I was, you know, reporting to someone else, and they were managing the project. But from that second workplace, and that's, that's where I met John, who is the director of In-Between Architecture, we worked there together for some time, when I left that office, I, I knew I wanted to go to small practice. And I actually spoke to one of another, another person who had we'd all work in that office together, who had gone out on his own, and was doing smaller, smaller projects. And I just, I asked him to have a look over my portfolio and sort of coached me to how should I present myself, what should I be trying to put forward to get a role in a, in a practice like his? And after we went through that session, he said, Actually, Ken, would you like to have a role in my practice? So which was wonderful, it's, you know, I couldn't have asked for, for more at the time, I was literally just asking for help. And that couldn't have gotten better. So. So I worked in small practice with him for a few years, and then had a break for family. So I had my first child. And then when I came when I wanted to come back to work after having her, there wasn't as much work around. And I wasn't sure, you know, childcare dramas, I wasn't sure how much availability I had. And it wasn't sort of matching back up to go where I had been, John, as I said, had he had started out on his own in that in that time, and just chatting to a friend of a friend who we'd worked together as well. And I was saying, I'm not sure what the next step is for me. And she'd been doing some very casual work with John and but was looking to go into something a bit more permanent, and said, Oh, John's probably going to be looking for someone soon. What do you think? And so, yeah, I got in touch with John. And he said, I don't know how much I have to offer. And I said, I don't know how much time I have to offer. And that was seven or eight years ago. So that's how Yeah, right place, right time, right conversations. Just keeping, keeping the options open. I think I'm a strong believer, if something's not working, you just change up the scene and get into it, you know, get different people get into a different circle and something will come out of it.

Aaron Kyle 18:43
Yeah, I love that. And, and I love how I think I saw something online where you had your own influence as well, where it's, I saw a quote, and it was something along the lines of musics. What's in between the notes? Yeah, yeah. I love that. It's really

Steph Richardson 19:02
Yeah, that was the impetus for the In-Between Architecture. John's also a musician. He's a jazz drummer. So he both of us have this, you know, musical artistic passion outside of our work, but it's heaps of architects. Do I think there must be some crossover between sort of patterns and rhythms? And I don't know, I don't know what it is exactly. But there's definitely some affinity between music and what's not only a different art form. Yeah. Yeah, that's right. creative process. And Claude Debussy is a classical composer, mega star of classical music and that the music is the space between the notes. And particularly for John, you know, playing jazz. Yes, the notes are there. But it's that it's that space and that tension and that release and that how you put them together how you hold them up. Hot all those things are just as important as the notes that you play, if not more sometimes, you know, like, that's where the drama comes to people can play the same thing. And it'd be a completely different things. So that's where the name came from. And I think our application of that to architecture is really thinking about, yes, there's walls and there's a roof. And there's, you know, lots of things you can do with those. But why what do you what do you do with those that creates the space, the feeling in the space, movement through space, rhythm of the space, like these things are actually our experience of our lives in spaces? You know, you really have to interrogate this idea that's come from music.

Aaron Kyle 20:42
Yeah, look, I really love it. And you guys, you and you and John are well known for you, your, pardon the pun, but in between spaces. So tell us a bit about being our project.

