Design Is Everywhere Volume 02 – Sportswear Passion

For the last 23 years I’ve spent virtually every day of my life working in some capacity on sports projects. That being said, my work has required relentless travel across the nation to service my clients and projects.  One of the many things I learned early in my career from my mentor Henry Stickney (former CEO of Mandalay Baseball Properties) is, “if you’re going to travel – log miles with one airline.”  When we first met we were “logging miles” together on TWA exclusively. He would layover in St. Louis, MO just long enough for me to meet up with him for a flight to Dayton, OH. We did this every week for about two years. After TWA was bought out we started logging miles on Delta. Two million miles later… the rest is history.

This volume of “Design Is Everywhere” is documentation of my travels and a tribute to my many clients over the years. One of the additional lessons learned from Hank, as the owner/operator of several Minor League Baseball teams and the individual who taught me everything I know about the business of baseball, is, when you go to a ballpark, you should always buy merchandise; after all, it’s all about the per caps baby!”.  I’ve kept that lesson close to my heart for the last 20 years. He helped me to understand that my contribution to the ballpark-built environment is about more than just lines on paper. The truth of the matter is that I’m a real fan of the game and a fan of what my clients do. I’m excited about their brands and I proudly wear their gear on the streets of Kansas City all the time. When we design a ballpark, we pour our sweat and occasional tears into what we are doing; as far as I’m concerned we are members of the team even though we’re not playing on the field. As such we find that during the process of design there are a few funny stories that develop along the way. Even more important than that: there are real relationships that we’ve developed and nurtured over the years that are a byproduct of the work. Some of these relationships have absolutely shaped who we have become. So shout out to all the teams featured in this volume; we wouldn’t be who we are without you!

Stay tuned for the next volume release, we’ll share a few stories about how several of our clients have impacted our trajectory over the years.

Credits:

Behr Productions – Original Music Score (instagram @behr_productions)

Kyleigh Rowe – Graphics & Animation

Lauren Gripka – Photography

Lee Frommelt – Copy Editor

Michaela Simpson – Stylist

Design Is Everywhere Volume 01 – Launch From The Hive


We’re launching a new series that explores the many aspects of daily life that influence our designs. As we release each volume in the series you’ll notice that we often reference “the process”, that is deliberate. We find it interesting that as designers our natural tendency is to hide our process, we don’t want our audience to know the steps it took to arrive at a final thought…we project the idea that our first thought was perfect, as if we are perfect, yet reality is quite the opposite.  Our best designs are the product of collaboration.  It is the result of our willingness to be influenced by the things we see, hear, and smell, the people we surround ourselves with (our circle) that are chipping away at the same block of ice that we are but from a slightly different vantage point.  It’s the applied pressure from our circle that challenge us to do better and be better, even when we get deal fatigue*.

Tinker Hatfield & Jordan 3
Gehry Residence 1978
Museo Guggenheim Bilbao

What is most interesting about the concept of “deal fatigue” is that it is a phenomenon only experienced by the designer.  The end-user/consumer is never exposed to the steps associated with getting from point A (the beginning), to point B (the end), so this concept is foreign to them.
The consumer in general sees something they like, and they go buy it.  The designer in contrast has to create, edit, market, and sell the idea.  Think about it – how many different versions of the Air Jordan 3 do you think Tinker Hatfield studied before he pitched Michael Jordan who was at the time frustrated with Nike and considering leaving the brand?  The end result was Tinker’s design and it saved the day…the rest is history.  How many attempts in material study did it take for famed architect Frank Gehry to arrive at Museo Guggenheim Bilbao?  When you think about it, his trajectory toward use of a material that defies gravity started with chain link fence.  A very simple, affordable, and readily available sheet good that is pliable in multiple directions.  “The process” of study, trial and error eventually led him to the use of titanium which is also a pliable sheet good…but not as readily obtainable, much more expensive, but perfect for the application.  The end result is architecture that inspires us to aspire to challenge conventional methodology.

As an owner of an architectural firm, I’ve noticed amongst young talent the hesitancy to expose the process.  There’s this gravitational pull toward putting on our headphones and hiding in our cocoons and spending hours upon hours cranking way on what we think is the perfect solution.  It almost seems as if what’s really being taught at universities is the idea of self-reliance as a path to success which cheats the process. I’ve seen MANY portfolios in interviews where I look at the finished product and think to myself “wow, this is impressive”, only to realize that the individual was working in their cocoon all by themselves for the better part of a year to produce something that in real-time we’d have to produce in a couple of weeks.  It’s the most difficult adjustment for young talent to make…the transition from theory to real-time which is about twenty times faster.

I’ve concluded that the cocoon that we all gravitate toward climbing in as a default is really our safe place that protects us from vulnerability.   I think the people most successful at breaking boundaries, innovating, and generating new ideas are the people who are OK with exposing their vulnerability.  Those that are OK with looking a little weird or sounding a little crazy.  They are not afraid to be excited or show genuine emotion for the people around them that are exploding with talent.  They let their fears push them ahead rather than stand in front of them and impede forward progress.  The “Design Is Everywhere” series is our gesture of stepping outside of our cocoon and exposing you to the things we encounter on a daily basis that inspire us, the people in our circle that push us, the highs of challenging the market and our competitors, the inevitable lows of missing the mark, and yes – the occasional occurrence of crazy.

