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 Video – Part 02 “Time To Take A Swing”

We close out our 10 year anniversary celebration with one last look at our founding principals discussing entrepreneurship and life after it being “time to take a swing“.

Acknowledgements:

  • Carlos Lima Photography: Camera work and editing
  • Behr Productions: Original music and production
  • Steve Paul: KC Star article released September 2008
  • Competitors: Fuel