I love designing things, any ‘things’. Now that we are approaching the Holiday Season, I was reminded of gifts that would find there way to family when I was first starting out in my career. With a tool arsenal comprised of a cordless drill and jig saw, and a wallet filled with, well, not much, homemade gifts became the yearly tradition.

With the ability to drill holes, tighten bolts, do minor metal cutting and push a button on a spray can, visions of knick-knacks danced in my head. Using off-the-shelf items from the local home improvement center, I created a series of pen holders.  Hey, who doesn’t have a pen and need a place to put it?

I didn’t have a specific idea when digging in.  It was more of a ‘what if I do this or that’.  It reminded me of when we used to do ‘rip and tear’ models in architecture school -just let your thoughts become fluid and not get caught up in perfection.  You are looking for the idea, the direction, that leads to a solution.  The process was cathartic and relaxing.  I am a big believer that everyday objects should have beauty and meaning.  Why not?  As you can tell by these examples, it does not take a lot of skill or know-how to come up with something unique and fun.

The gifts were a hit -at least that is what my brother in California told me.  I probably could have bought a descent gift card for the price of shipping a heavy metal object across the country but it’s the thought that counts…right?

Written by Michael Huber AIA LEED AP
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