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Shared experiences

by Jennifer Wells
The Future of Cities trailer by Oscar Boyson.

Claire Wood, business manager of the Global Performance Running Footwear division at New Balance, finds beauty in the running shoe. “It’s universal, and you can talk about its design with anyone,” she said. “And, everyone deserves to feel fast.”

Claire was one of the presenters at our Third Annual Design Share, an event hosted by Shepley Bulfinch that invites experts from disciplines outside of the AEC industry to discuss their design processes and practices. Her commentary on design thinking—that it permeates barriers by placing a shared experience at its center—was a common theme of the day among our visiting experts. “At New Balance, design is thoughtful, where science is just as important as art,” Claire told attendees. “Not only does the design need to be driven by hard data, but it also needs to be something that comes to life and is desired.”

Delvyn Case shared how he uses music to impact communities on a local, regional, and national level by creating shared experiences. He compared his role as a composer to an architect, noting the discernible impact that both has on an environment. “As architects, you create instructions for someone to construct a final building where people work, play, and live,” he said. “My score is you blueprint, and both aim to engage groups of people in a common space.

Ryan Chung, design director for Cannondale, seeks out new adventures daily—for himself and others—with each product release.” All bike companies are basically dependent on the same three component companies,” he said. “Our visual language, colors, and graphics are really what sets us apart. Our design story is our differentiator, and is what creates the journey for riders.”

At Shepley Bulfinch, we couldn’t agree more. Good design is not change for change’s sake. And it’s not purely aesthetics. It’s about creating human-centered experiences within any given space.

In his documentary, The Future of Cities, filmmaker Oscar Boyson demonstrates how he finds inspiration across several mediums, including digital platforms such as YouTube, to create meaningful experiences for viewers.

“Exercise a different muscle—literally and figuratively—every day.”

Oscar Boyson, filmmaker

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