Tag Archives: Interior Design

Shaw Contract Group Designer Gives Insight to Students at IIDA Alabama Chapter’s Student Day

Michael Talbot, Shaw Contract Group Designer, was recently a presenter at IIDA Alabama Chapter’s 2013 Student Day. Held at the University of Alabama, Michael participated in an interactive roundtable discussion with interior design students, sharing his personal career selection story and a Shaw Contract Group overview. After the event, we thought it would be fun to engage him in a quick Q&A that we could share with a broader audience:

Q: You were in the same shoes as these students not too long ago, do you feel like you’ve come full circle?
Michael: It definitely feels like I’ve come full circle. To be able to mentor the next generation of designers the way I was mentored years before at the same program was so rewarding. For me, it is the experience every designer dreams of having.

Q: When you were a student – how did you envision your future?
Michael: Hmmm… that’s tough! Looking back, I really did not know what I wanted. I knew I needed fulfillment in a creative environment that blended the use of technology as well. I think that’s what draws so many people to design – the ability to work in a career that mixes these opposing forces.

The way Practical Michael and the way Dreamer Michael envisioned the future are very different. One wanted to thrive in a large commercial design firm designing beautifully tailored and sophisticated spaces. The other part of me longed to be an artist, throwing caution to the wind, letting my imagination run wild. Obviously, these are two vastly different futures! All in all, it comes down to finding the right balance between structure and artistic freedom that is most fulfilling to you. Product design at Shaw Contract Group happens to be my perfect balance…

 Q: What advice do you have for design students who want to position themselves for a viable career path in their chosen field?
Michael: I want design students to realize is that design is their golden ticket! You can do a number of things with this degree. Try something, if you don’t love it, try something else. Before you know it, you will be in your dream job. This is your life, your path. It almost certainly will not turn out as you plan, but that is what is so great about it. Enjoy the adventure; embrace it, love it, mold it into what you want it to be.

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Todd Bracher with Advice for Future Design School Graduates

As part of a survey conducted by Interior Design, Todd Bracher is one of four recent alumni interviewed about the industry outlook for designers graduating in 2013 . A graduate of Pratt Institute, Todd Bracher, principal of Todd Bracher Studio LLC and Shaw Contract Group collaborator on our collection The Music Project, is one of 40 alumni and faculty members profiled in a feature in the school’s Prattfolio magazine titled “40 Under 40.” Bracher was also recently featured in a solo show, “The Essence of Things,” in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Read more about Todd’s outlook for the future and how design has changed since the start of his career:

Interior Design: How has the design field changed for grads since you began your career?
Todd Bracher: Even just 16 years or so ago when I graduated, design was still a sort of undiscovered industry. Design was not seen in the U.S. as a driver for business, so the training of a designer was much more about problem solving and less about how we can impact business via marketing and innovation. At the same time, I do feel the burden is heavier on a young designer today. They need to know more as the expectations are more than when I was a recent grad. One thing is for sure: Great design, intellect and logic are still the highest priorities.

ID: How do you think “design” is viewed in popular culture today; is it more significant in daily life than it was 10 or 20 years ago? If so, how?
TB: Design has grown considerably more important in today’s popular culture. For certain the success of Apple’s iPhone has opened the door for consumers to what high-level design can be and given them the desire for such quality in other aspects of life.

ID: What is the one thing you know now that you wish you’d known when you were starting your career?
TB: Understand that design is a business. You are there to help lead businesses and to guide them down new avenues to success. It is not easy, but if you are smart enough and work hard enough you can achieve amazing things. You are also only as good as your collaborator, so pick strong ones that believe in you as you do them.

Read more from Todd’s interview with Interior Design here.

Todd Bracher in collaboration with Shaw Contract Group in The Music Project collection. Seen here discussing the collection with creative director, Reesie Duncan


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New York City Lighting up with Design

Its a busy week in New York City with both the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and Interior Design magazine’s 2012 Best of Year Award.

These events have historically coincided, but this year’s tree may spark special interest among the environmentally-minded design community because it may be the most sustainable yet. Back in 2007, Rockefeller Center transitioned to a sustainable holiday season when they installed a solar power station to power the lights of the tree. The solar panels, which power the 45,000 multi-colored LED Christmas lights, also help offset Rockefeller Center’s spiked power usage during the holiday season. Additionally, in the past, trees have been harvested from further away places like Colorado, but this year’s 80-foot-tall Spruce tree came from nearby New Jersey. This cut down on travel costs and energy – making the 2012 tree the greenest yet!

And while the tree will be lighting up Rockefeller Center, the architect and design community will be gathering in celebration tonight during the 2012 Best of Year Award. We hope to be raising a glass for Shaw Contract Group’s Dye Lab collection, a finalist in the carpet/modular category.

Images: Huffington Post


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Designers Pick Their Favorite New York City Design Hot Spots

There are so many wonderful design and architectural elements found in The Big Apple. Interior Design rounded up many of the design industry’s finest and asked them what locations in New York City inspire them the most. Here are a few of their favorites:

The New York Public Library


“During my first trip to the city, I was literally deposited in the library by a friend who couldn’t take time away from work. My first impression was amazement at the beauty and grand scale of the interiors, the ornamentation, and rich materials. Wandering into the reading room, the sheer size, lighting, chandeliers, green lamps, and contemplative quiet made me realize, ‘Oh my God! I am really in New York.'”

-EJ Lee, principal, Gensler



Northwest Corner Building, Columbia University


“Wonderful in its context, the building both fits in and stands out perfectly. It took an almost impossible site condition-built over a number of long span underground spaces, it is actually a huge bridge-and turned it into wonderful architecture.”

-Joan Blumenfeld, interior design director, Perkins + Will, New York




Lenox Lounge


“This unique Art Deco space truly transported me to that singular time in history when design and music influenced each other. The measured combination of inventive design, bold detailing, and diverse mixture of materials excites the senses, making the eye wander from the glass planes of the lighting fixtures to the etched designs on the glass doors, the zebra wall treatment, the patterned tiled floor, the shape of the seating booths, the reflection of colors on the mirrors, and on.”

-Belen Moneo, principal, Moneo Brock Studio

Photos: Interior Design 

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