Category Archives: International

Everything Matters. What Matters to You?

The Mixology16 award ceremony and summer ball, which recognizes innovation within the UK’s dynamic interior design community, recently took place in London. More than 1,100 guests attended the event, which lives up to the bill of being the region’s most anticipated industry event of the year.

The prestigious Mix Interiors Awards were handed over to the ground breakers and boundary-pushers within the region’s interiors sector – recognizing the most influential people and companies. Shaw Contract is honored to be a part of this esteemed group of companies, winning the Mixology16 Award in the Environmental & Sustainability category for the ‘Everything Matters’ campaign. This award was presented to Shaw Contract for having the most positive environmental and social impact throughout the year.

Andrew Jackson, Marketing Director EMEA at Shaw Contract comments: “Launched this year, the ‘Everything Matters’ campaign demonstrates Shaw’s on-going support and commitment for implementing a comprehensive sustainability strategy across product certification and manufacturing operations.
The Mixology16 Award is a testimony to the sustainability philosophy that permeates throughout our entire company, and to our environmental responsibility to both its clients and the wider community.”

Shaw Contract designs products that empower our clients to create safe, sustainable, enduring spaces. By adhering to Cradle to Cradle design principles, our goal is not to do less bad, but to do more good. We don’t focus on just one attribute, because this doesn’t help our clients or the planet. It all matters.

Every material.

Every process.

Every action.

Designed for a better future.

EVERYTHING MATTERS.

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Young Talent Takes the Floor at Shaw Singapore

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As part of Shaw Contract Group’s social responsibility efforts in Singapore, Shaw welcomed the bright young minds and their mentors to its newly opened space for a night of networking evening in commemoration of Temasek Polytechnic’s Mentor Apprenticeship Pilot Program on 21 October 2015.

Temasek Polytechnic’s Mentor Apprenticeship Pilot Program was designed to provide the rare opportunity to eight eager Interior Architecture and Design Year Two students of the School of Design to shadow an industry leader and to work closely with him/her on a current project. It is a unique program designed to connect students with an industry leader on a one-on-one mentoring opportunity giving them an eye-opening experience beyond the confines of their school walls.

The program at its pilot stage has seen huge support from the Design and Architecture industry with big names such as Simon McDonald, Design Director at Studio HBA, Simon Raper, Director of MMoser Associates, Matthew Burke, Regional Leader Asia at Geyer, Camy Tan, Director of Marketing and Design Communications, Matilda Sung, Design Leader at Woods Bagot, Vanessa Lin and Archie Cruda, Brand and Communication Manager and Head, Design Excellence Centre at Space Matrix, taking part as mentors to help steer the programme to a more robust regular offering to Temasek Polytechnic design students.

The networking event was the first time where all stakeholders of the program came together to collectively share their experiences and provide feedback for the pilot. Each student apprentice gave a short presentation on their key  takeaways from the first-hand experience in the industry during their last semester break. The student apprentices spent their last vacation break shadowing their mentors and are expected to continue to work with their mentors again in their next vacation break in March.

As a design hub and catalyst for design excellence, Shaw Contract Group hopes to continually attract more creative minds to its creative space where the local economy will have access to and come together to collaborate, share and exchange ideas and applications.

With the take-off of this pilot, Temasek Polytechnic hopes to have student apprentices tagged to their mentors throughout their three year diploma program, including their compulsory six-month internship during their third year. This unique program is designed with the objective that student graduates will have the opportunity to gain relevant background and work experience for them to integrate into the workplace seamlessly.

Based on insightful feedback from students and mentors, it was agreed that the pilot has gotten off to a good start. One apprentice even had the rare chance to tag along for an interior design photo shoot. Student apprentices also expressed their appreciation and gratitude for their mentors by presenting them with heartfelt gifts at the end of their presentations. The mentors also commented on the potential of the program and the students, such as building their confidence in sharing their ideas or creativity in design, a critical skill required in the workplace.

Two Temasek Polytechnic scholars also had the opportunity to showcase their installations on that same evening. These students spent about three weeks prior specially designing the installations which were inspired by Shaw’s latest collection – Hand Drawn and Altered.

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Inspired by Shaw’s Hand Drawn carpet collection, Muhammad Nor Nazul created ‘Hand Drawn’ to to depict how imperfections and irregularities can be transformed into beautiful designs. There were markers alongside the art installation, urging people to add on and “complete” to the ‘imperfect, unfinished’ installation. The piece was the artist’s attempt to convey the beauty in imperfections.

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Inspired by Shaw’s Altered carpet collection, Darren Ng created ‘Altered’ with the mind-set that everybody has a different perspective. The curved surface of the installation allows one to have changing perspective from every angle with the reflecting mirrors, creating a sense of illusion.

The evening concluded with mentors and mentees both feeling inspired to do more and better when the next semester break happens in March 2016.

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Design is Connected India Retreat Weaves Sustainability into Practice

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Sustainability is a key concern for designers and they prefer to use eco-friendly products and materials. They also believe they could weave sustainability in their design projects. This follows a recent survey conducted with key architect and design industry leaders who attended the Design Is Connected Retreat organised by Shaw Contract Group in Goa, India from 9 to 11 October 2015. Shaw Contract Group organised this retreat with the aim to connect with their partners in the Asia Pacific region and India in the aspect of design.

