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From the Community Blog

A Legacy of Design Innovation: Shepley Bulfinch at 150 and Beyond

Jun 04, 2024 by Luke Voiland, AIA, Principal and Executive Vice President for Practice Strategy at Shepley Bulfinch

Over 150 years of inspirational and collaborative leadership, the award-winning architecture practice of Shepley Bulfinch has influenced health and science design paradigms, from hospital campuses to teaching facilities. An education legacy with a specialization in library design has evolved to embrace a new commitment to housing and urban development for a regenerative and equitable future. Since its inception in 1874, the firm’s work has been at the forefront of major social movements and moments in Chicago, and across the country. Beginning with the design of the Marshall Field Wholesale store in 1874 to completing a Master Plan for the University ...

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The Future of Design Takes Shape at NeoCon 2024

May 29, 2024

The 55th edition of NeoCon, the world’s leading platform and voice for commercial interior design, will be held June 10-12. An estimated 50,000 attendees will convene at THE MART in Chicago to experience firsthand the latest trends and innovations influencing the future of shared spaces. From fostering deeper connections and prioritizing sustainability to learning from neuroscience, NeoCon exhibitors are pioneering what’s next in design with creative solutions for environments that are not only innovative and functional but also enriching and inclusive. Below are just a few impactful themes shaping today’s workplaces, hotels, restaurants, retail spaces, educational institutions, and healthcare facilities––alongside standout new ...

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Bringing Culture and Connection Back to the Workplace

May 22, 2024 by David Euscher, Vice President and Interiors Studio Leader at Corgan, Houston

It's one of the unspoken questions in the (ongoing? permanent? soon-to-be ­wrapped-up?) debate about in-person work versus remote work: How can the office be better than home? Or, for the non-believers - can the office be better than home? Home is, for many, the place of maximum comfort and convenience. There has never been - will never be, short of a Jetsons-level invention - an easier commute than the one between your bed and your desk setup. Your fridge has exactly the snacks you love and if someone burned an empty coffee pot again, you probably only have yourself to ...

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The Vital Role of Small Business Manufacturers in Furniture and for GSA

May 10, 2024 by Michelle Warren, Founder and President of Catalyst Consulting Group

I am an endless advocate for small business, always have been and always will be. It is within my core. The question I want to look at is why should small business manufacturers matter to the industry and to GSA? With experience working for small business manufacturers earlier in my career, I now dedicate my efforts to supporting them through Catalyst. Additionally, I take pride in being a woman-owned small business myself. Through this lens, let’s look at the importance of small business manufacturers to the furniture industry and GSA. It’s important to understand that Small Business Manufacturers play an ...

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From Concept to Reality: Making Eco-Design Work in the Built Environment

Apr 22, 2024 by Gaëlle Merlin, BCF Design & Development Manager at Aquafil Group

Can design be functional, responsible and beautiful? Some believe that you must compromise one in order to succeed with the other two. I believe that innovative, responsible, beautiful design is not just a dream or a potential for “one day,” but that there are tangible, practical steps designers can take to make their ideal creations a reality. 1. Choose Materials That are Better for People + Planet Materials matter. In fact, Urban Land Institute shares that 80% of a building’s environmental impact is based on its materials. By selecting materials that are more inclusive for all people and better for the planet, ...

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Bridging Communities and Cultures Through Design

Apr 08, 2024 by Raquel Sachser, Design Director, Co-Head of Office – M Moser Associates

In the heart of Manhattan's Lower East Side, you'll find a shining example of community support and empowerment: the Chinese American Planning Council (CPC) Community Center. Over the span of four years, a transformative project has been underway, weaving together the threads of culture, inclusivity and innovation into the very fabric of its design. Inspired by CPC's core principles of integration, inclusion, and empowerment, the project has blossomed into a space that not only serves but also embraces the diverse communities it represents. At the forefront of this project is a focus on holistic design as a catalyst for community engagement ...

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Innovation in Action: The Hybrid Library Model Unveiled

Jan 16, 2024 by Kelly Jahn, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Kelly Jahn Interior Architecture & Design

Public libraries play an essential role in developing healthy communities, serving as a third space institution that has taken on many functions beyond lending books. They connect people to information, services, and each other. Libraries form partnerships with other organizations to meet the social needs of the community. They offer early childhood literacy opportunities and reading programs for children, and are safe havens for teens, providing after-school homework help and positive social activities. They offer computer classes to help older adults learn technology skills. Libraries support small businesses, entrepreneurs, provide job and career assistance, access to video conferencing and maker ...

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Eaves-Learning: The Benefits of Working Together in Person

Oct 13, 2023 by Hanna Negami, Data Strategist, Perkins Eastman and Kristina Koch, Senior Design Strategist, Perkins Eastman

When we are babies, we soak up the world like a sponge, intently watching the people around us to learn how to move, behave, and communicate. Though we’ve grown up, observational learning does not stop after childhood. In fact, we continue this behavior throughout our lives, picking up different manners, social norms, and specialized skills from watching other people—in all kinds of contexts—whether at home, at the grocery store, on the bus, at a ballgame, or in the office. In common vernacular, listening in, observing, being a “fly on the wall” is often called eavesdropping. In the context of the workplace, ...

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Implementing Ontological Design Into Interior Commercial Spaces

Aug 28, 2023 by Katie Decker-Erickson, Principal, Color Works Design

One of the fundamental principles of ontological design in interior commercial spaces is recognizing the inherent relationship between space and human experience. It acknowledges that the physical environment we inhabit has a profound impact on our well-being, emotions, and behavior which then impacts how we interact with those around us and the ideas we create. Think of it as a contiguous feedback loop between humans and their environment. With this in mind, ontological design seeks to create spaces that align with the values and aspirations of the people who will be using them. It is about more than creating a beautiful ...

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Workspitality: A Harmonious Blend of Work and Hospitality in Architecture

Jul 26, 2023 by Samuele Sordi, Chief Architect, Pininfarina of America

In recent years, the nature of work has undergone a profound transformation. Traditional office spaces are evolving into dynamic environments that prioritize collaboration, innovation, and employee well-being. Simultaneously, the hospitality industry has redefined the concept of guest experiences, focusing on creating spaces that foster comfort, engagement, and personalized service. The convergence of these two domains has given rise to the concept of "workspitality" in the architecture space – a harmonious blend of work and hospitality. Workspitality represents a paradigm shift in the way we perceive and design workspaces. Workspitality embraces a people-centric approach, acknowledging that a positive work environment leads ...

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