I used the 'Pattern Language' system for designing the reworking of our back yard and the conceptual design of my new studio.
Christopher Alexander and his Berkeley team in the Centre for Environmental Structure came up with 253 patterns or problems that occur in our environment and their solutions, which are like instructions on what to do.
The system works by wandering around the space while working through a selection of the hierarchy of patterns, which start at a large scale and work their down to small details and specifics.
Here is our back yard - a large swath of unnatural and unhealthy flat lawn within a rain forest ecosystem.
Using the Pattern Language system, one uses stakes and tape to help with the visualisation of what could be where and how all of the parts will interconnect.
Over several weeks I wandered around the site, moved stakes and looked at it from all angles until I have a clear mental image of the new spaces.
Then I got out paper and pencils to record the design to the conceptual stage.
I handed my ideas over to the experts to come up with the realities of the design, construction drawings and legal documents.