About

I am fascinated with how spaces influence our lives. How we can live our values through creating spaces that respect the people who occupy them while also sustaining the earth.

Spaces can create life. There are patterns and principles we can use to facilitate this, primarily patterns and principles found in nature.

Space do not need to be large. In fact small spaces have many amazing features that make them particularly suited to creating life.

In order to understand how spaces affect us, we need to understand us and that is another one of my fascinations: human nature. Why we are the way we are and how we make meaning of it all. Also how came to be the way we are. The experiences and natures that shape our understanding.

You might say this site is an exploration between the relationships between environment and human development from a sustainability lens. 

In thinking about spaces and human development, I integrate principles and methods from the such disciples as the Konmari approach, biophilic design, pattern language, ecopsychology, FIRE and the RIE approach to the respectful raising of humans.

A Bit about mY Background

I’ve held a number of professional roles over the years but now I’m primarily focused on being a mom to my three-year-old and learning everything I can about education, parenting and how we tend to think of childhood and learning in our culture.

I’ve been interested in educational theory for a long time but it’s taken on new meaning now that I have a child and I’m faced with decisions about how my husband and I choose to parent and how he will “become educated.” For more information on what I’m focused on now, check out my now page

Previously, I’ve worked primarily as a wine buyer and instructor and therapist for treating pain using Thai massage and yoga informed by trigger point therapy. I’ve also had roles as curriculum developer, marketing director, and photographer.

I studied Art History at the University of Illinois in Chicago where I focused on the History of Architecture and Photography/Film with a special interest in Semiotics. I thought that I would go on to get my Masters in Architecture, but life had other plans. 

Topics that are very important to me include our interaction with our environment, healthy materials, green architecture, local food, sustainable wine production, human development, alternative approaches to addressing pain, and zero waste living.

A central theme that ties all of my work together is always sustainability and our impact on the planet and future generations. 

Some of My motivations & Beliefs

  • Nature, including human nature, is brilliant and we can trust in the amazing processes of nature to guide us to balance. When we are separated or cut off from nature, we suffer.
  • All humans, including the very youngest among us, deserve respect. We are not raising children. We are raising humans.
  • I’m very passionate about moving beyond behaviorism in how we treat children. Children do NOT need to be told how to behave in ways that make us happy. They do not need to be “rewarded” or “punished” for doing things that please us.
  • I want to create a world that is based on “power with/to/within rather than power over (from Brene Brown). 

My Story

For the last two decades, I’ve been asking questions about how we can live more sustainably.

01 / 07

A Love of Nature

For as long as I can remember I’ve had a love of all things related to nature. As a young child I loved dressing as a native American or pioneer and doing outdoor chores for fun. I spent a lot of time camping and canoeing and had a near-permanent tent that I slept in set up in the backyard as a teenager.

02 / 07

A Background in Art + Architecture

I went to school for architecture and while there, fell in love with the history of art, particularly the reasons we build the way we do and the stories that we tell through images. My primary focus was the history of architecture and photography with a particular interest in semiotics (the study of how meaning is constructed).

03 / 07

An Interest in Materials + Health

While I was in school I earned money doing what my dad called “odd jobs” – mostly painting, wall repair, installing trim, refinishing furniture, etc. While doing this, I learned that the typical materials used in home building can be extremely toxic. If I was going to be around these materials, I wanted them to be as healthy as possible. This became sort of a life long obsession. Back then it was very hard to source healthy materials. It has since become much easier but still requires more work than it should.

04 / 07

Intro to Sustainability through Wine

After I graduated and while deciding where to go to grad school for my masters in Architecture, I decided to work in wine because I just found it fascinating. (There’s a similarity between the learning the canon of art and the canon of wine.) Through studying wine, I became immersed in understanding the effects of climate change on the industry of wine and from there, issues of sustainability generally. 

05 / 07

Fascination with Systems and Methods

In college I came across Thomas Kuhn’s work, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and loved it which led to further exploration of methodology through my studies in Art History. The way we structure information and create meaning continues to fascinate me, particularly the intersection of different methodologies.