Steph Richardson 20:56
Sure. So this is a project that we worked on. We worked very closely with the clients, they had a beautiful old home. So 100 plus years home, that had had a history of its own, they loved it. But it was starting lots of projects that were the kitchen that needs to be redone. Right. And they were at that stage. But they recognised that the kitchen, maybe wasn't in the right place, it was making the house feel it was blocking, essentially, the experience of being inside and being outside, it was right in the middle of the house along the back wall. It meant that there weren't many windows to the backyard. So they asked the question, you know, can we do better if we're going to redo the kitchen? You know, what, what could it look like if it wasn't just redone in place, so they came to us with that, and a couple of other little things that needed to be adjusted along the way. But essentially, it was looking at the flow of the house, the kitchen was located so that you really kind of had to walk around it to go anywhere. The outcome of it being 100 year old plus house that had kind of been added and adjusted very ad hoc over its lifetime. There was a toilet opposite the front door that was like under the staircase, you had to take a left under the staircase to get to the other bathroom, you had to go through the bathroom to get to the laundry, you know is it needed just a little lack. Okay, let's just do a shutdown here and see what's going on. Yeah, it did not flow, everything was walking around something to get to something else. But there are a lot of beautiful things about it as well, you know, the client it was their home they they're collectors, avid travellers. The, one of the clients is they're both lawyers, but one does fine arts beautiful paintings in his spare time. So it was a really rich, you know, really rich home. So yeah, we thought okay, we can, we can do a bit better here. I guess all those influences, you know, you take on board straightaway, you're looking at the house, you thinking, okay, there's lots of lots of artefacts from travel they loved. They've been to Japan many times and love that sort of aesthetic. I think lots of people that appeals to this sort of calm and orderliness of, of Japanese architecture. But I think one of the things that really resonates is that Japanese architecture always takes into account the environment, the, you know, the outside environment, and what that can be what can be brought into the house by connecting really authentically with outside. And this house was lacking that completely, partly because of its layout, but also because the site was on a slope. So the back of the house was quite elevated compared to the backyard. So that that was our number one site challenge. And then working out the flow was sort of the planning challenge. But John came up with a beautiful, beautiful way to address both of them in one go essentially, in gala the name of the house, a Japanese building element, that's an outdoor veranda but that is often used as sort of an overflow sort of spill out space for the interior spaces, often around a courtyard, you know, beautiful sort of Japanese garden setting. So we used that element along the back of this house meant we had to add I can't remember off the top of my head but it might be like three square metres or something like you know, nothing very, very small actual addition to this house. But by creating that zone across the back of the house internally and then the veranda on the outside, we sort of opened up all these opportunities to access spaces in a completely different way. So We move the kitchen from the middle of the house, the middle of the back of the house to the, to the side. So you came into the house and into the middle section and your kitchen was to the to the side.

Aaron Kyle 25:11
A dining table on a little spill out sort of thing, like open.

Steph Richardson 25:15
So instead of walking into the kitchen and walking around it to the dining table, you came to the dining table, and then the kitchen was to the right. So dining is a much easier area to sort of double up as circulation compared to a kitchen. So and then that dining space also becomes, you know, where they read the newspaper and where people sort of congregate at the end of the day when someone's in the kitchen. And it's a much more activated space. And because we took that that kitchen away from the middle, then we could open up the back of the house in that in that zone. So from when you're walking in from the front, you can look straight through over the dining table. Yeah, that's right. And then putting that and Gower veranda OUT there, gives that transition space, so you're not walking, you know, it's not a giant deck entertaining deck, it's really a ledge, almost, it's only about a metre wide, where you can sort of perch on the edge. It's a really casual, non programmed space that serves a very functional purpose of getting, there's a set of stairs at the end of it. So you're coming out of the house and being able to come down to the to the ground level. It's not limiting your options. The clients sort of sit on the edge of it and have a cup of tea. That's where they can kick off their shoes. Yeah, that's just the sort of transit. Exactly. It's a transition space covered. Yeah.

Aaron Kyle 26:37
So people who are listening to this, and we'll put some photos up on social Yeah, but people who are listening to this, like, what are the materials of that space.

Steph Richardson 26:47
So one thing that we often have, one way we find our work kind of influences coming through In-Between Architecture is we'll have the influence, cultural influence or stylistic influence, but it might be translated in a slightly different way, like often sort of, make it more contemporary, or, you know, use a modern material to do something that's more traditional. So in this case, there's a lot of timber the idea that this space is really crafted, so it's not, it's not slick, and everything concealed and you know, doors on everything, it's really exposed. So we see timber, timber beams, inside and they continue outside. So you get that line running through, they become the rafters cover of the veranda, the detailing of them, they're stained so that they like they're not painted. So they're a different colour from the from the plaster and the rest of the house. The kitchen is very conventional sort of white kitchen, but with a timber benchtop custom timber benchtop and some joinery that was made by the carpenters who worked on the project, shelving in front of the kitchen. So it all starts to tie together. Instead of being like these individual elements. All these little parts are sort of talking to each other and reinforcing that. It's an input like Japanese influence, but no one would look at it and say like, oh, this is a replica of, of a Japanese and Gower. The clients, you know, really did love a lot of aspects of Japanese architecture, they commissioned a Japanese bath, the cedar bath, there's a crew that make them locally. So they had that made for the, at some point in the project, they decided that's what they were going to do and that we had that made for the bathroom. And then so we designed the windows around that so that when you're in that deep tub, you know, the traditional Japanese style, very deep, small, but deep, sort of sitting in the tub, you know, you look out of the building, it's not about the bathroom, being the hero, it's sitting in that tub and looking down to the garden. Yeah. And the way we designed the bathroom, when you look along the back of the house, that small area that we added sort of created a zone along the back of the house, you look through the bathroom, instead of having that sort of half wall that splits the vanity part and the shower part we've pulled that away from the wall. So you see right through and you see the bath at the end of the corridor and the window beyond. So it's really trying to steal or not steal space, but increase these visitors and borrow from each space so that the adjacent spaces feel bigger. It's not a big renovation. It's not a big house, incorporating that outside space gives it a sense of incredible spaciousness for a very modest space.

