As architects and designers, our job is to be creative in everything we do whether that is design, solutions, communication and teamwork, reading and interpreting documents, and so much more. How is it that we keep that creativity running 24/7? Do we have muses to keep us inspired? Some people say someone they love keeps them inspired, others its time management and pinterest or getting away, giving a fresh perspective upon return. Really, it’s all of that and more and it varies from person to person, so we asked our co-workers what was it was that keeps them creative.


Joseph is my muse and inspiration.


Being creative is my happy-state. Interior Design is an inherently creative profession, but sometimes it isn’t enough to satisfy my right-brain. I like to explore other artistic avenues like painting and ceramics to scratch that itch. When I hit a roadblock, I take a break to go for a walk or hike or spend some time in the garden and come back feeling recharged and inspired. Oscillating between professional interior design tasks, personal art projects, and more relaxing activities keeps my creativity flowing. It’s all about balance.


People often refer to creativity as a muscle “flex your creativity” as if it was something that could be deployed at will, hone, or develop. I think creativity is something that happens spontaneously when the right circumstances are present. I think what keep us creative at WORKSHOP8 is the desire to provide more healthy, sustainable, highly efficient buildings. We are always trying to find ways to do and achieve more, with what we have available.


What is my Muse? How do I get creative about answering this question? The truth is, I like puzzles. I tend to go into all projects trying to “figure” them out. I do the Sudoku and the Ken Ken, and sometimes the crossword puzzles, a few times a week, whenever I have time in the morning. In most of the puzzles I do for fun, there is only one correct answer or solution. In architecture and design, I truly believe this is never only one correct answer or solution, in fact I do not believe in perfection, which fundamentally means there can never be one correct answer.

With the design process, and in the creation of a building, I enjoy the many stages involved. Early on the puzzle is like playing with Legos. Once we start creating the construction documents, the puzzle changes and it gets to be more technical and exact. The final piece is overseeing construction and helping the Contractor interpret and implement items that up until that point only live in our heads and on paper. I once worked for an architect who was an advocate for producing the most basic set of drawings possible, and my theory was that this required him to be out in the field as much as possible once construction started, because he loved to work out issues at full scale.

My muse is simply the enjoyment I get out of solving puzzles.


For me my design and creativity permeates in everything I do.

It starts at home. My wife and I have live in a small house with our 5 dogs and I have done everything in my creative arsenal to make the small space feel larger than the 1400sf that it is. This includes furniture on legs and stereo / TV cabinets on the wall. This allows the eye to perceive the edges of the room rather than where the cabinets meet the floor. We recently designed our kitchen in the same fashion maintaining clean simple lines without too many shadow edges that make things look busy. I recently bought a new motorcycle and even that was not safe from my critical eye. I have spent the past month redesigning the graphics and color. I plan to wrap the bike with the new color and graphic over the next week.

Of course when you are in a creative profession like architecture it is a big benefit when your mind continually looks at things and asks the question; “what other options are there to doing it this way?” Architecture really is my dream profession and I love working with the creative side but at the same time working with contractors to make things buildable and cost effective.


I believe that creativity is the product of finding solutions to problems. When we see a problem or opportunity in front of us, I think that we as designers have a basic duty to look at all possible solutions, and find the one that makes the most logical sense. But true ‘creativity’ really happens when we strive to go one step further, and find the solution or idea that not only fixes an issue, but that has the ability to also be beautiful, functional, and innovative. I enjoy bringing this philosophy into play both at work and in my daily life; it can apply to architecture of course, but also small everyday things like home projects, organization, or even food. Creativity, for me, is about that extra push and those explorations into the world of possibility.


I don’t know that I necessarily have a muse. I do have motivation and inspiration to stay creative. I have a goal of being an architect one day and that is the motivation to be creative in my career everyday. Outside of work, I still like to be creative with art or photography and most of my inspirations come from my hobbies. At this point it has become my life; almost second nature to find creative solutions, come up with creative designs, and even small things like being creative about my time management to my motivation up.

The root of my creativity, I think stems from being happy with what I am doing and where I am.

What keeps you creative?

Sydney Angel | Architectural Designer
28 MARCH 2021