Shepherd Resources Architects AIA logo of the letters SRI

Shepherd Resources INC / AIA logo



Programming is our critical first step, a time of careful learning, patterning, discussion and listening. If there are ever shortcomings later in the process, they can often be traced to a miss in programming.

While we may have a sense of your program from our experience, there is more conversation ahead. We have formats that take us through the program together, that ask questions about the way you live, about your morning and evening routines, about cooking, dining, reading, hobbies, pets, music, maintenance, etc…, and create the platform for us to design far more than rooms and spaces. By spending this important time together, we can learn specifics and nuances about your life, and about how your home relates to, supports or inspires your life. These conversations will yield a highly personal solution that absolutely responds to you.


We recognize that our clients have often invested considerable time, even years, to find the right property. Accordingly, our process demands that we become intimate with the land. By visiting the property frequently, during different seasons and times of day, we will grow to understand your site, its opportunities, constraints and many natural rhythms and patterns. We need to know the property as intimately as we know your program. Only after this can we merge the two and begin to design.


Conceptual design merges all that we’ve learned about you, your program and the site, and begins to yield design thought, concepts, solutions. Numerous sketches and ideas will be posted to the wall, to see what resonates. We’re committed to ideas, yet we are willing to hold them loosely, so that some stick and others are left behind. This is probably the most creatively intense moment in our efforts and one of the most enjoyable.

We agree with National Geographic photographer, Dewitt Jones, who states that creativity is largely defined by clarifying our vision, honing our technique, putting ourselves in the place of greatest potential…, then searching for the best right answer. When we present conceptual design to you, we will not present a solution, but rather multiple right answers…, various thoughts, plans, character studies, alternate arrangements…, ways in which the architecture can be shaped together with the setting, in response to you. Only after doing this, after listening to you and watching your reactions, can we advance the design into a coherent Schematic Design solution.

Beyond conceptual design, we continue to explore, with tighter focus and in greater detail as the design evolves, to ask…., how might the boundaries dissolve between interior and exterior…, how will the stair ascend through a space…, how could an upper window light a space..., or what might be the relationship between a kitchen island and ceiling above? Each question receives our full attention as we explore alternatives.


As the design emerges, we transition to documenting conclusions and decisions into a precise set of construction documents – drawings, details and specifications. We implement and rely upon the fully integrated 3D software, Revit Architecture, to create a digital model of the project and offer virtually infinite views necessary for complete understanding and resolution.


From the outset, we foster the vital relationship between you, the contractor and ourselves by encouraging openness and candor. Together we establish project goals, including schedule, budget and others. We invite the contractor’s review of evolving design and seek preliminary and interim construction cost estimates from progress drawings. Once construction documents are issued and construction begins, we maintain routine and seamless communications with the contractor. We attend site meetings and respond as frequently as necessary regarding drawing interpretations, samples, shop drawings, field resolution of unforeseen issues, etc. The contractor will have access to our digital model of the home to assist in full understanding and promote efficiency.