Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Shepley Bulfinch has selected Susannah Cramer-Greenbaum of the University of Michigan as the firm’s 14th annual Summer Design Fellow. She was chosen for the ten-week Fellowship from a field of close to 100 candidates from the country’s top design schools.
Susannah received her Master’s degree in architecture earlier this month. Her graduate thesis, “Face Value,” explores the aesthetics for the mediation of post-industrial sites. She examined the re-use and re-purposing of former industrial sites in ways that preserve both our industrial legacy and our relationship with the natural environment.
Susannah completed ...[more]
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Shepley Bulfinch has been selected for honors in the Diversity Recognition Program of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for its work in fostering a diverse culture in its practice.
The firm, one of three to be so recognized, will be honored formally at the 2011 AIA National Convention in New Orleans next month for its effort, titled “Forging a Diverse Culture.”
“This is such a tremendous honor for everyone at Shepley,” said President Carole Wedge, FAIA, LEED AP. “It acknowledges the fulfillment of a vision and a commitment first made 25 years ...[more]
Thursday, 7 April 2011
Has 3D modeling superseded the physical sketch model as a design tool? No, and here’s why.
At an internal “Design Open Studio” a few weeks ago, the conversation focused on the continued relevance of physical sketch models as an exploratory tool in the design process. While the proliferation of 3D modeling programs may suggest that the days of building sketch models are over, the fact is that hands-on model making is still a vital tool for us to iteratively explore design ideas in three dimensions. Unlike even the most flexible modeling software, which is ...[more]
Thursday, 31 March 2011
Last July we held a large-scale affinity mapping charrette as a way of gathering data about people’s day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. The affinity map proved to be a very effective tool for aggregating the collective wisdom of the crowd.
Collective intelligence in the digital realm is an idea that’s gained more traction in the past couple of years. Think of the crowdsourcing used to build the Linux operating system or Google’s search algorithms. What makes affinity mapping unique is its use as an analog tool to document collective intelligence. Even better, it creates a physical representation of the group’s collective thinking: the Post-It diagram.
The process of creating that physical artifact ...[more]
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
As architects, we often take the seemingly banal decisions that we make for granted. However, many of the devices that we employ carry social and historical implications that have had a profound effect on the way humans function. Corridors were not an inevitability. Often overlooked in the grand sweep of architectural history, they have had an enormous impact on the way we live, work, and communicate.
Despite their ubiquity today, corridors did not exist until the late 17th century, and were only first widely used in the 19th century. Before their ...[more]
Friday, 18 February 2011
As a long-standing tradition Shepley Bulfinch reaches out to our clients in an annual mailing. For years, this took the form of a signed card or letter, accompanied in recent years by a commemorative poster. What started as a holiday gesture has become an important statement that exemplifies our core values.
Like every project our annual mailer starts with a written strategy: a design brief. This year we drew on our annual internal staff survey for inspiration. Within a section of the survey on differentiation a few key words and ...[more]
Friday, 28 January 2011
How do you match the resounding success of our 2010 Fellowship Poster, designed by Experimental Jetset? By inviting Michael Bierut of Pentagram to design the 2011 poster.
I’d like to share some insights about the design process, strategy, and design thinking behind the poster itself. Our design brief to Michael was essentially to match the quality of the candidates we’re seeking as this year’s Fellow: someone who combines a high-level and perhaps rare combination of extraordinary design talent, creativity, passion, intuition, appetite and ...[more]