Shepley Bulfinch > People > Joe Rondinelli
By the time I was 15 I knew I wanted to be a designer. What truly spoke to me about interior design was the intimacy involved in creating environments for the places where we live, work, play, and learn. A professor of mine once observed that "the reality of a building occurs within its interiors." That resonated with me in a very personal way and, from that moment on, my course was set.
From my earliest memories I had a special connection to the tactile experiences of life. My late grandfather was a tailor and instilled in my father a sensitivity and awareness of fabrics. My father in turn shared this with me, indulging me with tailor-made clothes for holidays and special occasions. While this was a luxury I did not appreciate at the time, it was in this rhythm of life where I became keenly aware of fabric and of its translation into a three-dimensional piece of clothing. Today, as a designer, I believe that understanding the dialogue between surface materials and form early in the process informs the entire design.
Every project, every interaction, each life event feeds into the next project, and makes me the sum of all these experiences. I'm given the opportunity daily to apply creative thinking to problem solving and to the creation of environments for learning, with each new project informed by these forces and experiences. As an individual interior designer and a part of a greater design community, I have witnessed firsthand the power of design as a catalyst for change for our clients and our own practice alike.
Whether it has been part of creating a beloved legacy space, a prototype teaching and learning space, or a hotbed for innovation and entrepreneurship, the act of personal and shared discovery is the thread that runs through my work, and makes it exciting and deeply fulfilling.
ProjectsNew Central Library
City of Austin, Texas
Teachers College, Columbia University
University of Notre Dame
Harvard Innovation Lab
Harvard Business School
Brody Learning Commons
Johns Hopkins University
Gilmore Music Library