Category Archives: Design

Made by Design: EXTRAORDINARY

Connect to the sensory. Low tech, exaggerated textures and natural elements provoke the sense of touch. New landscapes emerge, wild and nomadic, creating a tactile atmosphere to enhance the senses. The expanded plank format, 30.5 x 122 cm (12” x 48”), provides a new sensory experience underfoot.

“Extraordinary is largely inspired by process and pushing current technologies to new heights. Using Tapistron machinery, stray ends of yarn are typically left on the carpet face after tufting. Usually, we take this excess material and shear it, but here, we use it as a styled feature By rethinking technology and modifying the process, this element was exaggerated to inject bold and dramatic texture. Pattern is implied through varied texture and a natural, tonal palette to enhance the relief. Hinting at raised foliage and Nordic landscapes to create moments of respite, we explore the emotions texture can influence – highlighting the user experience underfoot.”
John Crews, Sr. Designer, Workplace


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PIVOT Architecture | TriMet – 2016 Design…Is Award Global Winner


Shaw Contract conducted interviews with all firms of all Market Award winning projects from the 2016 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we always like to share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn about the winning projects. These are their stories.

Describe this project in one word.

Reimagined.

How does this project demonstrate design impact?

PIVOT Architecture in Eugene, OR partnered with TriMet, Portland’s metropolitan transit agency to renovate a few of their existing and leased buildings, with the intention of elevating their level of design. One of the phases of this project, was to reimagine the bus operators’ space at their operation headquarters. The existing space was dark, dingy, and one big open space where a variety of functions took place. Things appeared to be placed haphazardly, without rhyme or reason and there were limited spaces for the drivers to relax and unwind during down time. As
one bus operator summarized during our interviews, “Getting through the daily transition between ‘Work Me’ and ‘Regular Me’ is critical to our mental health and morale, but it’s unsupported at work, and can’t happen at home.” One of our main goals for this project was to use the design of the space to separate out the users’ distinct modes of working and to support these various functions in order to help promote a positive atmosphere and well-being amongst the staff.

Views through floor-to- ceiling windows and glass-enclosed spaces let users remain connected to the outside world and the bus yard, while providing an abundance of natural light. The application of bold color through the carpeting and wall colors simultaneously denotes areas of relevant work-related information and transforms the space into a vibrant atmosphere. At two
entries into the main report area, there are graphic displays made from photos and quotes of bus riders. These graphics help remind bus operators as they enter the building the importance of their job and how they can have a positive impact on others.

Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.

Setting the tone for this project and weaving its way through the design of the 14,580-SF space was a top-level directive to reimagine how this almost 24-hour operation functions and reflect
one of its main goals of transparency. Before any decisions were made, the design team held a number of in-depth sessions with the users to examine the functional requirements of the space
and what modes of working were either well supported or lacking. Using that information, we took a fresh look at how their operations could function and designed the space to optimize their
performance while making them feel comfortable, valued, and well supported. Since the design of this space was a drastic departure from their current way of working, TriMet utilized change
management strategies to help the users become accustomed to the new layout and function of the spaces.

Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.

One of the main challenges on this project was that the report area functioned almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and needed to remain fully functional during the six month construction
period. Because of this constraint, TriMet decided to temporarily relocate the 400 + bus operators, station agents, bus transportation managers, and all associated services to a modular building complex situated in an adjacent parking lot.

On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?

Overall, this project is reflective of current culture/society in regards to designing spaces where people want to be. The atmosphere is fun, engaging, bright, and open. This space was designed around the end users and what spaces they need to function and feel well supported. It’s not enough just to provide a space anymore. Design is more about the users and how they
interact with the space than simply having a space that the users occupy. It’s about choice and providing varied spaces for the users to select what is right for them at that moment.

