When we were ready to expand our Visual Communications group earlier this year, we asked ourselves, “Where do we find the next generation of Environmental Graphic Designers?” — those individuals driven to explore the intersection of architectural space, public places, wayfinding and graphic design. Finding designers with this combination of interests and skills can be a challenge. We look for smart people with the capacity for critical design thinking, who also expand our collective skill set.
When Ryan Swedenborg and Margaret Drew joined the studio this year, group dynamics changed. Talents, interests and personalities interact in ways that compliment and inspire each other. Ryan and Margaret are graduates of graphic design programs at PSU and OSU, respectively. Their personalities add to the studio socially and creatively.
Working with young designers brings energy to the studio and stimulates the give-and-take relationship of learning and influence. As they learn more about designing for the built environment, they share with us their own passions in design and the next generation’s perspective.
Congratulations to Holst Architecture and the entire design team for their work on Bud Clark Commons, which was recognized by Residential Architect Magazine as the 2013 Project of the Year. Mayer/Reed designed the day center courtyard gate, communal outdoor spaces, building identity, and interior signs for the facility. Bud Clark Commons hosts a day center with counseling, a 90-bed men’s shelter and 130 low income studio apartments.
The jury evaluated more than 600 entries finally selecting 34 projects: one Project of the Year, 10 Grand awards, and 23 Merit awards. One juror praised the project stating, “This is an incredibly smart, respectful design. It has a real commitment to sustainability.” Another added, “As a piece of architecture in a city, it functions beautifully. It achieves a level of design a lot of higher-rent places don’t achieve.”
Communities take pride in the restoration of historic properties, which are the touchstones of civic pride and the building blocks of society.
The King Street Station, Seattle, Washington was built in 1906 for the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railways in the grand era of passenger travel by train. Today the station is home to Amtrak with adjacent connections to Sounder commuter rail, Link lightrail, city and regional bus.
Mayer/Reed created a signage program that respects the station’s historic designation and character while integrating new wayfinding for the users of a modern day transportation hub.
As we traveled by train between Portland and Seattle over the last six months for work we watched the restoration progress and recognized that this building holds more than historic significance. The station restoration is a grand gesture to the rebirth of rail transit in the Pacific Northwest corridor and Seattle/ Puget Sound region.
Do you remember what it was like to be a senior in high school and thinking, “What on earth am I going to do for a career?” I remember that question. I also remember the people who helped me find my way to the answer.
For the past six years I’ve had the privilege of helping steer students toward their answer through the ACE Mentor Program. Thanks to the 57 volunteer mentors from 22 local firms, 102 high school students are exploring their futures in architecture, construction and engineering. The students are getting a taste of professional life and career skills by meeting for 12 sessions at offices around Portland. They are learning about the daily life of these professionals and what’s involved in the design and construction of a building. As a practical application, the students have been working as a team to design their own building, which they presented to their peers and parents at ZIBA on May 21 and 23.
As ACE draws to a close for this year and the students make their final presentations, it will be rewarding to see the accomplishments of their teamwork in such a short amount of time. I’m thankful for the numerous mentors that invested in these lives and feel a deep satisfaction in knowing that the future is a little clearer for many of these students.