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Answered: Why Hire a Lighting Designer

Sep 08, 2021 by Addie Smith, Senior Lighting Designer, and Andi Walter, Project Designer, AE Design

When it comes to design, there are countless choices that interior designers, architects, and owners must make. Choosing whether to include a lighting specialist on the project team can make or break a project's outcome. Lighting designers offer more than layouts, calculations, and cutsheets – they are collaborative team members first and foremost, bringing an eye for detail and a wealth of technical knowledge. We’re here to explain why a lighting designer is necessary, as everyone can agree that professional lighting expertise is essential for a cohesive design. Lighting designers care about people--from their functional needs to their spatial ...

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Guest blog

Beyond Outdoor Dining: A New Approach to Public Space

Aug 26, 2021 by Diane Hang Nguyen, Director, Rockwell Group, and Project Manager, DineOut NYC

When the COVID-19 pandemic became a reality in 2020, Rockwell Group began to think about ways for New York City restaurants to adjust their service and design. The toll on the industry, both economically and from a health perspective, was immense. Given our longstanding ties to the restaurant and hospitality community, we felt a responsibility and a desire to think about creative solutions. How could we help get restaurants back on their feet and restore jobs, while also allowing New Yorkers to come together safely to share a meal—a ritual intrinsic to the beating heart of the city? The answer ...

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Guest blog

The Future of Design: Transporting Interiors to Virtual Spaces

Jul 26, 2021 by Beat Huesler, Oppenheim Architecture Director of European Operations

As architects and designers, I believe that we have mastered the power to make use of our creative skills in extraordinary ways. From hours of designing to years of learning, we possess the ability to create magical moments across interior and exterior spaces. It wasn’t until a few months ago, under the guise of a “zoomed” world during a global pandemic, that I truly began to think one step further — to the capabilities of virtual space.Employing an architectural firm to design a virtual space is quite unheard of in the gallery world (or really, most worlds for that matter.) ...

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Guest blog

Why Mindful Design Matters

Jun 28, 2021 by Giulio Bonazzi, Chairman & CEO, Aquafil Group

Choosing sustainable practices and materials to create beautiful spaces is one of the most pivotal and impactful design challenges of our time. According to architect Lance Hosey, FAIA, LEED Fellow, studies show that designers and architects can influence up to 90 percent of a project’s eventual impact based on early design decisions. Can we challenge ourselves to create structures that balance beauty, functionality, wellness and care for our environment? We believe we can. For too long, many have held on to outdated notions that sustainable materials are too expensive or that it is too time-consuming to do the research. Other considerations ...

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Guest blog

Designing for a Digital World (or a space-time journey!)

May 26, 2021 by Marcelo Pontes, Head of Architecture, CACTUS

From time to time, my mother asks me, “what do you do for work?” I've been practicing both architecture and design for a long time, and it's still curious to me how she continuously asks me this question. I think this has a lot to do with the hybrid approach I’ve taken on projects in this ‘digital revolution'' that we are all experiencing and navigating today.CACTUS, Oath PediatricsI prefer to see the so-called “digital world” as a twin to the analog world. Like the unique structure of DNA, two lines intertwined, similar yet different, the two live side by ...

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Guest blog

“Office Sweet Office”: How a New Era of Workplace Amenities Is Paving the Way to Wellness, Collaboration, and Community

Apr 29, 2021 by Robert Finger, Founding Partner, Fogarty Finger

What does a rustic, century-old cottage on the Cape that has been in my family for four generations have in common with my professional life, which revolves around the design of urban office space? Though they may seem like antithetical places, the cottage is where I find inspiration and a deep connection with nature that in turn informs my urban work.The cottage—without air conditioning or heating save for a fireplace—is a primitive setting, but it’s also the most healing place I know. The question is how can we create healing environments in the urban context, and particularly in the modern ...

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Guest blog

How COVID-19 Can Change the Conversation about Sustainability

Apr 22, 2021 by Katie Weeks, LEED Green Associate Managing Director, Communications and Development, Institute for Market Transformation

A few weeks ago on an early March morning, I logged on to my laptop and saw something I never thought I’d see: There, front and center on the New York Times homepage, was an animation of building ventilation. The focus? “Why Opening Windows Is a Key to Reopening Schools.” I did a double take. Most often, discussions about building science are buried in a design magazine’s technology or products column or discussed under the context of LEED certification, perhaps. Yet here it was, on a major paper’s homepage, showcasing a larger opportunity for interiors professionals.The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has ...

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Guest blog

Return of the Workplace

Mar 23, 2021 by Joey N. Shimoda FAIA, FIIDA, Chief Creative Officer, Shimoda Design Group

I am old enough, and geeky enough, to know that the third episode of the Star Wars trilogy, the “Return of the Jedi'' was originally named the “Revenge of the Jedi.” It was changed right before the release because the fan culture pointed out that Jedi’s do not get revenge. This arrangement of words popped into my head while my studio was discussing / debating the “Return to the Workplace.” Undoubtedly, the tremendous emotional and physical strain that the world has experienced will exact its revenge on the workplace of the future.No one has a clear picture of ...

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Guest blog

Learning and Leading in a Blended Workplace

Nov 24, 2020 by TOM POWERS, AIA, NCARB, IIDA

It wasn’t too long ago that we believed that design teams had to actually sit next to each other in the same room to be able to do their work. Our firm even had a few offices that would rearrange the studio to make sure that all teammates were within arm’s length of each other—all based on the ebb and flow of project work. Boy, have times changed. I am hesitant to imply that anything good has come out of our journey through the pandemic, but I do wonder if, in the end, the forced remote work that happened in ...

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Guest blog

When the World is Turned Upside Down, Embrace the Opportunity to Imagine a Different Kind of Workplace

Sep 09, 2020 by Dag Folger and Peter Knutson

We’ve spent the better part of the past six months in conversation—conversations to hear and learn, not to tell, conversations with our clients, conversations with academics, conversations with creatives, conversations with conversationalists. You name it, we’ve conversed with it! Over that time we’ve seen an evolution of concern from “HOW can we work this way?” to “WILL we ever need to work all together again?” All this set against a growing media narrative around the success of work-from-home. Sure, there are the typical criticisms about Zoom glitches, but with the big tech companies leading the way—Shopify boldly stating the era of ...

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