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.
Cathy Pack, Senior Associate, spoke with us about the presence of technology, opportunities in interiors work, and hearing & working with many voices.
Describe the project in one word.
How does this project demonstrate the power of design to impact users in a space?
Before this project, DIRECTV did not have a campus – it was just a collection of buildings close to each other. With the addition of a cafeteria, gym, interactive lobby, conference center and courtyard, the 4,000+ employees engage with their environment and each other much more than ever. As far as the personal work areas, 30 floors were gutted and reconfigured so all employees enjoy daylight and a high ratio of collaborative space. Technology is present everywhere, with flat panel displays in every office and customized workstations with racks for equipment. Even in the ‘soft seating’ spaces, the material palette is sharp with contrasts of texture and color, reflecting the DIRECTV brand.
Design is a process. Explain your journey.
Before any design took place, interviews were conducted with 42 departments and over 1,300 individuals! DIRECTV encourages all employees to have a voice, which is wonderful for the company, but challenging for the designers and the project management team to synthesize. The other challenge was convincing many of the employees to embrace the open, collaborative office space and, in some cases, relinquish private offices. The first build-out reflects some of this hesitation, but as the second and third buildings have rolled out, workstation panel heights have come down even lower, colors have become more vibrant, and teaming areas more prominent.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?
The DIRECTV Headquarters is my first large-scale Interiors project, having come from more of a core-and-shell Architectural background. I feel that every architect should take opportunities to work on Interiors. In my experience, Interiors offers:
- More exposure to clients and user groups
- Faster decisions and increased design opportunities
- More female leadership
- Fine-tuned coordination of AV/Technology/Furniture
- A highly engaged network of professionals and product representatives with year-round social and charity events
- Opportunity to be on the front-end of our changing world and how technology is changing the way we work
Images: Interior Design, AECOM