The other day I received an email that made a ho-hum day into a really good one. The email I received was from Mark Staiger, a person I have never met before. Mark lives in New Zealand and saw the Japanese style playhouse I designed back in 2010 and decided this would be an appropriate addition to his Japanese themed garden he has been working on the last several years. He decided he was going to try to build this playhouse himself using the drawings I posted online and by referencing the construction progress photos I took.
Not only did he build it, it actually looks like the original design!
I get a lot of emails from people who say they are going to build one of the playhouses I have designed and in every email exchange, I always add “send me a few pictures when you’re done” and guess what?
… they never send pictures.
Maybe it’s because things didn’t go well or their enthusiasm waned between the time they sent me the initial email and actually starting the project – I don’t know. When I received Mark’s email, it contained lots of pictures and his finished playhouse looked very well done.
I loved this email for many different reasons – 1) because someone actually built one of my playhouses, 2) they live in New Zealand, 3) they did a great job using information I posted for free here on my website, 4) his daughter is adorable and looks happy to get a playhouse in her backyard that was 5) built by her Dad …
… but one other reason I loved this email is proof positive that smart people read this website!!
Yes, I decided to do a little Google search on Mark Staiger PhD and a lot of interesting things that made no sense to me were discovered.
Bio – Dr. Mark P. Staiger – a senior lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Research Interests and Publications: Structure-property relationships of materials; bioresorbable metallic biomaterials; porous metals; electrospinning of nanofibres; all-cellulose composites; bio-composites; biofoam/aerogels; biomaterials; spinal fusion device development
For some light reading, here is a paper he worked on: ‘Amyloid fibrils as functionalizable components of nanocomposite materials.’ (here)
One of the most rewarding aspects of writing a blog like this one is that you make connections at many different levels with people who either are amazing … or seem amazing. Either way there is an amazing in there. One of my initial objectives when I started writing this site was to reach out to people and make some sort of shared connection affiliated with architecture. Based on the pictures I received from Mark, I’d have to say mission accomplished.
Cheers to Mark for seeing this project through and taking the time to share it with me. I am hoping he’ll let me stay in the playhouse if I can ever manage to visit New Zealand.
ps – if you are interested in taking a look at the Japanese Playhouse that I designed I have included a few links below.
Japanese Playhouse – the construction documents
Japanese Playhouse – Complete!
Also – don’t forget that this years Life of an Architect Playhouse Design Competition is coming to a close. You have until April 16th to finish your designs and email them in to me. Just click on the Playhouse logo above to get more information.