An Industrial Designer's House Blends Economy and Simplicity

An Industrial Designer's House Blends Economy and Simplicity

By Brian Libby
This house In Portland, Oregon, makes the most out of its material palette.

"I’ve spent my whole life designing things," says Nick Oakley, who has worked for more than a decade as an industrial designer for Intel in Portland, Oregon, and, before that, Ideo in San Francisco. And yet his greatest design challenge—and opportunity—arose when he decided to build a house for himself. Oakley started by hiring Ben Waechter, a Portland architect whose work had caught his eye on a pair of home tours. "Ben’s work has a humility about it: a sense of purity and functionality, and a simple architectural gesture that made it stick in my head," he says.

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