Updated Oct, 24th 2012
Think about what we learn in order to make the best use of our time in the workplace: years of study at school and university; super smart consultants and books to teach us new and better ways to do things; and billions invested annually and training and innovation.
But when we get home, what do we get? TV cooking classes. Interior decorating magazines that are trying to sell us more stuff, whether we need or not. The boob tube. We get virtually no serious help or care in the way of thought, research or innovation. Homes today work pretty much the same way they did 50 years ago.
But our homes are we spend most of our lives. They’re the biggest investment we’ll ever make. And they’re the place in the in which we have the greatest power and opportunity to shape our vision of our life’s purpose. We need to be able to shape them consciously, and purposefully, to enrich our lives.
This course will teach you four simple processes that will transform the way you see, use and shape your home, in better alignment with your aims and purpose in life. At the end of this course you will have:
1 Home purpose
A clear understanding of why your home is important to you, and how it can best service to support you in living a full and wonderful life
2 Function map
A conceptual map, which shows the connection between the spaces in your home, and your life purposes.
3 Feeling map
A diagnosis of how well your home is providing that support: what's working, and what isn't.
4 Change plan
A step by step process of making changes in your home, with each step bringing closer alignment with your life, and better understanding of how your home works for you.
Session 1: Understanding the purpose of your home
In the first lecture, we’ll look at the history of the home, and why it has moved from the being the center of economic and social life, to the periphery. We’ll also unravel the hidden purposes of the home, and how it is still THE most important place in the modern world, without which nothing else could function.
In the first practical step, you will use a simple series of exercises, and conversations with those close to you, to uncover the three or four most important functions that your home serves to support your life, and is the reason having your own home is so important to you.
Session 2: How the home works
In the second lecture, we’re going to learn a simple model of how a home works to support, or inhibit, the life that takes place within it. We’ll learn how simple features of a ‘behaviour setting’ can make or break a room, or an entry, or a table—and how to identify those for yourself.
The second practical step, you will take your purposes and develop a mind map, which extends from home, to purposes the home supports, to activities need to fulfil those purposes, to characteristics your home must have to support your life.
Session 3: Diagnosing your home
In the third lecture, we’ll talk about how you can use your feelings and memories of each place in your home to give you a quick diagnostic on whether that place is working or not, in supporting your life’s purposes.
For the third practical step, you will construct a quick-and-dirty “feeling map” of your home. You will use feelings and memories to get a holistic appreciation of what parts of your home are working, and what parts aren’t. You’ll diagram that by color-coding a drawing you make of your floor plan. This will tell you where to invest your initial thought, care and energy.
Session 4: Changing your home
In the fourth and final lecture, we’ll look at the process of tuning each place in your home to be better harmonized with the direction you want your life to take. This is not a one-off event, but a continuous process that you can engage with, which will not only improve your home, but give you insights into yourself, your habits, your goals, and what makes you content.
In the final exercise, you will take all of the understanding of your home that you’ve developed throughout the class, and apply it to make one simple and inexpensive change to part of your home. You’ll present this change to the class, together with your understanding of the purposes this part must serve, how it must serve, and so why the change was made, and what you learned from making it.
With this experience, you are set to make ongoing changes in your home, at your own pace, and as your own life changes and develops, so you are consciously making a home which supports your life, and the lives of those closest to you.
My name is David Week. I spend most of time working in places like Lesotho, Laos, Indonesia and Fiji helping people improve their lives through buildings. I work for international aid agencies such as CARE, the World Bank, and AusAID.
The material in this course draws on four disciplines: architecture, the psychology of meaning, and personal development.
I initially trained as an architect at Berkeley, and have practiced for more than thirty years. During that time I’ve worked in fifteen countries, and won many awards, including the RAIA International Award, and a shortlisting for the World Habitat Award.
Mid-career, I realised that working with people in different cultures made it critical that I understood how people find meaning in things and places. I undertook a PhD that answered that question for me.
Finally, as an individual, I’ve been involved in personal development for the last twenty years. And this course is only in part about making a better home. It’s also understanding yourself better, through the process.