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Six project types | 142 years | 3944 stickies

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Sticky notes - detailIn all sizes and colors, they congregate on monitors, desktops, and walls. We use them as reminders to ourselves and others. They help us think and synthesize.

Most of all, they help us communicate and collaborate with each other and our clients. Whether bent into an impromptu stair model or used in a client workshop, they are part of our design process.

The installation in our office and the video below are a tribute and yet another adaptation of the mighty sticky note, which first originated as a mistake in the labs of ...[more]

Design notes: the 2012 Fellowship Poster

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

I want to share some notes on the 2012 Summer Design Fellowship poster and some thoughts on design communication. But before I do here’s just a brief introduction for those who are new to the program. Years ago the firm established a ten-week paid Design Fellowship for an exceptional architecture student to work with us over the summer. The application is open to all students who are, at date of submission, enrolled in an accredited professional degree program in the field of architecture.

At some point, to keep things fresh we ...[more]

Design notes: the Shepley Bulfinch blue journal

Friday, 18 February 2011

As a long-standing tradition Shepley Bulfinch reaches out to our clients in an annual mailing. For years, this took the form of a signed card or letter, accompanied in recent years by a commemorative poster. What started as a holiday gesture has become an important statement that exemplifies our core values.

Like every project our annual mailer starts with a written strategy: a design brief. This year we drew on our annual internal staff survey for inspiration. Within a section of the survey on differentiation a few key words and ...[more]

Design notes: the 2011 Fellowship Poster

Friday, 28 January 2011

How do you match the resounding success of our 2010 Fellowship Poster, designed by Experimental Jetset? By inviting Michael Bierut of Pentagram to design the 2011 poster.

I’d like to share some insights about the design process, strategy, and design thinking behind the poster itself. Our design brief to Michael was essentially to match the quality of the candidates we’re seeking as this year’s Fellow: someone who combines a high-level and perhaps rare combination of extraordinary design talent, creativity, passion, intuition, appetite and ...[more]

Design notes: aesthetics and the success of Duke Link

Saturday, 10 October 2009

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As designers it’s often hard to for us to articulate the power of great design to new clients. It’s exciting when the impact of design is recognized and called out by users, as we saw in a recent assessment of Duke University’s Link, the Duke Teaching and Learning Center that opened in the lower level of Perkins Library in August 2008. Designed to encourage collaborative work and project-based learning, the Link answers a bigger question: how do we learn and how can our environments best support this? The Link is the culmination of our extensive planning and partnership with ...[more]

Design notes: the 2014 Fellowship poster

Thursday, 13 February 2014

In 1997, Shepley Bulfinch established a ten-week Summer Design Fellowship, which is open to all students who are, at date of submission, enrolled in an accredited professional degree program in the field of architecture. As part of our promotion of the annual fellowship, posters are mailed to accredited architecture schools across North America.

For the past five years we have worked to elevate the quality and exposure of the Summer Design Fellowship, and the poster has been an instrumental part of that. Since 2010, we have posed compelling questions for applicants to answer and have commissioned posters by noted graphic designers including Michael Bierut of Pentagram; Experimental Jetset; Non-Format; ...[more]

Design notes: the 2013 Fellowship poster

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

In a provocative blog post on beauty in architecture, 2012 Summer Design Fellow Amrita Raja commented upon the reluctance of many contemporary architects to discuss the role of beauty, relying instead on more purely rational justifications such as performance. It reminded me of the 2009 NY Times article about┬áDouglas Bowman who very publicly left his position as Google’s top visual designer because, in his words, “at Google design lived or died by data.”

Amrita’s post also reminded me of the scene in the documentary film Helvetica, where Michael Place from UK-based design firm Build talks candidly about how, for him, design is primarily ...[more]

Design notes: the 2010 Fellowship Poster

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Building on the award-winning tradition set by our 2009 poster, which received an AIGA Best of New England Design award, the poster for this year’s Summer Design Fellowship was designed by world-renowned graphic design firm Experimental Jetset out of Amsterdam. The poster, which is mailed out to accredited architecture schools across North America, is often posted in common areas within the architecture or design department. I’d like to share some insights about the design process, strategy, and design thinking behind the poster itself.

- Dan Vlahos

An ...[more]