8 out of 10 designers also rated design as the most important consideration when selecting a supplier.

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“The discussions and insights drawn from key leaders in the design and architecture industry have been beneficial to Shaw Contract Group. Following this retreat, we are able to align our product offerings with our suppliers to ensure the Architects and Designers in India are shown our full range of products. This has been helpful in our continual collaboration with India.” said Dan Clark, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Shaw Contract Group.

“It was a very inspiring event for those in the design field to see such level of work being done on the design, pattern and texture of carpets” said Sabina Reddy, Director, at M Moser Associates.

“The next trend will be moving from geometrical patterns to more abstract patterns with bright colours,” says Raghunath Avutapalli, Senior Architect, DWP Interics, in relation to design trends in 2016.

On creating sustainable designs, Satish Purushan, Senior Architect, STUP Consultants, says that “it is crucial to create products that not only have 100 per cent LEED rating on paper, but are also eco-friendly in terms of practicality in order to raise awareness and promote sustainability across all industries.”

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The Design Is Connected Retreat saw about 50 guests comprising of directors, architects and service providers from more than 20 well-established firms, including DSP, RSP and Space Matrix, come together and exchange their views on upcoming trends in the industry.

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For more information about Shaw’s sustainability initiatives and its continued leadership in the discussion, development and application of sustainable design, please visit our sustainability site.

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

Shaw Contract Group conducted interviews with all firms of Global 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, Tracy Lynch with Studio Leelynch spoke with us about the specific, South African-inspired design approach.

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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 Johannesburg, Nando’s 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.

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Design is a process. Explain your journey.

My design philosophy is focused on developing a deeply conscious response to the particular requirements of my clients. Powerful brand experiences which reflect the vision and values of the projects initiators are at the heart of my creative direction. The intended outcome is the realisation of a product, event, experience or interior that has the ability to inspire, to be more than the sum of it’s parts. In addition to conscious creative direction the celebration of local talent and creativity and the meaningful spend of resources is a focus of my design process. I believe the time for Africa is now, I want to celebrate this through my work and share with the world the positive creative energy that I am exposed to in South Africa every day.

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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Somerset House a 2015 Design Is..Award Global Winner

Shaw Contract Group conducted interviews with all firms of Global 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.

David Skeels of Forme UK spoke with us about the design journey for this project.

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Describe this project in one word.

Renaissance.

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

Design is not always obvious. It is often what has been rationalised and omitted rather than what has been added and flaunted. A simple walk through Somerset House will expose you to the Arts – performance, culture, product, literature, photography, to food, people, light, and spatial curiosity through the various modern interventions now crafted into the structure. Somerset House cannot be described merely as ‘a building’. Part of it being Nelson’s home and historic administration base, it is now essentially an all public access inner sanctum, a village in the heart of the City enabling work and pleasure to cohabit in one unique environment.

Our approach was not one of historic reinstatement.  As modernists, we sought to rationalise, excite and interject where appropriate, to ensure Somerset House continues to reflect history of yesterday and today and extending these spaces into the 21st century. Of its time, the interior spaces reflect the elevational order, controlling spatial status from ground to third floor.Our aim was three fold:

  1. To return derelict historical spaces to profitable use.
  2. To enable public access through deft co-joining of the historically purposeful composition of dwellings, community spaces, function rooms, workshops, workspaces, retail and art chambers.
  3. To support the Arts and Creative movements.

Derelict spaces found at upper levels comprised roof voids with large timber supporting structures, ostensibly unusable. We adapted these to suit SME businesses and to provide inspiring creative units with good daylight and views of the river or public courtyard.

At mid levels, interior spaces vary with well proportioned rooms with large windows.  Also with excellent views, these are generally used for business units, functions and gatherings.

Ground floor spaces are open to public access. These are large, tall spaces containing access points for tenants, galleries and restaurant spaces with internal corridors of stairs, light-wells and lifts. We adapted these so daylight penetrates from roof to ground and our subtle re-alignment of cores, stairs and lifts clarify and simplify internal circulation.

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Design is a process. Explain your journey.

The process is one of research, history, heart searching, and of negotiating and aligning modern commercial demands over autocratic regulation. We had to consider how to respect the listed architecture and at the same how to satisfy the need to make the property financially viable on a self funding basis. Essentially this was a journey of teasing out the great and the few not so great elements of the historic work, aligning modern design with respect to structural order all whilst fighting a budget. This was not a journey of evolving one single concept. We had to deal with each space and each opportunity as an individual project, with a seamless detail approach throughout.

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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?

It is as important to have a great team of fellow design consultants as it is to listen to your client and your specialists. There is always a solution. It may take a long time to arrive at that point, but if you follow the train of thought already laid before you, the solution will emerge. You will feel it within when it is right. Where interjections are to be made on great existing works, it is important to justify in your mind what elements are not so good and how any new intervention you propose will complement any previous work. At the same time, it is also essential to be bold and to offer something of intellectual value.

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