Browsing Design

Public Interest Design Institute Comes to Kansas City

Design Corps and the SEED Network recently collaborated to bring the Public Interest Design Institute to Kansas City for a two-day conference. The conference was inspired by the ideas and efforts of notable Public Interest Designer Bryan Bell, who has sparked a global movement toward a new approach to design. Public Interest Design goes beyond the typical scope of projects which simply address the architectural needs of the client and community to also consider social, economic, and environmental impacts.

Conference participants were introduced to global and local examples of PID projects. Through an open forum, presenters exchanged opportunities and challenges encountered in PID projects and also discussed the use of the SEED (Social, Economic, and Environmental Design) metric system as a framework for project development.

Public Interest Design has grown in popularity in the field of architecture through publications such as Design Like You Give A Damn, exhibits like MoMA’s Small Scale, Big Change, and organizations such as Architecture for Humanity. Inspired by the ideas and experiences shared at the conference, Helix is eager to implement PID projects and utilize the SEED metric to evaluate design efforts. Helix also intends to include the valuable information and resources gained into future participation with Better Blocks Kansas City and the HOPE Center via Eco Abet.

Open PhotoRebuild South Sudan, Jalle School: Investing in a community with few physical resources and a large population of refugee residents, Rebuild South Sudan recognized an enormous need for education. The Jalle Peace School will include a library, classrooms, computer center, administrative offices, and community space. The standing structure proudly marks the completion of phase one in a three phase project. Rebuild South Sudan, Jalle School: Investing in a community with few physical resources and a large population of refugee residents, Rebuild South Sudan recognized an enormous need for education. The Jalle Peace School will include a library, classrooms, computer center, administrative offices, and community space. The standing structure proudly marks the completion of phase one in a three phase project.
Open PhotobcWORKSHOP, Congo Street Initiative: Engaged in a street transformation of a socially and economically fragmented area of Dallas, bcWORKSHOP partnered with residents and homeowners to develop housing solutions appropriate to the community residents with a high level of design. Place and permanence were key concepts to the Congo Street Initiative; a holding house was first implemented on a vacant lot on the street to allow residents to stay near their home while construction continued on their own residence. bcWORKSHOP, Congo Street Initiative: Engaged in a street transformation of a socially and economically fragmented area of Dallas, bcWORKSHOP partnered with residents and homeowners to develop housing solutions appropriate to the community residents with a high level of design. Place and permanence were key concepts to the Congo Street Initiative; a holding house was first implemented on a vacant lot on the street to allow residents to stay near their home while construction continued on their own residence.

New Website

So you’ve probably noticed that things are a little different around here. A bit brighter. A lot more awesome. And hey—you might even be reading this post and exploring the new site on your phone or a tablet. Isn’t that a nice change?

Usability and user experience were two of the main drivers in this redesign. We wanted viewers to be able to navigate through a beautiful, functional, and enjoyable website no matter what kind of device they were using to do so. We wanted to pull people into the website with an engaging and interactive design that showcased our clients’ projects. We think that reaching those goals was made possible by teaming with local firms Design Ranch (design) and 40Digits (development).

One of the amazing (in this intern’s humble opinion) features of our website is its responsive design. That means all of the content shifts and adjusts intelligently according to your window size. Like so:

Website animation

animated GIF illustrating the new website’s responsive design

Please explore the new site and email us at info@helixkc.com to tell us what you think!

 


Color + Couture Sneek Peak

Helix is teaming up with Messerschmitt, Inc. for this year’s Color + Couture, a fashion show put on by the International Interior Design Association and creatively-awesome local design firms paired with equally great product manufacturers. Last year we designed this fabulous carpet Can-can dress:

Credit: fotographix studio | joseph xiong

This year’s theme is “Avant-garde” and here is a sneak peak of what we will be strutting down the runway tomorrow night at the Starlight Theatre:


Developments of Distinction

Congratulations to MO Bank, 18Broadway, Legoland/Sea Life, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and Posty Cards for the honor of receiving the Urban Land Institute of Kansas City‘s Developments of Distinction Awards and to Kay Barnes and Carol Marinovich for receiving Lifetime Achievement Awards. The award ceremony will be November 13th, 2012.

Urban Land Institute – Developments of Distinction Awards 2012 from Mike Varel on Vimeo.


1 October, 2012 | Design, Innovative, Prototype, Sustainability

Transmaterial

The in-house material library at Helix is pretty fabulous, but it pays to keep an eye out for something different. Our librarian, Marcie Miller-Gross, is always on the lookout for what is new and exciting in the world of architecture and design. Transmaterial is one resource she looks to for information and relays some of the more intriguing articles around the office for inspiration.

Thought that solar energy could only be harvested from flat panels? Rawlemon of Barcelona suggests something new: β.Torics, a spherical solar technology. We definitely believe in solar energy here at Helix – it will be interesting to see where this prototype goes!

Another interesting development is Flex, a new lighting system by 3M.

 


27 September, 2012 | Design, Helix People, Innovative, Recognition

Four Ideas for Raising a Roof

Congratulations to former Helix intern Darius Hollwell and other Kansas State University students for being featured in the New York Times. They had two days to plan a light-weight retractable roof for Arthur Ashe Stadium. View the whole slide show here.

Credit: Photo by Christopher Bilyk; Rendering by Darius Hollwell, Lauren Kelly and Cierra Myers

Credit: Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images; Rendering by Darius Hollwell, Lauren Kelly and Cierra Myers



Vitra

On Wednesday, September 19th Helix was pleased to host Vitra – a company known for its innovative and unique approach to commercial workspace design. A special thank you to our speakers Tina Burger and Margit Geist!


24 July, 2012 | Design, Workplace

Project Peek: Global Prairie

For Global Prairie, an integrated communications firm with offices in eight U.S. states, Helix created a progressive workplace based on the Net ’n Nest concept. The idea was to design an office where lawyers, executives, strategists, and creative professionals could meet and collaborate (net) and also a place where they could do focused individual work or handle critical and confidential information (nest).

A variety of work spaces including benched seating, alcove sofas, conference spaces, and telephone rooms were designed to promote interaction and communication between young talent and industry veterans, accommodate employees seeking more quiet, private space, and support small-group collaboration.


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