Tag Archives: 2015 Design Awards

Microsoft Conference Centre named 2015 Design Is…Award People’s Choice Winner

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Shaw Contract Group conducted interviews with all firms of 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.

Marjorie Marshall from Metaphore Design spoke with us about the design approach for the Microsoft Conference Centre project.

Describe this project in one word.

Stimulation.

The Microsoft Conference Centre keywords required the environment to be a fun and casual place to exchange, learn and inspire innovation.

In what way does this project demonstrate how design can impact users in a space?

Although the Microsoft Conference Centre (serving visitors and employees alike) offers varied options for conventional meetings and training sessions-  the common areas are infused with enticing opportunities for spontaneous collaboration and quiet reflection. Whether the visitor is sipping a cappuccino at the bar, enjoying the view at the window seat, playing a lively game of XBox , or sharing a private exchange in the banquette nook – the process of  shared learning and creativity is reinforced by the stimulating environment.

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Design is a process. Explain your journey.

Of course every project begins with a thorough exploration of our clients’ company. By understanding the Microsoft management objectives and challenges for this project, we could direct our design solutions to re-enforce their corporate goals.  The Metaphore Design creative process ensures that there is a direct link between the project Design Concept and our clients Corporate Soul. Beginning with client -directed KEYWORDS, we select images relating to the essence of these words. The next layer is architectural images inspired by the keyword images. From there, we develop the Design Concept connecting to the layout and clients functional needs. At every stage, we connected back with the Microsoft project team to ensure we were on the same wavelength. This way, they felt empowered to be part of our process and were very enthusiastic at the presentation of our ideas for the Conference Centre…

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

This project was an exciting one for our design team. It had to be great! Microsoft believed in Metaphore Design to create a space that would encourage collaboration and innovation.  We were so pumped to meet the challenge. The success of the Microsoft project was truly due to our ability to work together as a united team. By fully utilizing our individual strengths, and collaborating as a united force, we were stronger than the sum of our parts, and we became a better team in the process.

I would say to young designers – don’t be afraid to co-operate FULLY in a team… You won’t lose anything, and everyone will gain.

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And the 2015 Design Is…Award Global Winners Are…

Firms Celebrated for Design Excellence Around the World

In its tenth year, the Shaw Contract Group Design Is…Award program honors architecture and design firms that are changing the very idea of what design is. Seven projects out of 477 entries from 30 countries were selected as winners. Through these winning projects, selected from commercial spaces from around the globe, we see how design is redefining our lives and improving it for the better.

“After ten years and more than 2,200 entries from across the world, the Design Is… Award continues to champion design excellence across global market segments,” says John Stephens, vice president of marketing for Shaw Contract Group. “The Design is… Award program celebrates beautiful spaces – but layered with the delivery of innovative solutions, impacting how individuals encounter, approach and ultimately use a space.”

And the 2015 Design Is…Award Global Winners are (drumroll please)…

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Firm: Nando’s | Johannesburg South Africa

Project: Central Kitchen | Johannesburg South Africa

The new campus comprises seven inter-connected buildings, designed to be a functional and highly-productive articulation of a sophisticated, forward-thinking, South African aesthetic.

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Firm: +Architects | Santiago Chile

Project: Showroom Multicarpet Rollux | Santiago Chile

Keeping client relationships at the forefront, the design of this space provides a solution to the functional and climatic requirements of the building. A large, central library and optimal control of natural light pair well with natural elements like steel, stone and concrete.

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Firm: EGBARQ | Santiago Chile

Project: School of Rock Santiago | Santiago Chile

As Chile’s first academic venue for North American music, this space called for rich design that’s young, fresh and exudes movement. Incorporating container sheets, brick, wicker and cement finishes, the firm created an informal atmosphere. Graphic elements add to the richness of the interior.

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Firm: Jackson Clements Burrows | Melbourne Australia

Project: Monash International Bachelor of Business City Campus | Melbourne Australia

The campus spans a full city block and provides a balance of sophistication and playfulness in a flexible environment, as dictated by the key principles of: connection, experience, diversity, journey and engagement. Intuitive circulation and cross-campus sightlines punctuate primary pathways.

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Firm: Forme UK | London UK

Project: Somerset House | London UK

Aiming for seamless transition and addressing the architectural openness, transparency and permeability of design, designers gave a deft touch to the historic structure through a process of non-intrusive rejuvenation.

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Firm: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Ewing Cole | New York NY

Project: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: West Harrison | Harrison NY

114,000 SF of modern, intuitive space is designed to maximize patient comfort and reduce anxiety, crafting a transformational patent experience. Material sections convey optimism, strength, understanding and hope. A soft, muted palette creates a calm, serene environment to help patients relax.