Aaron Kyle 29:44
Yeah, I think if I ask someone, you know, can you explain what this incredible experience would be with engaging an architect such as yourself and your firm or, and other firms of course I think you just summed it up perfectly right there. And then you know that, that experience and, and taking all aspects and, and that's, that's the beauty of being a client, I guess, you know, to be in that fortunate position where you're sitting there thinking, You know what, like, I can't watch this on TV or I can't see this on Instagram. I need someone to help influence and create this, this particular space to get the whole kit and caboodle from this whole experience.

Steph Richardson 30:33
Yeah, well, we're very, we're very experienced, driven. And I think that's the joy for us is, our first challenge is understanding what the client wants in a more holistic sense, then four bedrooms, two bathrooms, you know, obviously, that's important. But, you know, what do you want to do in this house? Are you entertainers? Do you have family stay? Often? You know, or not often, but for prolonged periods of time? How old are your children? Do you plan to stay here? For 20 years or forever? You know, these? These are the kinds of questions we ask our clients, before we meet them often, you know, like, we have a questionnaire that we give to our clients. And, equally, where, you know, we're trying to get the information that's important to us, to help design for them on their behalf. But I think also it starts to tell them about what's important to us, as designers, we don't ask, what's your preference stone or this? You know, we're saying, Tell me what your day looks like, literally, that's what we ask, you know, what? What does your day look like our weekends different? What are your comings and goings? You know, where do you spend your time we often, John and I were on the same page for a lot of things and other things we differ. So it's, it's interesting to sort of flesh that out in clients as well. Are you dining table people? Or are you lounge room? People? You know, like? Where does life happen in your house? And you can, for want of a better word, manipulate that with the spaces that you create, like, do you want your kids in their bedrooms? Or do you want them in living space, your general living space, but we know that they probably don't want to be in the general living space at some point in their lives? So how do we give how do we make spaces that, you know, feel safe and comfortable and inviting at these different stages in life? It sounds like we design very, very specifically, but we're always thinking about the different stages of life. I'm sort of through the very early sort of preschool years now. But I appreciate that when you're in there, you can't imagine that your life is any different, that it won't ever be this series of you know, do this do that do this demands. But it's not that for very long, and there's this whole other layers of life that you need to manage in a family home. We equally work with, you know, retirees, for their home, you know, their last home, you know, they're trying to design something, that that's really them, that they can feel happy and rewarded in, as they're, you know, in this in that phase of their life. So, yeah, understanding aspects of the brief that will support the ways that people live is of utmost importance to us. And then we feel like we just sort of hold all that information, sort of holding all the balls in the air. And slowly each one of them finds a place. It doesn't, it's not always obvious at the very start, there is a bit of trust and faith embarking on an architectural project, I think, and we appreciate that that's not always easy for our clients, and that we need to sort of carry them along that journey with respect and trust. But that not everything will be resolved. At the outset, we start with a really big picture and sort of sharpen the focus as the design process goes along.

Aaron Kyle 34:05
Yeah, look, it's so important. And, you know, I think it's a reminder to that if you're a builder or a trades person, and you're working, and you're involved in projects, the element of commitment and interest into the actual project is at such a more escalated level. And as you know, I work in the dispute space. So I see a lot of disputes between parties. And I'm sure listening to this conversation, you suddenly appreciate I guess from a client's perspective, the element of being so pissed off when things don't get constructed in a particular way, and you can say why they want or they I mean, you and the client, the team wants something Yeah, the team. The team wants something constructed in so And why with that element of care in mind, because you guys have already created or spent so much time brainstorming and influencing this particular aspect of the job, if it's not built, according to that way? Well, it is going to be attention. And, yeah, it's not a case of or it's not okay, because you've designed it for that particular purpose or space in mind.

