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Interior design: Partnership and the design process

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Joe Rondinelli IIDAShepley Bulfinch celebrates World Interior Design Week

Although the design process is defined in phases that follow a linear path design itself isn’t. This is especially true in a project’s early stages. Design in its early stages requires exploration and we embrace the collaboration across the disciplines to achieve our design goals.

The art of creative problem solving has always been based around knowledge. It is this creativity born from the interior designers’ knowledge that informed the model of our internal practice of having the interior designer team integrated instead of in a stand-alone ...[more]

Building an experience

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Steve Erwin AIA, LEED APWe are at an interesting point in time when considering teaching and learning environments. On the one hand there is a fundamentalist movement in how we shape teaching and learning environments. There is a drive to get back to the basics. Bright cheerful and energized spaces that can adapt to a full spectrum of teaching (guiding) and learning (experiential discovery) are the new fundamentals for a successful space. Embedded technology and lecture based teaching walls are out the window. While this is happening, the biggest transformation in education since the ...[more]

Design notes: the 2014 Fellowship poster

Thursday, 13 February 2014

In 1997, Shepley Bulfinch established a ten-week Summer Design Fellowship, which is open to all students who are, at date of submission, enrolled in an accredited professional degree program in the field of architecture. As part of our promotion of the annual fellowship, posters are mailed to accredited architecture schools across North America.

For the past five years we have worked to elevate the quality and exposure of the Summer Design Fellowship, and the poster has been an instrumental part of that. Since 2010, we have posed compelling questions for applicants to answer and have commissioned posters by noted graphic designers including Michael Bierut of Pentagram; Experimental Jetset; Non-Format; ...[more]

Using graphics and storytelling to explain abstract concepts

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Brigham Bldg for FutureOne of an occasional series

Designers can easily read architectural drawings and imagine the spaces they represent, but for others who don’t spend their days looking at plans, it can be difficult to translate from two-dimensional lines to 3-D space.

Because the spatial and experiential implications of drawings may not be apparent to clients, their donors, and community members, storytelling plays an important role in explaining the impact of a design by conveying a sense of the experience. By using narrative storytelling, graphic rendering, and photography ...[more]

Fourth impression of a Japanese garden

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

In the spirit of reflection that comes at this time of year, we share this contemplation from Barak Yaryan, Shepley Bulfinch’s 2013 Howe Traveling Fellow, who spent four weeks this past summer journeying through Japan.

I walk into a Samurai house in Kanazawa. It is a low, timber framed house with a dominant roof behind brown mud walls topped with black ceramic tiles, smaller versions of the same tiles that protectively float over the paper walls of the house. Inside the foyer and a left a turn down the hallway is a small garden the size of a ceramic claw bathtub. It is a garden intended to be observed through an ...[more]

Strategic flexibility: phasing for uncertainty

Monday, 25 November 2013

One of an occasional series

Phased development can be a practical approach to project planning for a number of reasons, including financial, strategic, and operational flexibility.

Building a new facility in rational phases and allowing future occupants to fit out their own spaces is a strategy often used in the commercial development that institutions can adopt.

Many clients know they will need expanded facilities in the future, but cannot determine specific funding streams at planning outset with any certainty. Often, having additional space will open up new program opportunities such as research grants. Building generic core and shell space that can flex in the future allows institutions to react to the ebbs and ...[more]

Salem State University Library’s first student tour

Friday, 13 September 2013

Salem State's Admissions AmbassadorsIn August, Salem State’s Berry Library staff gave their student Admissions Ambassadors a tour of the new building. This is what they had to say:

The new library on Salem State campus is more of a head-turner than most might expect from an institution that harbors books and is used for studying. The admissions ambassadors group was brought on a special tour during our training; the excitement was shared throughout the group. Everything from the view to the seating and study rooms were nothing less than amazing. Unlike the temporary ...[more]

Design notes: the 2013 Fellowship poster

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

In a provocative blog post on beauty in architecture, 2012 Summer Design Fellow Amrita Raja commented upon the reluctance of many contemporary architects to discuss the role of beauty, relying instead on more purely rational justifications such as performance. It reminded me of the 2009 NY Times article about┬áDouglas Bowman who very publicly left his position as Google’s top visual designer because, in his words, “at Google design lived or died by data.”

Amrita’s post also reminded me of the scene in the documentary film Helvetica, where Michael Place from UK-based design firm Build talks candidly about how, for him, design is primarily ...[more]