Despite the coronavirus quarantine we’re all currently enduring, residential architects and designers are staying positive—and maintaining both a sense of perspective and a sense of humor—as they continue working on client projects. We asked a few to join us in the #shareyourworkspace trending on social media to keep us uplifted and moving forward. Here’s what they had to share.
Geoffrey Warner, Principal Architect & weeHouse Founder
Alchemy LLC, St. Paul
I’m working in a weeHouse on weeHouses. The fact that we are living in our weeHouse was a sort of accident, since it was built by a realtor on spec in 2007. We moved in this year after Kaywin Feldman [and her husband Jim] moved to D.C. Our master bedroom is “too big,” made that way because of the need to justify a bigger bank loan/sales price. What do we do with THAT space?! We put our bed in the middle of the room…and it stayed that way until this weekend. Now it’s Geo’s Coronavirus Office!
The desk came from a dear family friend about a month ago when we helped her move and downsize. The desk was designed by me and built by the awesome Scott McGlasson of Woodsport. It was also too big, since it was built more than 10 years ago when giant monitors were the thing. So I cut it down this weekend in my new workshop: The Driveway.
I put that desk right behind our bed. Next to it are things to remind me of inspiring, creative friends. A painting by St. Paul’s Sharon Werner of Werner Design Werks. A photo we recently acquired by neighbor-architect Adam Jarve of The Range, of the beauty and terror of where man meets nature.
On my desk: a Biscoff Cookie, an artifact from a site visit to New Mexico three weeks ago, and a reminder that air travel is actually a thing that people do.
Carol Eastlund, Owner, Partner & Charles Stinson, Architect, Founder
Charles and I frequently work remotely, so when we built our new home, we included a little studio space with a drawing board and storage for Charles, and a station for myself as well. Because we have so many out-of-town clients, we really feel at an advantage when it comes to working remotely. We regularly have Zoom meetings and can share drawings with a shared screen. Our entire team is now working from home and we have weekly Zoom meetings, as well.
Benefits are that Charles and I get to see each other more, and we get to witness spring’s return on the lake each day: migrating birds, returning eagles, traveling coyotes, flocks of wild turkeys, and songbirds singing their spring song. We also enjoy seeing our neighbors on daily walks—from a safe distance. Another benefit is being able to do “Yoga with Adrienne” on YouTube together. We feel more mindful and are both conscious of not taking things for granted these days.
Sara Whicher, Designer, Co-Founder
Chisel Architecture, Wayzata
I am still working here in [the Wayzata office] and [co-founder and architect] Marcy [Townsend] is working out of her home so we’re super safe and remain mindful of our own families and our design family. Our Wayzata office is very private and no one is around. I go from my home to work and then back home again. I pack my lunch (PB and honey sandwiches—called POOH Butter sandWHICHERs, get it?), apple slices, and tons of Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Turmeric with Meadowsweet & Ginger tea.
I have been going on little walks once or twice a day while at work and listening to my favorite sunny songs including Willow’s “Wait a Minute!,” Simply Red’s “Sunrise,” and Cheryl Lynn’s “Got to be Real.” In these photos, I’m working on a northern Wisconsin ski shanty. When I’m drawing, my mind is actually living/walking around this cabin. I can hear the wind finding its way through the great white pines and the ripple of the water against the sandy shore. I smell conifer trees, fire, and fresh air. Going to this place calms my mind and keeps me moving forward in life.
Lindsay Matenaer, Director of Interior Design, Senior Associate
NewStudio Architecture, St. Paul
I took over our dining table for my WFH [work-from-home] space. PRO: Very short commute and I get great natural light from our large windows! CON: We live in an open loft, so my “coworker” (fiancée) and I have had to get creative when we both need to be on calls.
Apple Airpods, a second monitor, and a small layout space for materials have helped tremendously.
While we can’t meet in person right now, communication and ideas are still flowing with Zoom calls, lots of photos, and screen sharing. Even before COVID, I found myself texting and messaging clients regularly. I plan to drop off tile samples at a client’s doorstep, along with a roll of toilet paper later today.