The Everyday Carry of an Architectural Duo: The Ranch Mine

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By Paige Alexus / Published by Dwell
The husband-and-wife team behind The Ranch Mine design homes for people with the pioneer spirit. These are their everyday tools.

Before Cavin and Claire Costello began their practice, they spent seven months traveling through Arizona in search of "what was authentically Arizonan." After gathering a mass amount of inspiration that all embodied this aforementioned "pioneer spirit," they landed in Phoenix and started The Ranch Mine in 2010. Today, Cavin is the principal architect while Claire is the Chief Executive—the two of them making up a team that believes that home should be a place that roots you in your community. 

Take a look below to see what they keep with them each day for client meetings, site visits, and everything in-between.

The Everyday Carry of an Architectural Duo: The Ranch Mine - Photo 1 of 3 - Cavin and Claire Costello of The Ranch Mine

Cavin and Claire Costello of The Ranch Mine

The Everyday Carry of an Architectural Duo: The Ranch Mine - Photo 2 of 3 - To shop the items in The Ranch Mine's EDC, follow the links below. 

To shop the items in The Ranch Mine's EDC, follow the links below. 

  1. Bag: "Everything we need for a day outside the office fits in this Christopher Kon leather bag from Anthropologie."
  2. Microsoft Surface Book and Pen: "The detachable Surface Book touchscreen is a great tool for presenting drawings and 3D models to clients."
  3. Chap Ice lip balm: "The arid climate and dusty air necessitates having chapstick."
  4. Olympus Stylus Tough TG-4 digital camera: "It’s incredibly durable, so we don’t have to be precious with it on dirty job sites when taking photos of existing conditions or construction."
  5. Fatmax 30-foot tape measure: "The difference between conforming and nonconforming, comfortable and uncomfortable can be inches—so it’s helpful to have a sturdy measuring tape on hand at all times."
  6. Manna insulated bottle: "You have to stay hydrated, especially here in the desert city. This bottle keeps our water cold in the summer or coffee and tea hot in the winter."
  7. Key ring for client homes or job sites: "With multiple projects going on at a time, this helps keep track of the right key for the right job site."
  8. Construction documents: "This rolled paper is a printed set of construction documents for a home we’re working on."
  9. Pepper’s Spitfire polarized sunglasses and Crimson Visual acetate tortoiseshell frames: "Polarized sunglasses are a must for any day here in the Sonoran Desert."
  10. Moleskine classic notebook: "Our first job is to listen and understand, so being able to take quality notes during our meetings is essential to a project's success."
  11. iPhone: "Easy to email, engage in social media, or just play our favorite music or podcasts on our trips." 
The Everyday Carry of an Architectural Duo: The Ranch Mine - Photo 3 of 3 - Shown here is a single-family home that they built on a vacant lot in Phoenix’s Pierson Place Historic District. To ensure energy efficiency, it’s complete with passive solar elements, cross ventilation, advanced framing construction, and LED lighting.

Shown here is a single-family home that they built on a vacant lot in Phoenix’s Pierson Place Historic District. To ensure energy efficiency, it’s complete with passive solar elements, cross ventilation, advanced framing construction, and LED lighting.

Make sure to keep up with The Ranch Mine and their latest projects by following their Dwell profile here.

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