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Configured to Interact

Hexagonal format and asymmetric shapes combine at random, providing connectivity to build scale and enhance user experience. Designed to promote impromptu interaction, Configure assists with way finding and provides alluring, visual interest. Deconstructed, rhythmic patterns and bold color encourage a more imaginative, playful approach with installation.

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THW Interiors | Berman Commons – 2016 Design Is…Award Global Winner


Shaw Contract conducted interviews with all firms of all Market Award winning projects from the 2016 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we always like to share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn about the winning projects. These are their stories.

Describe this project in one word.

Thoughtful.

How does this project demonstrate design impact?

Berman Commons is a multi-layered project with inviting spaces that have insightful vignettes that encourage the human scale of daily living. The conceptual design idea was to create a
space where shared moments become the driver for the layout of the design. The design impact is geared towards an elegant, refined approach which speaks directly to the residents.

Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.

The journey is defined by the people who played an intricate part in the creation of the community. Our client, Harley Tabak, CEO of the William Breman Jewish Home and Berman
Commons, brought a unique team together with amazing volunteers including Joe Rubin, Bob London, and David Weiss. The talent and ingenuity was impeccable, and will always be the
reason behind this project’s success. The process involved multiple disciplines at THW Design including but not limited to the architects, land planners, and the interior design team.

Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.

We take great pride in the larger challenge of solving the design approach of making a commercial scale project feel like a residence. It was important to us and to the
owner that it feel like home. One of the ongoing challenges in our projects is to connect the spaces with corridors that don’t feel overwhelming and long, by giving them breaks in the
ceilings as well as the carpet design which bring a much smaller scale to life. This is definitely evident in Berman Commons AL and MC corridors.
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On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?

While there may be some trends at hand within the design, it still has the classic flavor of multi-generational groups. Senior living spaces are meant to keep the elderly engaged with their friends, family and community. Design is a good way to reinforce this healthier way of living. The carpet design and lighting have an edge that also gives the project a grounding of trends and classic design combined.

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Studio 103 | Puma Australia – 2016 Design Is…Award Market Winner


Shaw Contract conducted interviews with all firms of all Market Award winning projects from the 2016 Design Is…Award program. As part of this process, we always like to share a portion of the response on our blog for readers to learn about the winning projects. These are their stories.

Describe this project in one word.

Connection.

How does this project demonstrate design impact?

We needed to find a clever way to inject life into the building on a tight budget. The solution came in the way of new flooring. We merged colour and pattern to give direction, connecting different zones without the need for expensive structural elements or signage. Multicoloured herringbone carpet tiles flow out from the general flooring, highlighting specific areas and
facilitating natural meeting points for staff.

Each project is a process. Explain your journey with this space.

Our starting point was a series of dark, dilapidated buildings, disconnected from each other. Our challenge was to create a connected and collaborative office with minimal structural change. By creating strategic openings between buildings we were able to utilize an abandoned courtyard space. The resultant infill space now functions as an informal meeting and working area, complementing the more formal office zones and bringing in much needed natural light. We wanted to highlight the flow of space through each opening in order to enhance the feeling of connectivity. In order to do this, a minimal materials palette was adopted. Singular finishes flow through and up, drawing the eye forward and into adjoining spaces.

Tell us about any challenges or lessons learned from working on this project.

With a tight budget, it was apparent that would need to minimize changes made to the existing buildings and come up with a clever way of connecting them. Having a low budget doesn’t necessarily mean you can do less with the space, you just need to be more creative in the way you do it. A lot of care was taken to create openings in the most strategic locations to open up sightlines throughout the office and bring in the outdoors. There is a new feeling of openness.
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On trends: Is there anything in particular with this project that is reflective of current culture/society?

This project strongly reflects the current trend of bringing the outside in. Sightlines were opened up throughout the space, allowing natural light to flow through giving dark corners a new life and energy.

Bringing plants into office spaces is becoming the norm. They are not only visually appealing but invigorate the office atmosphere by bringing in oxygen. Complimentary styles add a new organic energy to an otherwise corporate interior.

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