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This final conversation of the three-part series entitled HOME+WORK, Scott Jarson pondered life without office and garnered the input from three top design leaders to share their experiences and wisdom. Eddie Jones, FAIA, of Jones Studio, and Luis Ibarra, of Ibarra Rosano Design Architects, were previously interviewed for this blog feature. Scott posited the same five set questions to each of them:
-What are you enjoying most about the space you are working in?
-How have you made things work under the current circumstances?
-Based on your recent time spent there, are there any changes you’re dying to make to your current design?
-With your recent experiences, how do you think this will affect the future advice and design concepts you’d want to share with clients?
-Do you feel that the pandemic experience in America may affect the future of urban design in the U.S. and even influence a return to suburbia?
He wanted to know how this time may have affected their approach, and how they think the future of design may be impacted as a result of recent experiences.
Our final installation of the series features insights from Architect Brent Kendle. Kendle Design Collaborative designs homes that are inspired by the natural beauty of our area and they work in an interesting arts compound on Cattletrack Road in Scottsdale.
SJ: Brent – Your studio is at the Ellis property on Cattletrack Road. What are you enjoying most about the space you are working in?
BK: Yes. It’s laid back, casual and historic with adobe walls and concrete floors. It’s the antithesis of “corporate office”. It feels like going to your cabin on Mondays instead of heading to the office. It is surrounded by creative artists within an historic artist compound.
SJ: How have you made things work under the current circumstances?
BK: Our staff, except two of us, have been working from home. We collaborate with both staff and clients and interview with potential clients using platforms such as GoToMeeting, Zoom and FaceTime. Rather than sitting at a desk and sketching things while sitting next to my staff, I find I redline drawings and 3D model images, photograph them with my phone and send them to my staff who are working remotely. It’s pretty efficient really.
SJ: Based on your recent time spent there, are there any changes you’re dying to make to your current design?
BK: Dying to make? Not really. I can always think of improvements I’d like to make given time and money, but nothing needed right now out of any necessities caused by the pandemic.
SJ: With your recent experiences, how do you think this will affect the future advice and design concepts you’d want to share with clients?
BK: I think people are thinking more about the importance of a well-designed home since they are spending more time there. They are longing for those experiences they might find at their favorite restaurant, club, resort or other social gathering spot and wishing they had a way to create that in their homes.
SJ: Do you feel that the pandemic experience in America may affect the future of urban design in the U.S. and even influence a return to suburbia?
BK: I have to believe it will change many of the things we have taken for granted. Restaurants in particular.
When a top chef finds, out of necessity, that they can successfully and profitably run an upscale food delivery service out of their kitchen without the expense of renting dining space and the associated help cost, will they decide to do that instead of returning to their former restaurant? When a non-profit finds, out of necessity, to hold online fundraisers rather than the costly renting of ballrooms and the associated staff and hassle, will they opt for that, leaving venues like our upscale conference hotels to have to change their model?
Certainly offices will realize that they can collaborate with staff and clients from a distance, lowering their need to expand their space in order to take on new staff. And, that staff will feel emboldened to request more work-from-home options of their employers who previously felt the need to have their staff under one roof.
A huge thanks to Brent Kendle, AIA, LEED AP, of Kendle Design Collaborative in Scottsdale for helping to round out this three part HOME+WORK series. We are extremely grateful for Brent Kendle, Luis Ibarra and Eddie Jones for each taking time out of their busy schedules to share their insights and wisdom with us.