Monday, June 27, 2011

ai3 is 7 years old

June 24, 2004
The official day Patrick, Joe, Dan and I toasted to ai3 over drinks at The Four Seasons Hotel.  Ready or not, we headed to our old house in Grant Park (Atlanta) and set up shop in our "painting studio." Four desks, four laptops, a library in the front bedroom, a plotter in the hall, a dining room table for meetings, and of course our dear cat Moses that kept our in-boxes warm.  To celebrate the 7 years, I put together a few of our favorite photographs to share with the 6 newbies we've hired since last September, over a pizza lunch, and a beer/wine toast.

What started as a leap of faith between the Maas, Remling, and Johnson families, now resembles the true collaborative we hoped to build. This is an exciting year!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Trip to Chicago for Necon 2011

I think I've been to Neocon almost every year of my career, the only exceptions being the birth of our son and maybe 2 other years I felt like taking a break (or at least giving my feet one).  It was a relief to see elevator lines forming in the Lobby, indicating a return to a busy industry and designers ready to shop for ideas.
ai3 is launching a modular lounge collection with Loewenstein, a contract furniture manufacturer in Indiana. Reva Revis arranged several meetings for ai3 to discuss our latest concept with Interiors & Sources, Interior Design, Contract magazine, and blogger Louise Mulherin. The leftover time we spent snapping pics in as many showrooms as possible


Davis was one of the standouts, for the many creative solutions in multiple seating types.  Beautifully detailed.  We saw many duplicates of Steelcase's original Media scapes, C-scapes (was that 3 years ago?).

Some unique approaches to accessories, such as Turnstone's racks for bikes & skateboards, a nod to the more informal office environments we rarely see from manufacturers. More intuitive integration of technology into meeting spaces: Vitra's AirShare, Steelcase Mini Mediascape. Thoughtful product details at Bernhardt and Leland.

My biggest question: Why did everyone attach fabric screens and upholstered appendages to their sofa products? They were EVERYWHERE.  Here we are trying to encourage interaction and everyone's making cocoons????  Very confusing.


New faces at ai3


Aren't we lucky?!?! The beginning of this month brought 3 new employees to our studio: 
Matt Weaver (Intern Architect), Jillian Paul (MFA candidate at SCAD), & Cas Swope (Intern Interior Designer).

With 7 restaurants, the HI Social Hub & a corporate office under construction, 3 new restaurants in design, the launch of our latest furniture product design, and a new hotel project... we have PLENTY to keep everyone busy.

WELCOME Matt, Jillian, and Cas to the ai3 family!  Let the fun begin!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

ai3 to Design Atlanta's Newest Sports Venue

After almost 2 years of working together with the ASC team, this week ai3 celebrates with Atlanta Sports Complex as we all move this amazing project forward.  The complex will be a multi-entertainment, recreational sports facility, accompanied by a corporate services focus that will offer innovative programs for leadership development, employee training, team-building activities, leadership retreast, health wellness, as well as dedicated meeting space for small to large companies.

Co-Founder and CEO Patrick Henderson knows how much ai3 believes in this project.  We look forward to being a part of their vision for Atlanta. We hope to redefine how a sports venue contributes to the overall experience, whether you are an athlete or patron.  The location is almost finalized, and hopes are for a Fall 2012 opening.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What would Le Corbusier Design Today?

We recently participated in a design competition for the renovation to one of Atlant'a first, large mixed-use developments. The 1970s design was inspired by the work of LeCorbusier.

Let me tell you up front... we lost.  But boy did we have an AWESOME time coming up with our solution. Rather than embark on a historical preservation project, ai3 asked our studio in an internal Vision Session: "WHAT WOULD LE CORBUSIER DESIGN TODAY?"

ai3's solution embraced the philosophy, not exact design, of this great architect and the Bauhaus movement, a movement that combined Art + Craft + Technology. We focused on his exploration of raw materials, making beauty by contrast, the play between the dull and the intense... and making people THINK and REFLECT.

We chose to develop "Built Art" much like the architecture designed by Corbu in the last phase of his life.  Our art provided a dramatic sense of arrival in the building's lobby... and maybe looks like something Corbu would've thought was cool in the year 2011.