Interview with designer Chris Knierim (CK), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Forest Lodge Eco House Residential House.

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Interview with Chris Knierim at Wednesday 26th of February 2014: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
CK : To create a sustainable design that would stand as a testament to modern day architecture and blend in with its local environment.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
CK : To show that you dont have to spend a lot of money to create a sustainable home

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
CK : To use the design as a basis to showcase what can be achieved in sustainable design for adaption for future projects

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
CK : 6 months

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
CK : I designed this concept based on my inspiration on working on sustainable projects in Germany.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
CK : This is a one off design although the systems will be able to be adapted to use on future projects.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
CK : I wanted to design something totally different and prove that sustainable design can also look good.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
CK : No it was based on years of experience working on sustainable projects around the world.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
CK : Any person, company or institution that wants to design high performing sustainable buildings.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
CK : The systems and technologies used sets this design apart from other homes in Australia.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
CK : The original name was derived by incorporating several elements. suburb is called Forest Lodge. It needed to have the word ECO as its a short word that everyone knows. And it’s a house. So "Forest Lodge ECO House" fit the project perfectly. As your competition recommended only two words I have changed it to Urban ECO for an urban ecological design.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
CK : Vectorwrks software

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
CK : Being able to create a building that incorporates so many unique ideas in one seamless design.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
CK : I based the concept on my years of knowledge gained through working in the industry

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
CK : The role of the technology is to improve the energy efficiency and thermal performance of the building hence lowering the required out sourced energy and carbon footprint

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
CK : My design was influenced by the work I did overseas. My research was the Australian building codes and requirements which placed restrictions on the overall size of the building, materials used and colours.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
CK : Access to the site was heavily constrained requiring creative thinking for both design and delivery of materials forcing many ideas to be custom fabricated.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
CK : I have recently won National design and building awards in Australia. Since the house was featured on Grand Designs Australia, the television series it has gained much attention both in Australia and around the world. It was the highest rated episode of the series. I have had universities from around the world asking about the project. I am now doing presentations on this project. It is truly something special and the photos do not do it justice.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
CK : The research for materials made me realise that what I was trying to achieve would not be easy as many of the materials and systems were not available here in Australia.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
CK : There is no way that I could express how good this project is in this short brief. Even the host of the television show in which the house was featured said that “the house has to be seen to be truly appreciated”.