Nando’s Central Kitchen a 2015 Design Is…Award Market Winner

As the winners of the 2015 Design Is…Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog.  Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the winning projects.  These are their stories.

Here, Onepointzero designer Tracy Lynch spoke with us about the specific, South African-inspired design approach.

Describe this project in one word. African.

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How does this project demonstrate how design can impact users in a space?

Located in Johanessburg, Central Kitchen is comprised of converted warehouse spaces and incredibly supportive interior design – the open plan spaces initiated a collaborative working environment,  and the inspired art collection serves as inspiration for the team. By combining real materials and authentic local designer pieces, we connect daily work to a sensory experience, deeply embedded in a powerful local context.


Design is a process. Explain your journey. To Follow.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?  Collaboration is key.  Harnessing the creative energy of South African designers result in a rich and layered interior story.  The collaborative process of infusing spaces with pieces challenge me as a designer to become a designer curator. The process added extraordinary value to the end product and allowed the true creative spirit of South Africa into the spaces.

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Good energy: non-traditional partnerships generate power

When it comes to employing alternative energy sources  and focusing on improved energy efficiency, Shaw Contract Group is in good company. Electric car company Tesla is partnering with several companies, including Jackson Family Wines for the pilot program of  its new industrial battery product, due to officially launch later this summer (a residential version is also underway).

In addition toLEDS in the fermentation room using Tesla’s battery packs for its operations, JFW employs solar arrays at it’s facilities – and the combination will potentially open new doors for self-sustaining systems.

All told, the company has 21 of the commercial PowerPack batteries across six of its wineries, which were installed from late last summer to early this year. By February, they accounted for 4.2 mW of production, or 8.4 mWh of total energy storage capacity.  (For more details, read  the complete fastcompany article ).

Solar is recognized as a mature, reliable energy source and a viable long-term investment. Shaw Contract Group’s carpet tile manufacturing facility in Cartersville, GA, features one of the largest commercial solar panel installations in the southeast – generating 1.4 kilowatt hours of power annually (approximately 100 homes) which helps power the facility and its processes.  Company wide bench marking for our footprint is published annually in Shaw’s Sustainability Report.

Solar Panels







Viva the alternative! Design is good energy.


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Zappos Headquarters a 2015 Design Is..Award Market Winner

Shaw Contract Group conducted interviews with all firms representing Market-Award winning projects from the 2015 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn more about the winning projects.  These are their stories.

Here, Annie Wilson addresses the design process for the headquarters Zappos in Las Vegas, NV.

Describe this project in one word.  Enabling.


How does this project demonstrate how design can impact users in a space?  In a company where culture is king and collision is favored over convenience, the design responds to these needs and the Ten Core Values of Zappos. Ultimately, KMD’s major infrastructure improvements and complete redesign of the City Hall interiors increased the design occupancy of the building from 600 to 2,000.

Design is a process. Explain your journey.  The design team took great care in understanding employee needs, personalities, and core values to properly craft a solution befitting Zappos.  Floors were intentionally designed to provide mixtures of teaming and individual workspace – promoting dynamic interactions. Collaborative spaces including conference rooms, phone rooms and casual meeting areas are centralized internally per floor and features .  The open floor plan promotes collaboration and natural light throughout. Open office areas offer flexibility, and the carpet design enhances the central collaboration elements by focusing the majority of patterns and color at interaction areas while leaving open workspace more textural and neutral. Definition around collaborative spaces is created through bright colors for doors and cores and strong carpet colors.


What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow? The design team learned that candid input and feedback from the end-user is essential in creating a space that promotes longevity within the workplace.

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Dunbarton High School Named Greenest School on Earth

Congratulations to Dunbarton High School in Pickering, Ontario, Canada, for earning the title of the 2015 Greenest School on Earth. This annual competition, sponsored by the Global Coalition for Green Schools (an initiative of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC), recognizes a K-12 school for achievement in its environmental impact, human health and ecoliteracy.

I was honored to be one of the judges for the competition and amazed at what these schools are doing to make a difference in their school and the world. Choosing a single winner was extremely difficult. While reviewing submissions, the jury discovered so many incredible things being done around the world. Dunbarton emerged the winner because of its success meeting each of the three pillars of the competition.

Because the buildings were built in the 1960s, the school focused its efforts to reduce environmental impact on inexpensive retrofits (paid by fundraising efforts from the Environmental Club) and behavioral changes that involve students, teachers, faculty, staff, and the community. I love the fact that the school plans to spend a portion of the prize money on a garden that will be 20% for its own use and 80% for the local food bank.

For the human health component, the school is looking long-term, with a seven-year campus biodiversity program to provide trees to shade an outdoor classroom. The commitment to health continues with providing nutritious options in the cafeteria and vending machines, as well as water fountains with reusable water bottles.

One of the initiatives that separated Dunbarton from the rest is how it’s addressing the remaining pillar – ecoliteracy. Students take what they learn and apply it to their school. For example, science classes monitor school and campus air quality, local stream water quality and school electricity use. The students then use this data to create a conservation plan.

Congratulations Environmental Council

​Pickering Area Trustee Chris Braney congratulating the Environmental Council on their award – Greenest School on Earth.

Seeing the resourceful leadership that went into these entries reinforces our sense of pride in being a partner with the Center for Green Schools. To support the Center and their initiatives, including the Greenest School on Earth competition, go to and check out Shaw Contract Group’s Cut & Compose collection, 3 tile and 2 broadloom styles for which we are donating 1.5% of the proceeds to the Center for Green Schools.


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Retail Showstopper: Clarks America

Innovation is underfoot at Clarks America retail space (a 2014 Design is…Award entrant) is lauded for attention to detail. Here, an adjustable lit shelf smart wall by TC Millwork allows for easy rearrangement of shelving to accommodate different heights of shoes.  Ample lighting under each shelf adds suberb lighting and visibility throughout the space.

Clarks America Shop Fitout

Clarks C7 Shop Fitout



Clarks C7 Shop Fitout

The design community is getting a glimpse of the latest and greatest in retail trends at GlobalShop 2015, happening now in Las Vegas.  Attendees will experience how to create an immersive, innovative retail experience for their clients.  Visit the GlobalShop website for more information on the 2015 speaker and exhibitor line-up.  #weloveretail.

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