Oculus - Fall 2011 - (Page 13)

first words LETTER FROM THE EDITOR n the midst of the current economic doldrums, with many in the industry (indeed the world) downsizing or merging – or even closing up shop – some hefty rethinking and, dare I say, soul-searching seem to be going on. This issue highlights the good news: a lot of that hard-nosed introspection pays off. Within these pages we examine some firms’ and architects’ interior motivations and internal strategies that are changing – and growing – their businesses. Designing for the 21st-century corporate workplace is a prime example. A generation ago, it was news when architecture firms established in-house interior design studios. Today, those studios are expanding their services (and profits) by including “workplace strategists” and “planning and strategy leaders” who allow firms to meet new challenges in a shifting business climate. They are positioned to help clients reevaluate their own corporate cultures, and cope with speed-of-light changes in technologies. When building projects are scarce, smaller and younger firms stay nimble and quick in a number of ways. Profiled here are three interiors projects that, though small in footprint, deliver big results – for both the clients and the architects. Also offered are case studies where entrepreneurship and research in business, materials, and the digital realm result in new business models and ventures. A peek at pop-ups illustrates how others are keeping their creative juices flowing with temporary projects that could lead to permanent clients. Not to be overlooked are the countless ways architects and firms “pay it forward” via socially-responsible pro bono work for non-profits that goes beyond charity. As desigNYC Executive Director Laetitia Wolff tells us, pro bono publico means “for the good of the people,” but that doesn’t always translate to “for free.” And Public Architecture’s John Peterson, AIA, points out that the non-profit world is “a lively and rich community to serve, not only for the satisfaction and impact of the work, but for the business opportunity.” Such work also inspires, encourages – and trains – the next generation of architects, engineers, designers, and public service/ sector advocates who learn to work together in ever-more meaningful ways. In our regular departments, “One Block Over” tools around the oncescraggly stretch of 11th Avenue’s Auto Alley, now being transformed into “an auto mall pleasant enough for a weekend stroll.” In “57-Year Watch,” we revisit SOM’s landmarked 1954 bank branch interior on Fifth Avenue which, at press time, is embroiled in a heated preservation debate. And we’re delighted that “In Print” returns to print with reviews of The Power of Pro Bono; Pocket Neighborhoods; Otto Neurath: The Language of the Global Polis; and Manhattan Projects. (“So Says...” will appear online in e-Oculus in October.) If what we showcase here is any indication, times may be tough, but indomitable spirits can – and will – prevail. I ©K&G Panic Graphics Inside Jobs Editor-as-canvas in living color at Publicolor’s 2010 Stir, Splatter + Roll benefit (painting not by editor). Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA Kristen@ArchNewsNow.com Interior Motives: Activity & Growth Fall 2011 Oculus 13 http://www.naylornetwork.com/arc-nxt

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Oculus - Fall 2011

First Words
A Word from the Editor
Center for Architecture
One Block Over
Opener: The New Office Space
Small Spaces, Transforming Results
Redesigned Practice
The Lure of Pop-ups
A Giant, Hardly Sleeping: Pro Bono Sector
In Print
57-Year Watch
Last Words
Index to Advertisers

Oculus - Fall 2011

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