Thursday, December 31, 2015

Shaw Contract Group honors Design Is... Award Winners

Shaw Contract Group honors Design Is… Award Winners Across Industry Segments

image caption:   The design of the Colorado Army National Guard Readiness Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado commemorates servicemen of the US military with the 2-story Iron Mike image applied to perforated acoustic metal panels. The Shaw Contract Group Absorbed, Visible, and Colour Plank tiles were used throughout the project.  

Design can change the world. As a member of the architecture and design community, you are the visionary—the creative problem solver who is constantly redefining the way we work, play, and organize our lives. Shaw Contract Group's Design Is…Award recognizes your amazing work, and it celebrates the design story behind each and every project. 
Submitted by the Senger Design Group, LLC, The Colorado Army National Guard Readiness Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, posed a unique design challenge.    The project was a unique collaboration between US Air Force Academy (UASFA) and Colorado Army Readiness National Guard (COARNG) on USAFA property. The 23-acre site supports one Infantry Headquarters company and one Infantry company with a combined manning strength of 344. The interior design objective was to emphasize the international design aesthetic featuring light and taught plane surfaces, no ornamentation, open interior spaces, and visual weightlessness with cantilever construction utilizing glass, steel and concrete.
Not only did the project become LEED Platinum certified by the USGBC, it also garnered a 2015 Design Award in the Government sector.  Shaw Contract Group products are utilized throughout the installation and contributed to the LEED Certification. 

The Shaw Contract Group Design Is... Award program is open to all professional interior design firms, architecture firms, and end users within an industry segment across geographic regions. In 2015, 477 entries in 30 countries were submitted.   Winners enjoy the opportunity to be featured in Shaw Contract Group marketing materials, media outreach, as well as an advertising campaign in leading Architect & Design (A&D) publications. Each winning firm will receive a Design Is…Award to commend the achievement. Winners enjoy the opportunity leave a design legacy by allocating a donation to the charity of their choice.  

To learn more about this project and how you can enter your own projects in the 2016 Design Is Award, visit

Allison Mair
2015-16 Government Forum Rep
IIDA Georgia

Spectrum's 10 Most Accessed Articles of 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, IIDA Georgia wishes its members a safe and happy holiday season. To help you reflect on the past year, IIDA is providing the readers of Spectrum a look at the 10 most accessed articles from the year. Check it out here:

Monday, December 21, 2015

Workplace Wellness

Space - Environment - Health

Great insight into where a holistic approach to healthy work place design is taking us!

IIDA Announces Design Competitions

43rd Annual Interior Design Competition        

24th Annual Will Ching Design Competition

Find out more here:

How to Evaluate Company Culture

Drivers, Core Values and Culture

Is a potential employer's company culture the right fit for you?  Ask yourself a few questions...

How to Create a Legible Workplace

How to Create a Legible Workplace

Take a look at this people-centered approach to designing work spaces that work!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

10 Tips for Completing the NCIDQ Practicum Faster!

Efficiency is key - great post about working faster without sacrificing accuracy!

What Does Beautiful Thinking Mean?

Interface explores what beautiful thinking means...

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Behavioral Health Design

The Institute for Patient-Centered Design has published this year's winner of their 4th annual design competition - patient room design for a mental health facility.  Check out the details and image gallery:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

52 Outstanding Outdoor Furnishings


Interior Design Magazine has posted a great slideshow of dreamy outdoor furnishings - just released. See it here:

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Knowledge Repository

With over 4000 of our closest colleagues and peers attending the Healthcare Design Conference in DC right now, there’s no better time to talk about advances made in healthcare design through research and shared knowledge.  

The Center for Health Design leads this charge and hosts a Knowledge Repository on their website.  Among other relevant resources, you can find case studies and interviews that focus on design, environmental conditions, outcomes or general research. The repository is also searchable by key word, making it very easy to find what’s needed.

