Together, architects Mike Pyatok and Bill Devereaux and home builder Bill Davidson bring more than 120 years of professional experience and a legacy of innovative and award-winning housing design to the table. But instead of reliving the past, we asked them to look forward and apply their considerable expertise to the industry’s future.

Bill Davidson, president, Davidson Communities
Photographer: Stephanie Diani Bill Davidson, president, Davidson Communities

Q: How has the housing recession impacted residential design?

Mike Pyatok, principal, Pyatok Architects, Oakland, Calif., which specializes in multifamily and affordable housing: In addition to seeing smaller units, which I find heartwarming, we’re seeing designs that incorporate the need to use the home for business enterprises. Not sitting at a computer, but light-industrial or repair work. So the design has to be thoughtful about organizing space so that a piece of it can be used for that purpose without constricting the rest of the household.

Bill Devereaux, principal, Devereaux & Associates, McLean, Va., a multi-faceted residential architectural firm: When the recession first hit, we saw everyone running to smaller houses to get costs and prices down, but mostly what I saw was a lot of design innovation go away. There was no experimentation with room counts or room relationships, or different types of housing.

Bill Davidson, president, Davidson Communities, Del Mar, Calif., which builds single-family detached production homes: We’re seeing a monumental shift toward serving multigenerational families, with dual masters, more open space, and smaller but more efficient square footage.

Pyatok: We’re seeing that, too, and what’s interesting is that those families want their bedrooms apart from each other, so that the generations are separated, not on top of each other.

Davidson: We’ve also incorporated feng shui into our designs, which I struggled with at first because it was affecting what I thought was good design in terms of how windows line up and stair design and the use of light. But it’s in demand, and not just from Asian buyers.