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Firm: Metaphore Design | Montreal Canada

Project: Showroom Microsoft | Montreal Canada

Washed in natural light, this 4,000 square-foot conference center features leading technology within its six meeting rooms and attached training facility. A neutral palette and intense color is used to brand and engage. Sleek organic shapes greet visitors, who have the option to relax or exchange conversation between sessions. The charcoal and white palette adds contrast throughout the space.

Twenty distinguished members of the design community evaluated each project based on its design solutions beyond aesthetic quality. The jurors reviewed the challenges, processes and results of each project and how each design team defined design.

The judging panel included:

  • Bradley Barnett, Guild 13
  • Ron Bateman, HOK
  • Brian Berry, Gensler
  • Stephanie Clements, THW Design
  • Sandra Cortner, Hirsch Bedner Associates
  • Tim L. Cowell, The Walt Disney Company
  • Victor Feingold, Metrobuilding
  • Cynthia Ann Haight, ThenDesign Architecture
  • Joan Insel, Callison
  • Shane Kelly, tp bennett
  • Jonathan Kim, Steven Leach & Associates Inc.
  • Jiayi Li, Shanghai Architectural Decoration and Landscape Design Research Institute
  • Geraldine Maher, Jackson Architecture
  • Karen Miller, NBBJ
  • Bill Puetz, Huntsman Architectural Group
  • Keith Rushbrook, II BY IV Design
  • Rob Toner, Cox Enterprises Inc.
  • Erica Wickes, 34F Design Inc.
  • Elisa Worden, Gresham, Smith and Partners
  • Charles Young, Ayers Saint Gross Architects

Winning firms will be recognized in an upcoming advertising campaign in leading industry publications and receive an original award sculpture. A $2,000 charitable donation in the name of each winning firm will be awarded to the program or organization of the firm’s choosing. Shaw Contract Group will also promote its winners through promotional and marketing materials.

View the 2015 Design Is…Award Global Winners video to see the best and brightest design minds breathe life into their breathtaking design visions.

Firms can currently enter the 2016 Design Is…Award competition at the Shaw Contract Group site.

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Louis Dreyfus a 2015 Design Is…Award Market Winner

Shaw Contract Group conducted interviews with all firms representing Market-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, Andy Cheyne addresses the design process for Louis Dreyfus in Calgary Canada. 

Describe this project in one word. Responsive.

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

In this case, the mantra “choice equals personal effectiveness” resonated during the programming process and in the resulting design. By providing access to shared-public, shared-private or quiet-private space the space becomes responsive to the needs of its users.

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Design is a process. Explain your journey.

By beginning the project with getting to know our client Louis Dreyfus, we talked through their culture, their challenges and their vision, and were able to unveil the need for open collaboration, technology choices, and a bright interactive space. The result was a seamless open floorplan providing quiet areas with non-built components like furniture, drapery and ceiling elements that softly delineate the zones. Adjacent to the central staff café is a technology hub, with optimal video-conferencing collaboration. Against a neutral palette, cobalt blues and lemon yellows were used to brand and engage the employees, a further response to the need for a bright and interactive environment.

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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?

For us, design is more than how a workplace looks. We believe good design has the power to transform how that workplace functions. By working with the team at Louis Dreyfus and learning about their organization’s goals, we were able to create an award winning space responsive to their needs.

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Large Financial Institution a 2015 Design Is…Award Market Winner

Shaw Contract Group conducted interviews with all firms representing Market-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.

Kelly Capp spoke with us about this energetic design journey.

Describe this project in one word. Energetic.

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How does this project demonstrate how design can impact users in a space?The project reflects the client’s brand and increases productivity and performance through spatial relationships and collaborative spaces, and also provides amenities and an aesthetically outstanding environment to help with employee retention and recruiting.

Design is a process. Explain your journey. We spend a large amount of time with the client during the programming phase to really get to know them well and ensure that their national standards would function well for the Los Angeles practice and therefore we were able to adjust some of these standards to better serve the LA Office.

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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?  Trust your initial feeling and collaborate with others to make your vision reality and see it built like you envisioned.

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Mesa Community College a 2015 Design Is…Award Market Winner

Shaw Contract Group conducted interviews with all firms representing Market-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, Maria Salenger addresses the design process for Mesa Community College in Mesa, AZ.

Describe this project in one word. Rhythmic.

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How does this project demonstrate how design can impact users in a space?The architecture is spacious and energetic to give artists a flexible and inspiring place to be creative collaboratively.

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Design is a process. Explain your journey.  Collecting the unique aspirations and needs of the college, we developed the project’s quantitative and qualitative aspects closely with our consultant team and user group. The design process of performing arts space is an enlightening experience no matter how many projects you have already completed.

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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? Listen to and trust in the vision of your client.

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