When implementing an Evidenced Based Design process, it’s important to rely on a wide base of informational sources.  It’s important to utilize credible evidence and understand how and where to find it, because design recommendations based on evidence are always more likely to be accepted.

Though the body of knowledge found within the Repository is vast, it’s vital to remember that this is also a constantly evolving bank of information.  When collecting data, be thorough and take into account the research date.  Often, it’s important to find information that is most current and cutting edge.  The Repository allows for search by date, if this is the case.

Basing a design strategy on a strong body of evidence is important.  Whether you’re guiding flooring selection for a small space or building a business case for a new hospital’s top design strategy, the Knowledge Repository is an unrestricted wealth of information.

Forums Director, IIDA Georgia

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Milliken: Looking Back to Move Forward with More Than a Century of Environmental Stewardship

Milliken: Looking Back to Move Forward with More Than a

Century of Environmental Stewardship

Arcadia, a plank modular carpet collection from Milliken, simultaneously serves as a visual representation of nature and embodies company environmental initiatives. Four biophilic designs capture the tone, movement, and color palette of nature’s unique vistas. The solution-dyed nylon collection is composed of 32 percent total recycled content and includes PVC-free cushion backing to extend its first life and provide superior comfort underfoot.

For more than a century, Milliken has embraced a holistic approach to sustainability, reflected throughout the company’s long-standing environmental policies and flooring collections. As the company celebrates an incredible milestone¾it’s 150th anniversary¾they’re looking back to move further forward in their journey of sustainability.

More than a century of environmental stewardship
In 1900, Milliken set forth its very first recycling program, 70 years before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was established, and it began investing in renewable energy in 1912. By 1960, Milliken had formal policies in place to protect natural resources. Soon after entering the floor covering industry, Milliken introduced the first PVC-free carpet tile in North America in 1986.
In 2002, the Milliken Floor Covering Division committed to a “Zero Waste to Landfill Pledge,” and it’s been achieved every year since. Part of the pledge, the Milliken Landfill Diversion Program keeps old carpet out of landfills by focusing on and facilitating the local reuse of well-maintained carpet.

Today, the Milliken family of companies is a carbon-negative manufacturer certified by the Leonardo Academy Cleaner and Greener® Program, and Milliken floor covering is manufactured using 46 percent renewable energy¾harvesting more than 80 percent of methane emitted from the LaGrange, Georgia landfill.

Environmentally friendly flooring
Milliken floor covering collections are tangible representations of Milliken’s commitment to sustainability. The company’s carpet is composed of between two and 80 percent recycled content, and 100 percent of Milliken PVC-free broadloom and modular carpets have been assessed for environmental and human health impacts. Third-party-verified environmental certifications and labels confirm their claims, including NSF 140, environmental product declarations, and Declare transparency labels.

Moving forward, Milliken is introducing a public framework for the annual measurement and report of Milliken’s advancements concerning environmental policies and stewardship. Milliken will release the company’s inaugural Floor Covering Division Sustainability Report this fall, based on GRI reporting requirements.  

The report focuses on five critical categories: chemical and human health impacts, recycled content and recyclability, supply chain impacts of products, employer of choice, and lofty resource consumption goals to achieve by 2020. It also lends an additional LEED version 4 point for Milliken flooring solutions, fulfilling LEED V.4 MRc3.
“Environmental stewardship and continued innovation are two concepts that have been ingrained in Milliken’s culture for more than 11 decades,” shared Philip Ivey, sustainability leader for the global Milliken floor covering division. “Advancing our long-standing commitment drives our sustainability initiatives for products and policies forward.”
Visit to discover more about Milliken’s continued commitment to ‘do good’ by adding value to daily lives, improving health and safety, and helping to make the world more sustainable. 

