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 Lifestyle Launch

Pendulum has always been about movement.  We firmly believe “design is change”, so we are passionately looking to perfect the things we do well and  improve upon areas we’ve fallen short.  We are constantly reinventing ourselves in search of the faster, stronger, smarter “us”.

Today we’ve launched a new section of our website dedicated to tracking the daily growth of our crew.   As designers, architects, and craftsman we tend to hide “the process” while exposing only the finished product.  In my opinion “the process” is where the really good stuff lives…so let’s celebrate the good stuff!

Click this link to check us out: The Pendulum Lifestyle

 

 

Pendulum’s 10 Year Anniversary Countdown Day 16

Day 16

Today’s featured project is 1512 Holmes Street located in the East Crossroads District of Kansas City, MO.  This adaptive reuse of a former transmission repair shop serves as the midwest headquarters of Pendulum.

This 5,000 SF interior accurately reflects the personality and interests of its owners who are automotive enthusiasts.  There are subtle hints of the relationship between the building’s past use and its present inspiration throughout.  The overall aesthetic of the interior revolves around a balance of raw materials with a consistent notion of refined edges.

Wall Mural By Dale Frommelt – Egg Design

Conference Room During Regular Hours

Conference Room Transformation

Typical Workstations

Finding innovative ways to customize elements within the design for multi-purpose and flexibility was a key component of the design challenge.  Therefore the first-floor conference room table transforms into a billiards table that accommodates formal and informal hospitality.  The second-floor east lounge acts as an informal living room and presentation space, while the second-floor west lounge is reserved for formal entertainment and board meetings with a restored 1920’s Koken barber chair as the centerpiece.

2nd Floor East Lounge

2nd Floor West Lounge

The preconceived notion of how a work environment is supposed to look, feel, and function is challenged by our space.  Some believe that a business is supposed to be serious and efficient.  In this case we are a bit more eclectic, the ultimate compliment is when people see the space and ask what we actually do for a living.  “Is this an office, a bar, a billiards hall, an automotive shop, a speakeasy…do you get any work done?”  The answer is yes to all of the above…this space represents a lifestyle that fosters creativity in contrast to a “bin for stacking people”.

Interesting Fact:

1512 Holmes Street was the recipient of the 2017 IIDA Kansas City Mid America Design Awards (MADA) Silver Award for Renovation & Restoration.

Shout out to Adri Guyer Photography on the snaps!

Pendulum’s 10 Year Anniversary Countdown Day 14

Day 14

Today’s featured project is the Beacon Hill Homes located in Kansas City, MO.  The traditional front porch concept was raised to the second floor which maximizes views from the kitchen and open living area toward the downtown skyline.  Each home consists of three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, half basement, and attached two car garage.

Kitchen Interior View

Interesting Fact:

Pendulum also designed the “Distend Home”, a single story prototype for the Make It Right Foundation that was scheduled to be built in the Mannheim Neighborhood in Kansas City, MO.

“Distend Home” Rendering

“Distend Home” Floor Plan

Pendulum’s 10 Year Anniversary Countdown Day 11

Day 11

Remember that time Pendulum won the “Haute Couture” Award at IIDA Kansas City’s 2014 Color + Couture Runway Competition…

Pendulum’s John Iiams in his runway gear…they wouldn’t let us roll the motorcycle down the runway, even though we tried.

 

 

Pendulum’s 10 Year Anniversary Countdown Day 09

Day 09

Today’s featured project is The Guild/RW2 Studios located in Crossroads District of Kansas City, MO.  This 12,000 SF event space and production studio is one of the early pioneers that helped define what makes the “Creative Crossroads” so cool.

Thank you to Judy Rush of RealFake, Lyndon & Lindsey Wade…the dynamic duo that make up the world renowned Wade Brothers for your vision and fearlessness.  Shout out to Dale Frommelt of Egg Design for your collaboration on the project…one of the most versatile and talented people we know – honored to call you family.

Interesting Fact:

The Guild/RW2 Studios was the recipient of a 2013 National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Design Excellence Citation.

Original Production Studio Condition

Event Space Work In Progress

Production Studio Completed

Reception Area

Event Space Hospitality

The Big Idea…Lindsey Wade Was Right