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Sparkle+Chime – making magic

Monday, 24 November 2014

What does it take to make magic in a park?

This fall Shepley created Sparkle+Chime, an art installation made up of over 3600 small mirrors and discs suspended from the trees to create dancing patterns of light and delicate chiming. The making of Sparkle+Chime required an all-out office effort led by mostly junior staff, and drew on the diverse experience – from rock climbing to jewelry making – of the core production team. Inspired by a compelling conceptual design from competition winner Jean Kim, we took up the challenge to make ...[more]

Making a MakerSpace

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

MakerSpaceThe term gets tossed around like confetti at a parade, but what are MakerSpaces and what makes them tick?

Libraries have long been the intellectual hub of their campus or community. For the past decade, we’ve witnessed the transformation of libraries from fortresses of knowledge to information gateways.

MakerSpaces merge education and community, demand fluency with evolving technologies, foster a more active learning process and directly reflect the changing norms of the educational environment.

What your community of users needs is unique to your institution. How do you make the vision of a MakerSpace a reality?

Start by establishing a set of guiding principles.

These ...[more]

Rural Studio’s enduring lessons

Monday, 11 August 2014

It’s not all about you.

That was the first lesson I learned in architecture school. Kicking off my architectural education at Auburn with the Rural Studio showed me the power of selfless design and taught me other invaluable life and professional lessons. For more than 20 years, the Rural Studio program has given architecture students like me a hands-on education, designing and building homes and community structures for underserved communities in rural Alabama.

Looking back, I can define my experience in five simple lessons:

It’s about your client. A lot of people go through school, believing that they are working on ‘their’ projects. Presentations and critiques can get very personal, with a lot ...[more]

Think laterally: entrepreneurship and liberal arts education

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Steve Erwin AIA, LEED API spent time a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh at SCUP 49, the national conference of the Society for College and University Planning. Many of the discussions circled around ideation and collaboration.

In one of the more thought-provoking sessions I attended, the focus was on how a small liberal arts school was using “entrepreneurial” processes to put a framework around collaborative and critical problem solving. It was striking to see an approach developed by and associated with business education used as a productive experiential framework for learning rather than the more predictable emphasis ...[more]

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]