We are not afraid…let’s get it!

Stay tuned for Volume 02 of “Design Is Everywhere” – Sportswear Passion.

Footnotes:

*  Deal fatigue is a term used to describe the point of mental and physical exhaustion when working on a project because for various reasons often out of the designer’s control, the project seems as if it will not come to completion.  

Credits:

Lee Frommelt – Copy Editor

 

Pendulum’s 10 Year Anniversary Countdown Day 10

Day 10

Today’s featured project is Crosstown Substation located in the Crossroads District of Kansas City, MO.  Once a deteriorated and graffiti laden concrete mass, this substation owned by KCP&L has emerged as a backdrop for artistic photographs, public gathering, and curated art.

The bent and perforated weathering steel was provided by internationally recognized, Kansas City based Zahner.  The nightly light displays are supported by over 10 thousand color changing LED lights powered by 115 solar panels.

Interesting Fact:

Crosstown Substation was the recipient of the 2014 EDC Cornerstone Award for Energy, and the 2014 Kansas City Chapter AGC Building Excellence Award Finalist for Project of the year.

Lighting Cabinet Programming & Installation: Jim Woodfill

The Corner of Holmes & 18th Street

Holmes Street Elevation

Full Scale Mock Up Created By Dale Frommelt – Egg Design

 

Crosstown Substation – Night Photos

18th Street

Mr. Iiams finally caught a break in between projects and shot the substation a few nights ago.  Once it cools down a bit we’re thinking live music and food trucks…

Light Cabinet Close Up

Holmes Street

Holmes Street Close Up

18th & Holmes

18th & Cherry

Project Facts

  • 10,500 Color Changing LED Lights
  • Powered By 115 Solar Panels (25 Kilowatts)
  • 64 Tons of Weathering Steel

Most Common Questions

  • “What is that thing?”
  • “Hey man…where’s the front door to this night club?”
  • “What’s a substation?”

Project Team

  • Architect/Designer – Pendulum
  • Lighting Consultant – Derek Porter Studio
  • Structural Engineer – Dubois Consultants
  • Commissioned Artist (Main Plaza Light Cabinet Display) – James Woodfill
  • Concrete Contractor – Turner Special Projects
  • Steel Contractor/Fabricator/Supplier – Zahner

Crosstown Substation Update

Panoramic View 01

In preparation for the official unveiling scheduled for June 7th rapid progress is being made on site in spite of the rain.  Installation of the plaza light bollards along 18th street as well as the finishing touches on site grading and landscape was completed today.  Programming of the lighting/art installation began this evening and will continue through early next week.  The artist niches will get a fresh coat of paint just in time for the ceremony.

Panoramic View 02

IMG_8867

If you’ll be in the neighborhood (18th & Locust) on June 7th (“First Friday”) around 6pm please be sure to stop by and enjoy the festivities.  Jim Woodfill’s light display in the main art cabinet is a must see.  For a sneak peek of tonight’s light programming session check us out on instagram (pendulum_kc)

*Photographs by Iiams Images

Future House – 2011 Solar Decathlon

If you follow our twitter handle @pendulum_kc, you are aware that we are keenly interested in the advancement of solar technology.  So much so that our office building is headed in the direction of being 75% independent of “the grid” by the end of 2012.  That being said, we were excited to attend the Solar Decathlon in Washington D.C. this year and get up to speed on where solar is headed.  One of the most exciting takeaways of the trip was the encouraging reality that the cost of solar panels as an individual component of a turn-key system is dropping rapidly, making this not so new technology more accessible to the masses.  With the cost of panels at half of what it was in the not so distant past, the idea of solar as a viable alternative to conventional energy sources especially at the residential and small commercial level has caused many to take note.

Diversity In Delivery

Beyond advancements in technology and increased affordability we were equally excited about the diversity in design and delivery of the entries in the competition this year.  Although there were varied levels of craftsmanship and execution, some of the design solutions were simply spectacular.  The images below illustrate some of the variety in materials, massing, design features and aesthetic on display.

One of the most impressive aspects of the competition aside from the work itself was the judging criteria.  The ten categories listed below focused almost exclusively on function, efficiency, and affordability; the question of whether your family can actually live a “normal” life in the space had to be addressed.  Design and aesthetic was also taken into consideration but was clearly not the singular driving factor in the accumulation of points.

Competition Criteria

1.0 Architecture (drawings & specifications)

2.0 Market Appeal

3.0 Engineering (drawings & specifications)

4.0 Communications (website & public exhibit)

5.0 Affordability

6.0 Comfort Zone (71 – 76 Degrees F)

7.0 Hot Water (deliver 15 gallons of 110 degree water within 10 minutes)

8.0 Appliances (refrigerator, freezer, 8 load of laundry, complete four cooking tasks during the week)

9.0 Home Entertainment (Host Two dinner parties – use TV, Computer, watch a movie)

10.0 Energy Balance (produce at least as much electrical energy as consumed during the week)

For more information on the competition visit the official Solar Decathlon website.