Mollie Williams I Principal
M. Williams Communications Group, LLC

Bryanna Stewart, Associate IIDA
IIDA Georgia 2015 Sustainability Forums Representative

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

J&J Flooring Group - Oktoberfest! September 24

Greetings, everyone! It's that time of year again and I hope you'll join us for our
2nd annual Oktoberfest party at Red Brick Brewery. We're turning up the dial this
year and going big as we have much to celebrate with our recent "Zero Waste to
Landfill" Certification by Green Circle, and Silver Award for Kinetex Umbra at
NeoCon 2015!
With a jam-packaged fall product launch schedule on the horizon, we hope you'll stop
by to preview our new additions, grab drinks/food and maybe even partake in some
friendly corn hole competition!  Awards will be provided to the corn hole winners
and door prizes will be raffled to those in attendance with fun tech items such as
iPads up for grabs! Oh, and how can I forget the complimentary festive J+J beer
steins for everyone? Hope to see you there!
Shelby Eanes Sales Representative o: 800.241.4586 x7980 m: +14707744332

PIRCH Showroom Tour and Presentation - August 13

PIRCH - Showroom Tour

08/13/2015 09:00 AM

Pirch Atlanta
3535 Peachtree Rd Northeast, Suite 230

Atlanta GA 

On the morning of Thursday August 13, PIRCH, located in Lenox Marketplace, opened its doors to a group of designers, architects, and other interested professionals to tour the showroom and hear from PIRCH’s CEO Jeffery Sears.

The event, organized jointly by RDI (Retail Design Institute) and CXPA (Customer Experience Professionals Association), was attended by more than 75 people.

The Space

The event started with an in-depth tour led by an energetic PIRCH associate. As you enter from the parking deck, you’re greeted by a sweeping staircase, in the style of Gone with the Wind.  It’s a nod to southern style, but the finish treatment is modern and sleek.  As you follow the arching stairways upstairs, you pass a lush green living wall.

View of the Bliss Cafe and Manifesto detail

Upstairs, the showroom opens up and your first touchpoint is the Bliss Cafe.  Anyone entering PIRCH is treated to a complimentary espresso beverage of their choice.  As our tour guide mentioned, the CEO Jeffery Sears individually places each of the white coffee cups at the facade of the bar in each of the stores. The coffee bar area is surrounded by the 23 pieces of the PIRCH manifesto etched on the columns.  The manifesto clues you in on how PIRCH differentiates itself from other stores - the focus is on positive messages and living life to the fullest, rather than gimmicky sales tactics.

The PIRCH Manifesto (available on

As you move through the sales area, the areas follow the themes of Dream, Play and Choose.  All the faucets throughout are functional with running water, a feature that surprises many customers.  In fact, the store has 484 floor penetrations which required considerable coordination during the build out. The Sanctuary is a complete spa experience, and customers can make an appointment to come and test out the variety of shower heads, bathtubs and sauna room with the curtains closed.  

View of the Sanctuary
Photo from USAI Lighting (

The showroom features a couple active “play” areas.  In The Patio, they hold live cooking demos, like a weekly grilling demo on Fridays at noon. Check out the upcoming events on their website here:  In the kitchen line-up area, playful quotes are etched on the backsplashes, including one from Miss Piggy. And in Savor Kitchen, additional cooking demos take place, and customers can try out some more unique appliances first hand, like a steamer. Associates are treated to taste-tests of food prepared by the full time chefs regularly as well.

Scenes of The Patio seating area and Savor Kitchen

As we wrapped up our tour, we stopped in the Boutique.  Here, PIRCH shoppers carefully curate a selection of one-of-a-kind decorative items and gifts for the home.  While they have some costly objects, they try to have a variety of price points represented.  Boutique items are scattered throughout the showroom as well, to complete the homey scenes.


After completing the tour, we were invited to pick up breakfast from a beautiful spread in The Patio. (Side note - the grits were fabulous!) Mike Wittenstein and Jim Bass from CXPI and Sharon Lessard from RDI made some introductions, and then we heard from PIRCH CEO Jeffery Sears.

