“I grew up as a young kid really enjoying making things out of stone. How many kids today like to build things with stone? But I was out there making tree houses and creating forts and things out of rocks and found objects.” The son of a prolific designer, Robert George accompanied his father all over to design studios and projects from infancy. “I grew up as all kids did, a sponge.”
Professionally, Robert has been creating living spaces—indoor and outdoor—for 35 years. Outdoors, he does everything from design/planning; full masonry services; terracing; and what he calls “art directing the forest;” to privacy screens, fences, and gates; water features, and pergolas and tree houses often with material harvested from the land itself. His interior projects have included kitchens, bathrooms, media rooms, porticos, master bedrooms, house additions, art studios, whole house design, garages for collector cars, and more.
|Photos courtesy of Robert George Design Group.|
“At 53 you have a certain experience level and you begin to have a deeper understanding of the more relevant components that may have been less visible to you when you were a younger person working.”
Through the years, Robert has crafted a unique design process that facilitates the co-creation of inspired spaces, in collaboration with the clients and the land. “When I first meet with people I ask them to speak idealistically about their hopes and dreams. I ask them, ‘What would you do to your home if you could do anything?’ And usually people speak for between 30 to 45 minutes. I am able to pick up on something that is a deeper energetic-intuitive component within them that is purely truth-based. I’ve found this practice reveals a profoundly spot-on design concept.”
Robert’s approach impels his clients to bring a clean slate and a responsiveness to what feels good and harmonious. An ardent advocate of tossing design books to the wayside, Robert invites his clients to step into the present to create an original plan that reflects and synthesizes the many different elements of their emotional and physical landscape. He further explains to his clients, “‘I’m not here to dictate what you’re supposed to do; however, I am here to help reveal something in you about what you want and what the land wants to be with you. I am marrying those elements and reflecting them back .’ After they finish speaking, I respond, ‘What I heard from you is ___ and this is what the land will support. What do you think about that?’”
With visual aids like lengths of rope, Robert graphically illustrates/reflects back to clients what they have described, asking how it relates. Then, if necessary, he will move the rope and ask again, and often the clients are astounded at the improvement. “I am able find certain energetic points on a piece of land that feel really good to hang out in. When people ask how I did that I just say, ‘I listened to you and the land, then integrated relevant materials and relative scale.’
“The work is completely intuitive. I am, both energetically and aesthetically, working with the architecture that Mother Nature provides. There is a way of intuiting a sense of scale that the land will support in terms of envisioning structure that I pick up on. I also work with clients in an energetic fashion in intuiting a relationship of space that relates to the energetic components of how they identify and utilize space…Stylistically speaking, it’s about being an invisible designer and facilitating a unique collaboration between the clients and their elements.”
“Charmed” and “inspired” are a couple of words that clients have used to describe the subtly supportive sensation of the spaces that Robert creates. “This is really quite ancient stuff in our DNA. It’s not new agey at all. It’s just that so much has been bred out of us.”
Perhaps this intuition has been bred out of the mainstream sensibility, but it is not altogether extinct. It continues thriving in small pockets through the work of designers like Robert George, whose commitment is to reveal something unique within his clients and facilitate the realization of their vision.