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.
Tim Gajewski, AIA . IIDA . LEED®AP, Design Director at Wolcott, talked with us about the idea of a “blank canvas,” making a statement, and sticking to your guns.
Describe this project in one word.
How does this project demonstrate the power of design to impact users in a space?
Our design for the project supported the idea of a “blank canvas,” allowing our client’s teams to project their individual personalities, culture, and history of experiences directly into the space, without being locked into any single ethos. Understanding that a blank canvas requires that the space can be wiped and changed frequently, the majority of the space features an open plan, and any workstations and semi-private offices are composed of completely demountable wall and furniture systems. This flexibility provides the catalyst and ultimate opportunity for self-reflection and regeneration.
Design is a process. Explain your journey.
The key is identifying a strong Design Statement. It will dictate every decision regarding development elevations, details, or the floor pattern. In the case of X Prize, the spaceship was an iconic piece in their history, their first prize. In displaying the spaceship, the carpet in the seating pit was selected to enhance the effect of the ship taking off into space. This is one small example of our design process.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?
The most important lesson learned from this project is to listen to your client and design for their vision. They may not always be be able to articulate the vision in your terminology. Other consultants may have agendas that may not promote the client’s vision. So the challenge is to listen, decipher, create, and stick to your guns during construction.