Mr. Sears clued us in on some key differentiators of PIRCH.  All employees attend school for a week in California at headquarters to fully engage in the company culture.  The question sales associates put to customers is not, “What do you want to buy?” but “How do you want to live?”
Mr. Sears spoke of the “death of elegance” happening in retail / shopping in the past decades.  He emphasized the importance to keep in mind that it is a privilege to have a customer come into a store, so associates strive to make a customer’s visit to the store the highlight of their day, even if the customer does not leave with a purchase.
Mr. Sears speaking to the RDI and CXPI audience

An important part of the PIRCH business model is the installation of fixtures and appliances into customer’s homes.  Each city market has a separate distribution center with in-house installers.  A remarkable 85 percent of the install team are ex-Marines, part of a successful program to transition servicemen back to civilian life.

For digital strategy, Mr. Sears noted that they are currently looking for a firm to partner with, but he stressed that you “can’t digitize the customer experience.” Technology should be used to amplify an experience, but never replace it.  Real interaction between people is still key. Much of the store design (a collaboration with Fitch) is to slow traffic down, such as the Bliss Coffee bar. Mr. Sears noted that the design is not so much “attention to detail” as “intention to detail.”  The high end design has enabled PIRCH to fit in seamlessly in many luxury malls. A ninth store opening is planned for Summer 2016 for SoHo in New York City.

Goods for sale in The Boutique

For more on PIRCH and Jeffery Sears, check out a great interview with Mike Wittenstein of Storyminers and CXPA here.

I’d certainly recommend a stop at PIRCH to experience it firsthand.  Thanks for reading and feel free to reach out to me at with any questions or feedback. Stay tuned for more forum blog posts to come!

Catherine Price, IIDA, RDI, LEED AP ID+C

IIDA Georgia 2015 Retail Forums Representative

Monday, April 20, 2015

Attention! Have you Heard? Leaders Breakfast 2015 May 1, 2015!

The Georgia Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA Georgia) is proud to announce that the table sales for its 3rd Annual IIDA Leaders Breakfast Atlanta is officially open.  The event is an annual series that celebrates and recognizes the importance of design in the global marketplace. 

This year’s event will be held at the High Museum of Art on Friday, May 1st 2015 and it will feature a thought-provoking speech by David Burkus, whose book, The Myths of Creativity, has been used by business professionals as a tool to help foster innovation within organizations of all types.

In addition, the event will recognize the career of Gensler’s Stephen Swicegood whose prolific contributions to workplace design throughout the Atlanta community and beyond has help to guide the workplace strategy for numerous organizations.  More details about the event and table/ individual ticket sales can be found by visiting:

We hope, you’ll attend and encourage others throughout your company to join us for a morning filled with affirmations of useful business approaches that will no doubt leave you inspired and ready to innovate within your organization. 

Ronnie Belizaire, IIDA, RID
Immediate Past-President
IIDA Georgia Chapter

The IIDA Leaders Breakfast is an annual international event series that celebrates design's importance in the global marketplace by honoring the people who are both the legacy and future of design. The Breakfast cultivates connections between noteworthy industry leaders and the local design community while it celebrates design innovation. Each chosen host city organizes a breakfast that features a renowned keynote speaker to provoke and encourage new ideas, and recognizes one city-selected honoree who has made significant contributions to the design industry. Honorees receive the coveted Leadership of Excellence Award and a special edition Charles and Ray Eames stool awarded by Herman Miller. Currently, Leaders Breakfast has grown to include eight host cities across the United States and Canada, welcoming up to 600 attendees at each location.

History: Design, Leadership, Community

Launched in New York in 1989 by Jeannie Bochette of Steelcase, the IIDA Leaders Breakfast series began as a single event. The goal of the event was to introduce IIDA to the business world as a leading association of Commercial Interior Design and to inform IIDA Members about major economic issues affecting them and their clients. The event established a forum where IIDA Members and their clients could participate and network with peers. In 2007, with the help of the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC), Leaders Breakfast expanded internationally to Canada.