Gaile Guevara is a Vancouver based Interior Designer exploring new definitions of “home” and designing for an ageing population.
Buchanan describes interior design as “the transformation of surroundings into environments that are meaningful, supportive, and substantial in human experience.” Gaile similarly describes interior design as “the space between interior and architecture and the understanding of human scale and accessibility. A place where functional requirements meet aesthetic disciplines creating a connection for people and the environment. It’s the opportunity to create memory points for how people experience how they move through time.”
Gaile’s current focus is designing for accessibility as her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a progressive mental deterioration disease. What is meaningful to Gaile is the relationships she has built with her clients over her career and contribute as much back to her community. Through a series of conversations and podcast, Gaile and I uncover what it means to live a good life and the impact we have on society both social and economical in our cities through co-living.
CO+LIVE | I believe in the importance of our human understanding of coexistence moving to learn the benefits of cohabiting in a meaningful way.
The Challenge: As society faces the impacts of climate change and much needed cumulative effort to supporting our ageing population, the connection between this space is necessary. I think far too often the focus on the individual has led us to a path of isolation and peak mental health challenges that are becoming roadblocks to society for imbalance.
The Alternative: Our collective ambitions to care for the environment and our loved ones is accelerated when we begin to work together and appreciate the value exchange of our connections. How we are of service to one another in return helps creates the support system and network that is no longer measured by dollars but time. Time is our biggest lost commodity as our ecosystem evolves and the trusted exchange of whom we give our time to becomes more and more valuable. The amount of time lost because we have to fix mistakes takes way too much time that we no longer have.
I believe when we CO+LIVE the benefits of sharing our time through experiences and shared resources we access a much more positive coexistence that is no longer measured by a monetary currency but in minutes to hours of valuable time exchange.
We need to build in a place that adapts to changing needs. Even more important we need to re-teach individuals to see their value not as independent nor codependent instead shift the mindset to uniquely celebrated collaborative living and working.
Canada offers a wide diverse melting pot of cultures where we never really saw it different. I grew up in a school where what would be identified as a white minority. I never looked at whom I worked with to be indifferent, this non-bias no matter what generation you grow up in, in Canada you have the opportunity to welcome cultures of all diversity as your normal. Inclusiveness is what I value most in this country. Its when cultures isolate themselves from others where I see this roadblock built on old methodologies and frameworks. Over the last five years, my mindset was focused on creating a collaborative work environment where women in architecture & design can thrive. Where their ability to work on great work is never a choice between caring for their families. This is the one gift I knew I needed to find ways to provide a sustainable work environment focused on our collective efforts. The shift in our work to support came out of a need to reduce the time spent fixing. We realized our process with clients digging into the intimate details of how they desire to live outweighed how anything looked.
This has led me to work closely with some of our clients to explore the possibilities of access to land acquisition where there are no boundaries around the landscape of architectural topographies of sustainable place-making focused on eco-tourism, small dwelling prefabricated housing modules exploring subscription to AirBNB rental models, Co-Work to Co-Live communities where ageing in place is a seamless transition versus reactionary programming. We are exploring what we see in places like Copenhagen that given the opportunity our offering is land and North American to Pacific Rim Access. Our booming city is ripe for a much-needed change in our perspective of accessible housing.
Cover image by Ema Peter.