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DYO: Design Your Own

DIY: Power Tools

Do you own a power tool of some kind?

An electric drill? An electric saw? A jigsaw? An electric sander? An electric plane? A router?

Don't they make life so much easier?

I remember in woodwork at high school that cutting a straight line through a piece of wood was hard work. More recently in my model making, I use a jigsaw, and it is so easy to create the shapes I want in a matter of seconds as compared to a matter of minutes.

Power tools not only speed up the process, they make it easier to perform at a higher level. Essentially, they make everyone into a handyman and a whole industry has grown up around the home handyman.

How many of you own the place where you live? How many of you have painted it yourself? Or built the front fence? Or repaired the broken window?


Has anyone noticed glimpses of do-it-yourself creeping into the legal profession? Have you noticed that you can now buy do-it-yourself conveyancing kits, do-it-yourself probate kits and a kit for do-it-yourself wills.

Desktop Publishing

Have you used desktop publishing software? If you have, that would count you as a designer.

Website Design

How many really badly designed websites have you seen? I'd suggest the majority are badly designed - some by paid professionals and many by the do-it-yourselfers.


So what about architects? Has anyone noticed do-it-yourself, or as I prefer to call it 'Design-Your-Own', creeping into the architectural profession? I've found a couple of examples coming through.

For under $30, you can now buy basic 3D modelling software, complete with 3D templates for furniture. Ideal for the non-architect who can't draw to save himself, to model their house and how to make it work more efficiently through more appropriate positioning of furniture. It is elementary stuff and it's a beginning.


Have you played a game called "Sim-City™"? (Trademark of Maxis Corporation)

This game is a basic introduction to town planning. You get to choose where the residents live, where industry develops, where the roads go, the extent of public transport and how to spend the town budget.

It really is great entertainment, you can play it for hours. It's also used as part of university courses in the U.S. to train students in issues around planning. Okay, it's not about to take the job of any planners yet, but the seeds have been planted.

Home-Office Design

I've also spoken to a lot of people about home-office design and one of the things that staggers me is how keen people are to take on designing their offices and re-arranging their houses. People are keen to design-their-own environments.

In the commercial world, you may be protected from it to some extent, or you may want to take it on and create products for yourself.

Again, this fits the context of my Home-Office book, "A Home-Office You Love", do-it-yourself design briefs.

The Critical Point

The critical point with Design Your Own is not the quality of the designs - that will improve over time and there will always be 'bad' design - the critical point is…

Everyone is now a designer!

My suggestion to you is to keep a lookout for this trend, if you ignore it, it may just jump out and bite you when you least expect it.


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