Category Archives: General

Celebrating Global Design Excellence

Announcing 2016 Design Is…Global Award Winners

In its eleventh year, the Shaw Contract Design Is… Award program honors architecture and design firms that challenge the very idea of design. The 2016 Global Award winners and People’s Choice Winner have been selected. These projects represent the highest caliber of work within an industry segment. An esteemed panel of design professionals selected 6 winners out of more than 450 entries submitted from 32 countries.

“The design showcased in these entries signify the global reach of our brand and utilization of high performance, Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM products across the globe,” says John Stephens, Vice President of Marketing for Shaw Contract. “This year’s winners reflect how design profoundly impacts the mission of the space and its positive effect on the people that use it.”

Winning projects include

Large Office (Greater than 40,000 sq. ft.)

FIRM: Perkins + Will
PROJECT: Nixon Peabody, LLP
LOCATION: Washington, D.C.

This project challenges many of the sacred law firm design characteristics such as the large corner office, solid walls and solid doors, liberal use of stone and mahogany, and the segregation of attorneys and support staff. Focus remains on crafting a visually-impactful design that’s reflective of the Nixon Peabody brand.


FIRM: MARS Interieurachitecten
PROJECT: Interior Design for the Study of Aeronautical Services, Hospitality & Tourism
LOCATION: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

A former gymnasium transformed into a new training facility featuring a mock-up airplane and hotel.

Albeda College innovates by making the transition from education to working easier and show us the impact of design aesthetic is as important as functionality.

FIRM: Haskell Architects
PROJECT: Wyndham Vale Primary School
LOCATION: Wyndham Vale, Australia

Wyndham Vale South Primary School is located on Melbourne’s western fringes within a new Estate development in Wyndham Vale. The challenge was to produce a new facility that provided a civic space in a residentially dominated area, whilst generating a campus design that supported the school’s desire to deliver 21st Century teaching and learning across a broad curriculum.


FIRM: Stars Design BV
PROJECT: Post Plaza
LOCATION: Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Contemporary yet classic – this charming city boutique hotel features eclectic interior and pays respect to the original building through subtle references to the former post office.

Public Sector

FIRM: PIVOT Architecture
PROJECT: TriMet Center Street Report Area
LOCATION: Portland, OR

Floor-to-ceiling windows and glass-enclosed spaces connect users to the outside world. Application of bold color denotes areas of relevant work-related information and transforms the space into a vibrant atmosphere. The result: a successful melding of spaces provides purpose to hundreds of people 24 hours a day.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER – (a Senior Living Project)

PROJECT: Berman Commons
LOCATION: Dunwoody, GA

This multi-layered project features inviting spaces and 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.

About People’s Choice Award

All market winners from the 2016 program are entered for People’s Choice voting, where digital audiences have the opportunity to vote on their favorite projects and choose a winner.

Click here to watch a video profiling the 2016 Global Award winners. Firms can currently enter the 2017 Design Is…Award competition here.

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Chung Leung Construction Engineering Consulting – A 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.

Appearance belongs also to its reality.

How does this project demonstrate design impact?

Good design not only meets the function, it also brings a connection to people and the space.

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

We always remember where we started. It’s important to not forget the beginning of you heart. Stay hungry, stay foolish and childlike.

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

We never know what will happen if we don’t try – just like the rusted iron at the entrance area. We tried many times in order to get the desired effect. Design is not making beauty, but it could definitely create the emotion.

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

In China, as everything goes too fast – people are easily impetuous as well. The way to connect the world is with internet and social media, not by people around them. Hence, we want to create some about time, a connection. Not just from outside, also from inside.

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Celebrating Great Design and Sporting Excellence

Built in the district of Barra de Tijuca, southwest of the Brasilian megalopolis, the Rio Olympic Park is almost finished with less than 100 days to go until the games begin. The 2016 Olympic Park will boast 34 sports venues in August, which will host 15 Olympic and 11 Paralympic sports.

UK-based AECOM – who also designed the London 2012 Park – won an international architectural competition back in 2011 to design the Rio Games.

AECOM said “The masterplan design naturally makes a virtue of this dramatic setting, to create a global stage for the Games. But in the longer term our work has played a role in contributing to the long term evolution of the city.”

See more of AECOM’s Rio Olympic Park Masterplan on their website.

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Shaw Contract Neocon Reveal


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. Expanded plank format, 48 x 122 cm (12”x48”), provides a new sensory experience underfoot. See. Touch. Feel.

Modern Edit

Connecting to the past. Re-framing the concept of heritage. Tactile materials are disrupted by elements with an industrial edge, and textile craft is emboldened with unconventional scales and imperfect finishes. Modern Edit introduces three new 23 x 91 cm (18”x36”) carpet tile designs and two broadlooms, thoughtfully designed to reveal opulence.


Spend the day in a vibrant metropolis. Explore the shores of a coastline. In your travels, slow down. Take in the moment. Glimpse the changing landscape. City to sea, local to global, collaborative
workspace to quiet retreat.


Interact with hexagonal shapes, asymmetric patterns and deconstructed designs. Engage with bold colour and modular form. Create spontaneous spaces. Configure is a new shape of thinking.

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A Compelling Case for Embracing the Circular Economy

Here is a fantastic Huffington Post article which addresses the social, economic and environmental opportunities awaiting those who embrace a strategy around the Circular Economy.

We often promote the efforts of William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart – pioneers in the effort to eliminate the concept of waste and rely instead on resource-efficient processes within the design approach and operations within business. Their Cradle-to-Cradle philosophy is embedded in our corporate culture, and our products are manufactured with the end in mind.  The shifting mindset toward the Circular Economy is global, and spurs a renewed spirit for competitiveness, innovation and responsible business practice.

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