Mural Artists Changing the Urban Experience

betterblowingkisses_garage-thumb-560x560Mural artists are changing the urban experience – exposed surfaces are opportunities for expression – and now companies are even commissioning well-known artists to inject more color to their properties – as is the case with Whole Foods’ newest Miami location, which added nature-inspired murals to its parking garage. Read the full article here.

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The trend isn’t localized – it’s everywhere. And often it makes an impact greater than coloring our world. Atlanta is home to Living Walls,  an annual conference on street art and urbanism that began in 2010. Along with changing the urban landscape, the conference aims to highlight a number of problems facing the city – opening a platform for much-needed dialogue. The building above is a 2010 design by Tika, a Zurich-born artist who holds a Master’s Degree from Zurich’s University of Art & Design. This mural is located on the corner of Spring Street and W. Peachtree Street in Atlanta. The mural arts are big business. The time has come where we can finally wave goodbye to the stigma of graffiti – and welcome a new wave of art as it happens on sidewalks everywhere.  Keep calm and color on.

 

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Designing the journey..

civita bagnregio

Italy’s Cavita di Bagnoregio sits atop a plateau of volcanic tuff overlooking the Tiber river valley. Shaw Contract Group Creative Director, Reesie Duncan, spent time here earlier this year. Admired for its ancient architecture – the town’s unaltered condition is due to its relative isolation.

Scenes from a weaving co-op in Goreme, Turkey as snapped by Shaw Contract Group VP of Marketing John Stephens while on vacation.

Scenes from a weaving co-op in Goreme, Turkey as snapped by Shaw Contract Group VP of Marketing John Stephens while on vacation.

Design is a journey that awakens our senses.  As we immerse ourselves in the global community, we are  enlightened by culture and captivated by contrast.  We expand our craft, learning time-honored techniques from long-practiced artisans.  We revel in the process and find balance in the pauses.  All the better to step outside our own world and become part of something greater.  

These words are on the opening page for our 2014 Design Is… magazine, but they represent much more than well-placed copy.  At the Shaw Contract Group offices, we celebrate the sense of place.  It defines where we work, where we play, where we rest and where we reflect.  Design is all around us and channeled through us. Design is Place.

Click here to scroll through a few of the sights from Creative Director, Reesie Duncan’s Mediterranean excursion as well as images shared by John Stephens, VP of Marketing on his recent vacation in Turkey. We’ll be adding more images here to document our adventures so make sure you are following us on Pinterest.

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ColorSense color + trend forecast

ColorSense, our most recent color and trend forecast, is now available online.  CEU credit will be given to those who Watch the full film and complete the online assessment. Here’s a glimpse:

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SND + 3Gatti: Computerized Carvings Create Retail Landscape

Check out this space!  3Gatti’s design for fashion label SND’s storefront in Chongqing, China yields an ethereal, dreamlike landscape that exudes movement and a new type of experience within the retail environment. By pairing computerized carvings coupled with mirrored spaces and thin, translucent materials, the design team was able to mimic the natural landscape. Design elements and creative direction in this project are in keeping with the insights of ColorSense, Shaw Contract Group’s recently launched color and trend forecast – due to launch online on November 15.

SND retail space offers an ethereal experience for visitors

SND retail space offers an ethereal experience for visitors

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2014 Market Winner: Hotel Tobaco by EC-5

As the winners of the 2014 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 40 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.

The EC-5 team (Luiza Jodłowska, Martyna Nowak, Hanna Pietras, Piotr Płóciennik, and Dorota Szafrańska) spoke with us about revival, mixing old with new, and going back to the 1950s.

Describe this project in one word.
Revival.

The hotel is part of a historic factory building complex. Since 1895, Karol Kretschmer had operated a cotton and wool textile factory there. The factory functioned until the beginning of World War I. Despite the devastation and destroyed by fire, in 1932 the factory changed the profile and resumed production as the National Tobacco Monopoly. Before the outbreak of the Second World War the factory produced several brands of cigarettes. Until the late XX century (during communism period) the factory was known as “Lodz Tobacco Monopoly”. This project converted existing, devastated building into modern hotel.

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How does this project demonstrate the power of design to impact users in a space?
Tobaco Hotel’s guest enters into modern space, but he never forgets that he stays inside XIX century textile factory. He can see bare concrete, red brick, wiring and pipes exposed in all spaces. There are factory safety signs and posters used as decoration in restaurant.

Interior design has been done according to the newest trends. In lobby there can be found vibrant and joyful colors with energizing connection between blue, violet and green. Yellow used as the leading colour here is also appearing in the rest of the hotel’s interior. Furniture, lighting and accessories have been chosen from recognized designers.

Violet color dominates in single rooms, white and light gray has been used as a background. Colorful accents like a landscape graphics over a bed, chairs and bedspread enliven the whole interior. Furniture made of hazel timber finished with high gloss have been designed especially for Hotel Tobaco with a style of the 50’s.

EC-5_Tobaco Hotel_room2_1

Design is a process. Explain your journey.
First, we spent a lot of time on getting familiar with the building history and it’s industrial character. The main design assumption was to expose the factory background of the complex and to emphasize industrial and rough character. These were the most important for us in every stage of the project – during conception, computer visualisation and technical project. We wanted to create a connection between old and new.

EC-5_Tobaco Hotel_corridor_2

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?
We have learnt how important is to keep original character of historical building and how difficult is to design modern architecture without destroying what is the most valuable from the past.

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