Tag Archives: Washington DC

2014 Market Winner: The Schusterman Foundation by Millar+Associates

As the winners of the 2014 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 40 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.

Olivia Millar, IIDA, LEED AP – Principal, spoke with us about inspiration from new generations, incorporating nature, and engaging youth.

Describe this project in one word.
Crisp

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How does this project demonstrate the power of design to impact users in a space?
The design of this space impacts, and is inspired by, the way younger generations work. The design supports more casual environments as well as more traditional meeting styles. In addition the daylight penetration and ergonomic height adjustable desks support health lifestyles. Lastly, the space is very flexible which allows the occupants to customize it to suit their changing needs.

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Design is a process. Explain your journey.
Our process always begins by learning the client’s mission and vision, how they work, and what their goals are for the project. In this case we learnt that TSF’s mission is to engage youth. That inspired the design functionally and aesthetically. The symbolism they employed in many campaigns included the Tree of Life. This, combined with the tree tops outside the space, drove the design to focus on the trees, incorporate wood, and use the bright colors found in nature.

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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?
While individual workspaces are shrinking, amenity spaces are increasing and becoming more diverse. The youngest members of the workforce want casual, comfortable, and collaborative spaces.

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2013 Market Winner: Advisory Board Company by SmithGroupJJR

As the winners of the 2013 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 48 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.

We talked with Sven Shockey, Principal, about the collaborative impact, employee morale and his first steps to becoming an architect.

How did you find your love for design? Is there anyone who played a major role in that?
One of the first pieces of architecture that I appreciated was my elementary school. All the exterior walls were glass block which gave a tremendous glow to the classroom. In addition, the walls varied in height. I enjoyed the building every day and I think it contributed to my wanting to become an architect.

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Tell me about your client.
We have a wonderful client for this project. They are attuned to what design can do for them and they continually challenge us to rethink design problems.

Do you have any stories you want to share about project?
One of the most rewarding moments of the project was when the client moved into the space and we found comments written by their employees about the space on the whiteboards that we designed. One comments was “I feel like I have to work harder to deserve this place.”

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How has the new space improved collaboration?
The plan is organized into neighborhoods, each one with a full height, 10’ long whiteboard. Each time I visit the space, the whiteboards are filled with work which varies by each group and gives each neighborhood character. The boards make the collaboration palpable.

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