8 Values : 1 Vision
8 VALUES >
1 | ARTISTRY
2 | COLLABORATION
3 | EXPLORATION
4 | INTEGRITY
5 | LEADERSHIP
6 | PASSION
7 | SUSTAINABILITY
8 | VIABILITY
1 VISION >
Inspire, enrich, and transform lives through great design.
3 | EXPLORATION
We define EXPLORATION as “seeking “kaizen” through self-evaluation and group educational activities to learn about new methodologies and construction strategies so that we can provide leading-edge design concepts to our clients.”
Today we explore EXPLORATION and how it is integrated into our culture and our work.
Marcel Van Garderen
Exploring different logo design options for Casita Brewing, which later became Cheluna.
Exploration is one of the great benefits of working in architecture, and it is evident in each project. Every project gets a unique layout and combination of materials, and it is important to explore a combination that best suits the personality of the space. In addition to the architecture, oftentimes WORKSHOP8 will help to brand a project by incorporating unique interior signage and logo design. Exploring creative ways to add that extra layer of personality to a project is some of our favorite work.
Utilizing Pinterest boards to explore preliminary design concepts.
Exploration is super important in the realm of interior design. The whole point of hiring a designer is so that your space looks uniquely your own, right? I spend a lot of time researching new materials and methods, as well as brainstorming new design concepts. I draw inspiration from many different sources including, but not limited to, nature, art, fashion, product design, architecture, and most importantly, the client’s narrative. I typically start a project with a mood board that incorporates both the clients ideas and my own and work from there. This informs the interior design and finish selection of the whole project and helps to keep the design on brand.
WORKSHOP8 hosting an open studio day for clients to explore where and how we work.
I have a very curious mind, and am always asking questions to the team that will allow me to better my practice as an architectural designer. We value exploration and professional development here at WORKSHOP8, and something that I love that we do each year is attend the Colorado AIA Conference. We go to hear leaders in the industry speak and to practice continuous education, but it is also a place for us to establish a more well-rounded relationship with our clients. Exploring the interests of our clients helps us to better understand their needs and desires, and therefore allows us to tailor our design more specifically to them. We allow our clients to come explore where we work, too!
WORKSHOP8 working with the residents of Lyons Colorado to explore site plan options.
When we design a space, it is important for us to explore it as if we are the end-users. This is especially important when we are designing spaces for senior adults because we have to consider continuous accessibility throughout the entire building – can they easily get from point A to B hassle-free? Exploring a space as if we are the ones who will be utilizing it on a day to day basis, and collecting feedback from those who will be living in our building, is essential in providing the best space plan possible.
Using color coordination to explore different ways a company can fit comfortably in their new space.
Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of WORKSHOP8! Ok… we may not be going where no man or woman has ever gone before, but there is a lot of pushing the boundaries here in our studio. Whether it’s unique design concepts, new materials/building systems, or advanced computer technology, we see merit in stepping out of our comfort zone and lending a portion of our time to exploring new methods if it has potential to result in a more efficient workflow.
Exploring different concepts for our latest mural in Boulder.
I have a love-hate relationship with exploration. Exploration takes time. Time equals money. Clients want to pay the lowest fee they can. Hence, if we want to explore design solutions it is often at the expense of profit. But it is the exploratory process of design that keeps us coming back to work every day. So, it is a Catch-22 we find ourselves in. I have, admittedly, a faulty memory, but I think I once read in The Effective Architect, a book by Wendell E. Rossman (1972), something to “the effective architect will most likely land on the best solution very early on in the design process.” I don’t know if the majority of our best ideas come early in the process or late, but I do agree that to be “effective” i.e. more profitable, we would have to do a lot less exploration. . . but where is the fun in that?
Exploring exterior siding options for Gateway South.
W8 operates in a very integral and collaborative design process; initial designs are generated, presented to the rest of the W8 crew, and the best options are moved forward. Sometimes this is just one option, sometimes it is multiple options. We have a saying in the office—which we typically follow—“don’t show the client a solution you cannot live with.” We don’t always follow this tenet however, because sometimes it is important to show the client our design process, and show them we have explored many options. So then, our saying goes “don’t show the client anything that we can’t live with or be able to talk the client out of!” Ultimately, any design solution is a collaborative, group effort of exploration.
WORKSHOP8 exploring options during a design critique.
Here at WORKSHOP8, it is rare that we restrain ourselves from exploring something we’ve never done before. During our desk crits, it is rare you’ll hear an outright “no” to a concept, because it’s often the think-outside-the-box ideas that require us to explore new solutions. Taking that chance ultimately results in designs that are more efficient, unique, innovative and groundbreaking.
Exploring & presenting multiple design options to our client for a commercial T.I. project.
Exploration can be a tricky business. Allowing yourself to travel down multiple paths at once is a great way to find unique solutions to difficult problems, and oftentimes an excellent way to quickly drive yourself crazy. However, another term for exploration we use is professional development, as we take the time to educate ourselves through research. At WORKSHOP, we encourage the act of getting purposefully lost from time to time to come to find the best design and material solutions.
Exploring new means of taking measurements and utilizing 3-D scanning technologies.
We strive to stay up to date on materials and products. We are frequently coordinating with product reps to stay educated on current and upcoming product lines. Oftentimes a rep will visit our office and provide us with a presentation to keep us in the loop. That being said, we take the time to continuously explore all the product options available for our clients, and that align with our clients’ budgets.
Exploring the different options for how to lay carpet tile in our new conference room.
Note: If you are running late to a meeting or an event, you better hope you don’t have an architect with you – I can’t take these guys anywhere! (Kidding, that was harsh, but let me explain why). When we head out of the office to either an event or a meeting, our designers are constantly stopping to observe the surrounding buildings. If they like the way a material looks, they’ll stop to take a photo and make note of it. If we come across a material that is fading or deteriorating, they’ll stop to make note of that too and add it to the “do not use” list. So when I’m looking straight for the door in front of me, they’re looking up, down, all around, observing and exploring our built environment to ensure only the best quality products on our projects.
Thanks for reading!
Here I am with my Westie, Stella, exploring a strategy to get her down the mountain when she decided she didn’t feel like walking anymore.
Maris DuBois | Studio Manager
28 July 2019