Steph Richardson 35:26
Yeah, and look, it's, it makes it sound like we're very Prima Donna, and everything must be the way that, you know, everything's designed and it just go and build it. But I think the way we work that we enjoy our on site work the most is where we're working with a builder that's on, you know, that's on the same page. And we have that really sort of natural connection of where it's important to do certain things, and where it's less important, because not, you know, not every detail as important as the others in our work anyway, um, you know, lots of people do things, you know, in lots of different ways. But for us, the experience is key. So where we've made decisions that, that influence that, then yes, like they need to be executed in a certain way or not executed in a certain way, the outcome needs to be a certain outcome, and the way that we best work with builders, and we have a number of builders that we work with over and over, because that's how they work. They want to understand from us, what's the outcome that you want? What does this need to do, ultimately, and then they'll build it the best way to build that, you know, I'm not the best person to tell them how to build it. That's the that's, that's the builders expertise, you know, a good bit. And a good builder wants to be challenged to an architectural builder. It's not, it's not good or bad. But an architecture builder wants to have a problem to solve, you know, like, Oh, I see, that's what they want. At the end, I've never built that before. Let me go away and have a think about how I can put that together. And the first time, this really resonated for me, I was working with a builder, first time I'd worked with him. And when we started on site, he said, I've built this for different ways in my head, already, you know, like, we hadn't touched a wall, but like, he'd already gone through that process of how he was going to achieve the outcome in four different ways. So that he sort of already tested it hypothetically. And that's, like, That's music to my ears, you know, like, you're in this project, you understand where it's going, and you're putting your expertise and your value into how we get there the best way, and it made me realise that we do the same, you know, like we, as you said, like, we've created it in our imagination, we know what it looks like, in here, you know, and like, obviously, now we use 3d rendering, and whatever. So like, if we can show, we can show a representation of it, but the feel of it, you really don't get until you're in it. Or you're used to designing these things and know what that know what that thing is going to feel like in real life. So many of our clients get to the end and say, Oh, my gosh, did you know it was gonna be like this, you know? And I'm like, yeah, yeah, like this? Yes. Like, this is what we wanted it like, this was what we were aiming for, this is what we wanted to achieve for you. And I'm so glad that we've got the right team, that it comes to fruition. But yeah, then there are some aspects where, you know, we've come up against something on site where something's not what we expected, or it's gonna be much more difficult to achieve something and we have a chat with the builder and they say, you know, these are our options. And we say, Well, this one's not that important work. Yes, we can drop the ceiling here to, you know, avoid something that we didn't know, was there. It's not going to contribute to that overall, you know, to the, to the priorities that the priority things we're trying to achieve. So I think, yeah, it's that two way. It's like everything. You know, it's such a team. I always say it's such a team sport. Everyone brings what they're the best at. And that's how you get the best outcome.

Aaron Kyle 38:58
Yeah, definitely. All the choir in sync.

Steph Richardson 39:01
That's right. Yep. Everyone plays their part. And I think, yeah, I still sing in a choir now. And the most enjoyable part is when no one's that hero. It's just everyone knows their part. The person who's crafted that music knows what they want the feeling to be, you know, they've put it together in such a way. And when you execute it, you just think Yeah, wow, that was that was something special. And you've done it together. And that's, yeah, I think I don't know if COVID kind of sharpens that. That appreciation. choir on Zoom is really not excellent. But we got through, but that everyone doing it together, everyone pulling in the same direction, same goals, that bringing very different skill sets and looking at it in a totally different way. That's where you get the best things and it can just be magic, just walking into a space and going like This makes me feel a particular way every time or in summer it feels like this. And in winter, it feels different. Like those things are really intentional. And it's such joy for us when we get those sorts of feedback from clients over that sort of first year that they're in the house, like, the sun landed on this thing, you know, this part of the ground like you said it would or you know, like, I didn't realise the sun would reach this fire or whatever it is, you know? We just think yes, yes. Like you're really engaged with the space they're living in and that's just joy just joy.

Aaron Kyle 40:35
Yeah, look, I've really enjoyed our chat and thank you for sharing your story and, and coming on a build hatch. I like I said, it's been a really nice genuine discussion. And I think people will listen to this will no doubt get a lot of inspiration about you and John's architectural practice and what you guys bring to the table so well done to you guys. Now, if people listening this want to get into contact with you guys and reach out what's the best way to go about it.

Steph Richardson 41:01
This way through our website, we have a contact form that shoots straight through to our email, and we'll get back in touch with you.

Aaron Kyle 41:09
Thank you, Steph, once again for coming on a build hatch. It's been really nice to sit down here today in Melbourne and hear your story.

Steph Richardson 41:15
Thank you. It's been a pleasure. Thanks for having me.