Curved House. Springfield, MO.
Novedge: Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do
Matthew Hufft: I am the Creative Director of Hufft Projects – a design collective that is built of designers and craftsmen. We design and build everything from furniture to houses.
Novedge: What has been most important in developing and growing a successful collective?
Matthew Hufft: Building an environment where a diverse group of experts thrive and communicate effectively. Communication is so important to what we do, and is a constant struggle to make sure our designers are working with our craftsmen, and vice-versa.
Baulinder Haus. Mission Hills, KC
Novedge: How do you collaborate with clients during the creative process?
Matthew Hufft: It can vary, depending on the project and the client. But typically our process starts with a lot of talking and questions. We ease into each project very slowly. Our first few meetings are quite unimpressive – lots of sketches and rough models. But this allows us to really gain an insight into our clients' true goals. It also allows us to slowly gain their trust and confidence. I like to compare it to dating. We start out just holding hands, the kiss comes on date three or four.
Standard Style. Kansas City, MO
Novedge: What is a recent project that you worked on?
Matthew Hufft: One project we not only designed, but are building is the Artery Residence. It is really two buildings in one: there is a gallery below and a home above. Both spaces have their own entrance and identity. This will allow the homeowner to share their amazing art collection with the public, without having them in their actual house.
Novedge: What software do you use?
Novedge: You co founded and are the creative director of Edwin Blue, a furniture company. What drew you to furniture design and how does your background in architecture inform it?
Matthew Hufft: I have also had a great passion for furniture, plus I feel like it really relates to architecture in so many ways. Architecture is about moving the human body, furniture is about cradling the human body. Both are about humans. After we formed our fabrication side, producing furniture really was a very natural next step. Plus, it allows us to do something not custom, or already designed. We do so much custom work, that over time we kind of like the ability to just craft something without having to think about it too much.
Novedge: You achieved success at a fairly young age for an architect. What advice do you have for young people who are now studying architecture? What skills, both technical and personal, are in demand in the field?
Matthew Hufft: You must view it as a lifestyle and not a job. I never think of going to work. I just get up and do what I do. Of course, at times, it can feel like work. But for me, that is not that often. Because of this what most would call hard work, I simply think is just living and breathing my passion – design. That being said, it is a very difficult business to not only succeed in, but to understand – especially for someone without any business training. If possible, I would advise anyone that thinks they want to own their own firm, to take classes in business. Not only will you gain insight into how to look at numbers, you probably will find a client or two.
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