Boutique Design - July/August 2017 - 10
bOutIQue 18 uPDAte
CLASS OF 2008
theN: zeffdesign, principal and managing director, New York
NOW: greymatters, founder and global managing director, Singapore
WhAt JOb ChANGeS hAVe YOu MADe SINCe beING NAMeD
tO the b18, AND WhY?
In early 2010, I was recruited to come to Singapore by a design
firm that wanted to enter the hospitality sector. After two-and-ahalf years, I received my permanent residency-and resigned the
next day. A few days later, I opened my own shop, greymatters,
and now have almost 40 employees in five locations.
WhAt MAJOR ChANGeS hAVe YOu SeeN IN the DeSIGN
and rising talent in the industry. Things in my career have certainly been rocketing along
since then, with no looking back. Loving life, loving the career and most of all loving the
amazing projects that we get to develop all over the world.
hOW DID beCOMING PARt OF the b18 IMPACt YOuR CAReeR?
It was certainly great exposure for me, as well as other young
WhAt ARe YOu WORKING ON NOW?
Three JW Marriotts, a Four Seasons, two W Hotels & Resorts, and a Luxury Collection Resort
& Spa, along with several boutique hotels, resorts and celebrity-chef restaurants. Our work
profile is very eclectic, which keeps things interesting. Especially near and dear to my heart is
Freebird, a former house in Bangkok that we converted into a restaurant on its first floor and
one of our design studios on the second. The two functions co-exist and interact in a variety
of ways. Some examples: The studio's design materials library doubles as a private dining
room, and we often use the chef 's table (shown) to do presentations with clients.
HQ UPDATES FROM ASID, IIDA
The headquarters of two major associations serving interior design professionals have been making news. In June, the American Society of Interior
Designers (ASID) announced that its year-old home base in Washington,
D.C., had become the first space in the world to achieve platinum-level certification for both the WELL Building Standard and Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED). That same month, the International Interior
Design Association (IIDA) opened its new HQ in the historic Mies van der
Rohe tower on East Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago.
Here's some design drill-down on both these cutting-edge offices:
ASID: Its 8,500-sq.-ft. office space (left), designed by the local office of
Perkins+Will, incorporates a variety of human-centric design elements,
including: biophilic design strategies, which introduce natural elements into
a space to help reduce stress and increase air quality; sound masking
systems; and a circadian lighting system developed to expand efficiency by
helping to regulate the body's physiological processes. ASID says these design
boutiquedesign.com july + august 2017
foundations are coupled with policies and procedures that emphasize
employee health and productivity, such as sit/stand desks at workstations,
and a wellness room that provides mental breaks.
"We began this project with a clear goal of showcasing the many ways design
can positively affect the health and well-being of employees while boosting
resource efficiency," says Randy Fiser, ceo of ASID, which has about 25,000
members. "At ASID, we believe in research-based results in design and placed an
emphasis on third-party validation of the space. Becoming WELL Certified Platinum and LEED Certified Platinum is the product of revolutionary visioning
from the project designer Perkins+Will, commitment from our construction
partners and consultants, and complete buy-in from ASID staff."
IIDA: The association's new 17,000-sq.-ft. space (right) replaces a smaller
office in the Merchandise Mart. It was designed by Todd Heiser, design principal and studio design leader at the Washington, D.C., office of Gensler, and
is built on Herman Miller's innovative Living Office concept.
The space features light-filled offices and conference rooms and an array
of public areas that encourage interaction. A mosaic-tiled entryway opens to
a clean white canvas that serves as a backdrop to the office's expansive city
views. Pops of color are found in unexpected places, including a floor bearing
a floral design in some of the work spaces. The headquarters is also home to a
state-of-the-art IDEA Studio, which serves as a hub for social and educational
activities, both day and night.
"We have a deep understanding of how design impacts lives," says Cheryl
Durst, executive vice president and ceo of IIDA, a global alliance of more than
15,000 commercial interior design professionals from 58 countries. "Our new
headquarters celebrates the workplace and demonstrates how purpose, function, product and aesthetics come together to encourage productivity, health
and wellness through human-centered design."
C O U R T E S Y O F G R E Y M AT T E R S ( B A R R ) ; O W E N R AG G E T P H O T O G R A P H Y ( F R E E B I R D ) ; E R I C L A I G N E L ( A S I D H Q ) ; M I C H E L L E L I T V I N S T U D I O ( I I DA H Q )
FIeLD SINCe JOINING the b18?
Speed, speed, speed-project schedules are shorter than ever.
In addition, in most of our work throughout Asia, we are seeing
more and more instances where clients are demanding that
sourcing and specifications must be 100 percent domestic to the