Shaw’s Design Is…

Six leading firms are winners in Shaw Contract Group’s fourth annual Design Is… Award competition. The collective work of these firms promotes innovative solutions that positively impact the people who inhabit a space and the functions that take place there. This year’s winners are:

Best of Show Winner: Hollandse Nieuwe and Ivon Ceelen create an environment designed to inspire for Hogeschool INHolland Rotterdam. The goal was to create an urban park surrounded by the dynamic character of a city with a rich infrastructure of buildings, squares,  offices and educational centres. The result is a multifunctional environment in which students study, discuss, socialize, develop and communicate.

Award of Distinction Winner: Shimoda Design Group creates a design experience for Steelcase’s Work Life Center. The result is a showroom that tells a story of innovation and uniqueness. By using a horizontal perspective within the space, Shimoda worked around the lack of vertical height necessary to create volume. The unique storefront design is a signature statement for the showroom.

Winner: Champigny Raymond Studio establishes effective creativity for Palm + Havas, a marketing firm in Montreal. The concept for the office redesign centers on the concept of a gallery, where an enclosed and isolated environment is turned it into a space for collaboration,  where coworkers can connect with a shared sense of energy.

Winner: VOA’s redesign of their Chicago office establishes an idea factory that encourages creativity and interaction. Transitioning from a traditional corner office/cubicle floor plan, the design team achieves a universal, egalitarian space with open workstations and large teaming areas for collaboration. Team spaces allow for models, vision boards,  art and collaboration to surround everyone working on a project.

Winner: Mozu’s
design for Concord Music Group’s basement space brings light to a dark space by installing a 100-foot LED feature wall,  custom-lit workstations and custom frosted glass office walls. The feeling of light brings energy to the staff and brightens this previously dark environment. This new, hip space features a dual-use main area that serves as reception, conference area and a café.

People’s Choice Winner: Huntsman Architectural Group’s
redesign of ServiceSource’s San Francisco call centre creates a collaborative and socialized work environment for service-performance management professionals. Huntsman was challenged to encourage collaboration opportunities for those who spend hours on the phone with customers. The design team’s innovative design avoided creating a cube farm that can discourage a team approach.

Voting for the People’s Choice Award was conducted at where 16 finalists were profiled. Over 300,000 votes were cast during June and July.

“Design improves the work of clients, while allowing those that inhabit these spaces to realize a greater purpose, productivity and meaning for their activities,” says John Stephens, vice-president of marketing for Shaw Contract Group. “The Design Is… Award seeks out champions of design excellence and celebrates these decision makers. These winning firms are leaders in the interior design industry that are redefining design and the way it impacts our businesses and our lives.”

Five distinguished members of the design community served as judges, who narrowed over 300 submissions from 14 countries, based on criteria which exemplified design solutions beyond aesthetic quality.  Judges reviewed the challenges, processes and results of each project and how each design team defined design. The judging process was moderated by Cheryl Durst, executive vice-president and CEO of the International Interior Design Association.

The judging panel included:
• Douglas Giesy, design director with Gensler
• Susan Gladden, senior consultant to Fanning Howey
• Suzen Heeley, director of design and construction at Hackensack University Medical Center
• Karen League, interior designer
• Joey Shimoda, founder of Shimoda Design Group

Winning firms will be recognized in an upcoming advertising campaign in leading industry publications and receive an original award sculpture. A $2,000 scholarship in the name of each winning firm will be awarded to the program or organization of the firm’s choosing. Shaw Contract Group will also promote its winners through promotional and marketing materials.

Entry forms for the 2010 Design Is… Award will be available in the fall at