Design Takes on New Dimension

Architect Aaron Zimmer doesn't mind at all when clients take his designs and make them their own.

May 01, 2004


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Architect Aaron Zimmer doesn't mind at all when clients take his designs and make them their own. "A house continues to evolve throughout the design process," he says, "and with the clients' interaction, it becomes rich, unique and full of life. Ultimately, our design becomes their home."

Zimmer knows there's no better way for clients to visualize what their custom home will "live like" than to experience it while it's still in the design stage. He lets them do just that, using the latest design software to create sophisticated two- and three-dimensional representations that permit clients to take a virtual tour of their home long before construction begins.

"When we work with a client, we always start by creating hand sketches for them," Zimmer says. "Once we've worked out what they want, we use AutoCAD to develop a computerized, two-dimensional representation of their home. This program's strength in 2-D drafting is second to none."

D.H. Ruggles & Associates added a new program, SketchUp, to its lineup of computer-aided design tools during the past year. "Once we have refined the layout for the home with the client using AutoCAD, we translate it into a three-dimensional format using SketchUp," Zimmer says. "This lets us show them real-time perspectives of their home. We can communicate complicated architectural forms in a 3-D rendered format."

This includes showing clients what their house will look like from any angle, as well as the spatial relationships between rooms. "We can even demonstrate how shadows will fall and lighting will change in a particular area depending on the time of day or even the season of the year," says Zimmer.

"I've found that for more and more people these days, the use of computer technology in the design of their home is just something they expect."

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