Common Sense Design has completed several hundred residential
and small commercial projects since its inception in 1990. Since
we are a small firm, we are able to maintain the close personal
involvement which smaller projects demand. We delight in working
collaboratively on our projects with our clients, builders, other
professionals, tradespeople, artists, and craftspeople.
Pete Gang, Principal
"A 1980 graduate of MIT (in Architecture), I am one of a small
number of architects who has years of experience in the trenches
as a hands-on licensed general building contractor (Common Sense
Construction, 1986 through 1990) -- as well as years in other architecture
firms prior to 1985. I have been a licensed architect in California
“ I have been immersed in the world
of design and building for
more than half of my years.
" I suppose I defy the stereotypes
and puzzle more than a few
people by combining hands-on experience with a strong sense of design. Any self-respecting
artisan or craftsperson,
it seems, has to be conversant
in both the practical and aesthetic realms.
" I got messed up in the world
of design and building because
I love to build. I got messed up in the worlds of Natural Building and Green
Building when I could no
longer overlook the social
and environmental ills that we have created here in the over-developed First
World (an asthma epidemic, the grim
Nowhere of suburbia, rivers
and waterways that are unsafe for swimming, social alienation, and more) and
the attendant external costs (decimation
of once-intact ecosystems and
cultures, global climate change, acid rain, species extinction, clearcut forests,
and on and on).
I am a founding Board Member
of the Redwood Empire Chapter of the US Green Building Council, working
to hasten the greening of conventional practices locally. As one
of the founding core faculty members of the Green Building Professional
Certificate Program at Sonoma State University -- one of the first
stand-alone professional-level Green Building programs in the country – I
am challenged to keep pace
with a rapidly-expanding body of knowledge that is changing the
way we build our buildings.
“ I am a runner, a mountain biker,
a skier, a climber, and a player
of flutes and whistles.”
"As generalists, as Big-Picture thinkers, we (big-A) Architects have a responsibility to paint the picture of, and steer the big boat of our society toward, a more hopeful future."