Uncommon Solutions, Part 1

by Sarah Weber

Each project brings with it a unique set of conditions and its own identity to express through space. To be truly responsive and provide solutions that embody our clients’ identities, missions or brands, we have adopted an exploratory ethos that seeks new possibilities and uncommon solutions in materials and methods.

With the use of our model shop and advanced software, we have been able to hone in on design solutions that push past the realm of standard products and methods. Each exploration informs our process and inspires a future solution; whether it is as simple as staining wood in our shop or a more complex study of custom perforation patterns. Sometimes, our process leads to partnerships with fabricators, where our combined abilities bring exceptional concepts into reality.

This process was adopted early on in our workplace portfolio and has since expanded to other areas of practice. Back then, much of our custom solutions effort was put forth and tested in the development of branding signs for tech clients – this helped us to realize the potential of our resources and in-office talent. As other design problems arose, we continued to push past standard solutions to find unique – and at times cost saving – solutions to problems that elevated the design. This led to other developments, such as a rope screen in a meditation room whose patterning was studied an actualized in Grasshopper to provide just the right amount of transparency. Our process has since grown and allowed us to investigate more complex installations, such as a painted metal portal that celebrates the entry into a building, acoustically reflective panels for a high-school and custom perforated-graphic panels for an elementary school.

For an in-depth dive into how this process was used on the Airbnb CX Hub project, click here for Part 2!