Author Archives: Katie

2014 Market Winner: The Schusterman Foundation by Millar+Associates

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.

Olivia Millar, IIDA, LEED AP – Principal, spoke with us about inspiration from new generations, incorporating nature, and engaging youth.

Describe this project in one word.
Crisp

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How does this project demonstrate the power of design to impact users in a space?
The design of this space impacts, and is inspired by, the way younger generations work. The design supports more casual environments as well as more traditional meeting styles. In addition the daylight penetration and ergonomic height adjustable desks support health lifestyles. Lastly, the space is very flexible which allows the occupants to customize it to suit their changing needs.

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Design is a process. Explain your journey.
Our process always begins by learning the client’s mission and vision, how they work, and what their goals are for the project. In this case we learnt that TSF’s mission is to engage youth. That inspired the design functionally and aesthetically. The symbolism they employed in many campaigns included the Tree of Life. This, combined with the tree tops outside the space, drove the design to focus on the trees, incorporate wood, and use the bright colors found in nature.

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What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?
While individual workspaces are shrinking, amenity spaces are increasing and becoming more diverse. The youngest members of the workforce want casual, comfortable, and collaborative spaces.

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2014 Market Winner: Ludia by For. Design planning

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.

Andre Davingnon, APDIQ® – President and Artistic Director, talked with us about creating a place to not just work – but live, minimal design, and Mary Poppins’ favorite word!

Describe this project in one word.
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

For design planning_Ludia_©Stephane Brügger_01

How does this project demonstrate the power of design to impact users in a space?
The Ludia project proposes a new vision of profitability based on the latest corporate ideologies. Offering smaller work stations, all close together, to facilitate team interaction. Then using the saved square footage to conceive gathering spaces to create the sense of belonging to its employees. By this new approach in design, the Ludia spaces went from simple offices to a place to live. As well as a better organisation and the increase of effectiveness, the biggest success of this design was to assemble all the right conditions to allow the implementation of the game culture and socialization in the workplace: From the serious production meeting… to the next hockey game!

For design planning_Ludia_©Stephane Brügger_04

Design is a process. Explain your journey.
The mandate was to develop a workshop for 84 artists, collaborative spaces, a multipurpose lounge, IT lab, a server room, a cloakroom for 100 people and washrooms, in a new 9600 square feet space, with a construction budget of 400,000$. An increased challenge appeared after demolition started forcing a reevaluation of the structural condition of the historic building. With this major necessary architectural work, the initial budget was amputated and a new strategy in design was required.

To obtain optimum results and impact, while taking into account budgetary constraints, the development of the design was based on three considerations:

  • Can we design, construct and manufacture with different means?
  • Can we achieve the same result by using less expensive materials?
  • Can we save money while creating custom product?

For design planning_Ludia_©Stephane Brügger_07

One strategy used was to create a minimal design with the use of one or more vibrant color for a dramatic effect at a low cost. Following this principle, the new staircase and handrail were build according to industrial standard. The highly saturated orange color, used for this new area of vertical circulation, produces a grandiose effect. The lounge was fully painted black with the intention of harmonizing all of the existing architectural details from different historical periods.

This use of black paint acted as a canvas and enhanced all the colors and textures of the various furniture pieces and fun design elements. The monetary savings from the installation of commercial products such as vinyl tiles and baseboards, commercial type paint, standard doors and frames helped to put more emphasis on the lounge’s key items. More expensive products such as recycled wood, grass carpet, floral pattern carpet, mosaic backsplash, a mural by Montreal artists, printed mural and glass partitions were used in smaller quantities, creating a more dramatic effect while still maintaining a sense of unity.

For design planning_Ludia_©Stephane Brügger_05

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?

  • Using the physical and budgetary constraints as an incentive to create
  • Listening and a good analysis of the client’s need are a great formula for a tailored design
  • Dare to mix styles and approaches to create a unique design
  • Make it a priority to safeguard the architectural Heritage of a space and develop a new concept in keeping with the history of the place.
  • Crazy ideas exchanged while brainstorming (those we barely mention) sometimes make the best design
  • Color is your best ally – use it!
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Open House Creates a Creative Community Area in Alabama Town

Artist Matthew Mazzotta, the Coleman Center for the Arts, and the people of York, Alabama have teamed up to transform one of York’s most iconic blighted properties into a new public space. Open House is a house with a secret, it physically transforms from the shape of a house into an open air theater that seats one hundred people by having its walls and roof fold down.

OPEN HOUSE – Matthew Mazzotta 2013 from matthew mazzotta on Vimeo.

The metamorphosis of Open House is designed to require cooperation. It takes four people one and a half hours to unfold the structure. The foundation is made of used railroad ties which anchor the custom fabricated industrial hinges to five rows of stadium seating. The rows of seats fold down with the aid of a hand winch and enough manpower to counter balance the hefty, but agile structure.

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Through the project, the artist hopes to directly address the lack of public space in York, AL by providing a physical location that becomes a common ground for community dialogue and activities. The new structure carries the weight of the past through the materials that were salvaged and repurposed from the old structure, most visibly the original pink siding. When Open House is fully unfolded, it provides an opportunity for people to come together and experience the community from a new perspective. When it folds back up, it resembles the original abandoned house, reminding people of the history of what was there before.

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Images: http://matthewmazzotta.com/

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#Floorcore

#Floorcore. It’s a new hashtag obsession that is spreading like wild fire among design-loving Instagrammers. It’s tough to get enough of the inspiring tiles, antique rugs, inlaid hardwoods, and more people are sharing from around the world. Here are some of Lonny’s favorite snaps:

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The retro fabulous carpet at Portland International Airport even has its own Instagram account: @pdxcarpet.

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In the artist enclave of Sidi Bou Said in northern Tunisia.

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Lonny editor on a hex-happy carpet by Kinderground at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York.

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Lonny editor following a yellow brick road.

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This fashion photographer found some cool tiles

 Images: Lonny

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2014 Market Winner: DIRECTV by AECOM

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.
High-resolution!

1_AECOM DIRECTV_Lobby Living Room

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.

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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.

3_AECOM DIRECTV_Cafeteria

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

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