Randy Ripley, AIA
After 25 years as an architect, Randy Ripley, AIA, decided five years ago to take his career in a new direction by starting a company called Arbors Development, LLC in Little Rock, Arkansas. His mission was to develop homes and neighborhoods with a unique and neighborly feel. "I had a passion to build a cluster cottage-type infill development, sometimes called a pocket neighborhood," Ripley says. "I felt like there was an unmet need and desire for a housing arrangement with a design driven sense of community targeting the scaled-down empty nesters and single professionals." His most recent development project is The Cottages at 15th, an infill group of single-family homes in downtown Little Rock. Each house features a garage in the rear and a sweeping porch on the front, shared green spaces, allowing communication and connection for a real sense of community. "We create neighborhoods that foster a sense of community and stability through the integrated use of site location, home orientation, landscape, hardscape, architectural design style and attention to detail. We want the home buyer to feel a sense of place and be able to say, This reflects who I am and what I'm about –– this is my home," Ripley says. "With an eye for sustainability in both the construction materials used and the social connectivity created, we make dreams come true for buyers who are interested in a unique and neighborly home environment." This type of development often goes against local conventional wisdom in the home building industry. It pushes the edge of the envelope for our demographic where most builders/developers are providing the standard suburban subdivision developments. If you take a step back, evaluate other markets, and housing products, looking just a little beyond building something because history dictates that is what has always been built and sold, you can often find a pinned-up buyer desire for something new and different. "For me, as an architect, this would be an arrangement that helps provide authentic solutions to personal and social needs through the use of a housing product," said Ripley. Arbors Development constantly experiments and explores with effort, passion, and thoughtful consideration, creating works beyond the security of what the current market dictates would sell and going deeper into the broader realm of civic and community responsibility. They intend to create places that intentionally help meet the basic needs of security and significance, while trying to gently compel them to understand the value of intentionally belonging, serving, and living by a design.
Designing to Belong (Not Just to Be)
Isn’t it interesting how we sometimes pursue seemingly opposing values in the way we live? You know, we find ourselves enjoying the biggest, the newest, the most clever and beautiful cutting edge designs, and then almost in the same...