Contract - January/February 2013 - (Page 18)

photo: bob CosCarelli editorial Celebrating a Designer of the Year and a Legend How does an architect or designer successfully lead a small practice through a changing economy while maintaining client relationships that result in multiple projects? Ask Joey Shimoda, who has done just that and has thrived thanks to focused client collaborations and intense creativity. Shimoda’s design work—and his ability to deliver a project in tandem with a client in a way that enriches the process—sets Shimoda apart from many designers. Therefore, I’m extremely pleased to name Shimoda as Contract’s 2013 Designer of the Year. Based in Los Angeles, Shimoda leads a 10-person office in the city’s Downtown Arts District. Situated in a loft building, his studio is much more like an artist’s atelier, and he lives in the building as well. His devotion to his practice is evident. Because he is passionate about what he does, you can see a soul in his work, which is infused with innovation and technical excellence. And Shimoda has developed trusted client affiliations that have served him very well. He is currently completing his fourth project for furniture company Steelcase, and his second at its Grand Rapids, Michigan headquarters. He began that relationship by designing its showroom in Santa Monica, California, and then the company’s Merchandise Mart, Chicago showroom. James Ludwig, vice president of global design at Steelcase, has collaborated closely with him on all of those projects. When interviewed for our Interiors Awards Breakfast, Ludwig said of Shimoda, “What I think is really important about the partnership is that it is really based on this notion of being comfortable pushing each other. Our comfort being pushed as a client and his firm’s comfort in being pushed—that’s a really important tension to capitalize on.” Shimoda has mastered projects that are extremely relevant to the 21st century economy, each with its own authentic solution. For a screenwriter and producer, Shimoda connected two existing buildings and renovated them for a sophisticated office and studio. For TOMS Shoes, known for its humanitarian efforts as well as its footwear, Shimoda worked with founder Blake Mycoskie on every step of the design process, including comprehensive strategic planning and programming, helping Mycoskie envision how his new Los Angeles warehouse and office could accommodate growth as the company rapidly expanded. 18 For Tishman Speyer, Shimoda redesigned the public spaces of a formerly mundane office building that is less than 40 years old, breathing new life into the structure. Why is that a big deal? There’s a multitude of similar office buildings across the country— built within most of our lifetimes—that already appear dated, worn, and inadequate. Like it or not, those buildings are a significant part of our urban and suburban fabric, and it is often more costly to tear them down and rebuild. Shimoda took this project on with vigor, and established an excellent precedent for how savvy designers can work with developers to reinvigorate existing office infrastructure. And Shimoda is highly respected as a person. Over the past year, when I asked other designers for their impressions of Shimoda and his work, there was an absolutely unanimous respect for him as a professional. That goes a long way in this industry. He’s on a trajectory to do more, to grow, to take on projects in other building types or perhaps product design. Looking to the future, I see great things for him. Shimoda was in architecture school at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the 1980s when Michael Graves had risen to national prominence after completing structures such as the Portland Building (1982) and Humana Building (1985). Shimoda tells me that, when he was beginning his career, Graves was an inspiration. Graves himself was the second recipient of the Designer of the Year Award in 1981, and I am extremely delighted to honor him this year with the Legend Award for his lifetime of outstanding work. Graves’s amazing career and influence on American design is without equal. I’m extremely pleased that our feature story on Graves (page 52) was authored by James S. Russell, FAIA, architecture critic for Bloomberg. Russell is an excellent writer, and he captured the importance of Graves as an American icon in architecture, interiors, products, and most recently in healthcare design. Enjoy our annual awards issue, and I wish everyone a fantastic 2013! Sincerely, John Czarnecki, editor in Chief january | february 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - January/February 2013

Contract - January/February 2013
Industry News
Product Briefs: Lighting
Product Focus: Bonaire and Buxom
Designer of the Year
Legend Award
34th annual interiors awards
Large Office
Small Office
Public Space
Adaptive Reuse
Designers Select: Tables and Desks
Ad Index
Public Interest Design
Perspective: Michael Graves on the Lost Art of Drawing

Contract - January/February 2013