Posts tagged with "Jeffrey Inaba":

Placeholder Alt Text

Inaba Williams right-sizes a Williamsburg apartment

“Sometimes what’s available on the market doesn’t meet the desires of the people who want to purchase,” architect Jeffrey Inaba explains as he describes the impetus behind an Inaba Williams–designed project in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the firm set about reducing the number of bedrooms in what was once a two-bedroom unit.

The project, Inaba continued, represents a rare example of “lowering a home’s market value to increase its enjoyment value,” and came partially out of a desire to fix some of the bad architecture resulting from the spreadsheet-driven design of the 15-year-old developer tower where the apartment is located.

Read the full article on our interiors and design site, aninteriormag.com.
Placeholder Alt Text

Jeffrey Inaba digs into McKinsey’s Design Study

“I started as a commercial artist, and I want to finish as a business artist…During the hippie era, people put down the idea of business. They’d say, ‘Money is bad’ and ‘Working is bad.’ But making money is art, and working is art—and good business is the best art.”

—Andy Warhol

McKinsey & Company’s recent study on design confirms what designers have long known to be true. And it recommends all businesses do more of it. To McKinsey, design is the single most important factor for growth and should be an integral part of every organization. For it to have the greatest impact, McKinsey advises companies to make design a cyclical process instead of a single phase in a project, and dedicate the time needed to achieve good results.

On the occasion of the McKinsey Design Index’s release, AN contributor Jeffrey Inaba talked with Ben Sheppard, one of the report’s authors.

Jeffrey Inaba: It’s fascinating that companies are interested in improving their quality of design, but they aren’t sure how to go about it. The Index says, “Less than 5 percent of the companies surveyed reported that their leaders could make objective design decisions, from developing a new product to entering a new sector.” That’s a surprising realization about the state of the business world.

Ben Sheppard: In the last five years we’ve received a critical mass of questions from business leaders about design, and so we thought we needed to do a global study on what the opportunity is. They've got the highest of aspirations—they want to make the next iPhone, the next Amazon Prime—but they don’t know what actions they should take to give their companies the best possible chance at designing the best products and services.

JI: What correlations were found between design and business performance?

BS: There are two things. First is the business value of design, and second are the actions leaders should take to capture that value. On the first, there are three numbers to remember.

One: Those people who are top performers in terms of design significantly outperform their industry peers—as much as 70 percent higher shareholder return gross than their industry peers.

Two: Across the board, whether you’re doing product, physical, or digital design, good design is good for business regardless of what type of design you are doing.

Three: The study showed that the companies who are best at design were disproportionately rewarded in a given industry. Users care about the very small number of companies in an industry that are consistently making the best products and services.

These are remarkable numbers. At McKinsey we do a lot of essential science research pieces. This is one of the most statistically significant correlations we've seen in years.

The second part: Because the study was done in such a rigorous and detailed way, not only can we say at the broad level that design is the most tremendous engine for business growth, we can point out the individual actions that show the best correlation with improved business performance. This is a world first, to tie individual leaders’ actions to performance.

JI: Good. Before we get into the actions, what is McKinsey’s definition of design?

BS: For our clients, design is understanding users’ needs and then creating fantastic products and services to meet those needs; put the prototype into users’ hands and listen to what they're telling you.

JI: It must be a sea change for many companies to go from seeing design as an added cost reserved for special projects to an essential part of what they do as a business. Let’s start with the section, “More than a Feeling,” since it touches upon this paradigm shift.

BS: What we've found is that those companies that have treated design with the same rigor as they treat discussions on revenue and cost significantly financially outperformed their peers. The companies who quantified design metrics in their discussions about design outperformed their peers.

JI: Of the recommended actions, the section called “More Than a Phase” stands out as a key lesson for businesses. Design firms try to communicate to clients that paying for the hours to iterate are worth it since the added time will lead to a better, more desirable project outcome. McKinsey’s study argues precisely for this point.

BS: Yes. We have very clear evidence that those companies who just have one discrete design phase are outperformed by those companies who iterate with their end users from early strategy to postlaunch.

JI: What does McKinsey say to companies who are hesitant to invest the time in undertaking an iterative process?

BS: It's a case of investing to save. Take Disneyland, for example. The first prototype of the MagicBand [an all-in-one wristband device for Disneyland/World guests] cost 40 dollars and is made from parts from Home Depot. If you iterate early, you do so at lower cost. If you have a single design phase and decide to make all your investment at once, then if it turns out you were wrong, you’ve got a huge loss. When you talk about the risk associated with that, not just from a cost point of view, but also from a sales point of view, it’s easier to quantify why iteration is so important.

JI: “More Than a Product” observes that just about any project involves the design of a digital as well as physical side. Whether it’s a building or a car, there needs to be a digital component to a product.

BS: Traditionally, many industries thought of themselves as only physical or only digital. Now everything has some combination of digital plus physical space. We found that all the companies that historically have been very good at just hardware or just software now find the very thing that gave them success in the past is something of a burden in the future. The automotive industry is a great example of this. For decades, it was all about hardware. Now suddenly their users are saying, “We expect a great experience, from the digital apps within the vehicles themselves to the way that software integrates with the rest of my life.” That’s a real challenge for car companies. But the rewards are rich. Those companies that are able to break down the internal barriers between service design, experience design, front-end, back-end, user interface, and user experience and provide a great overall experience are outperforming their peers.

JI: How can companies take advantage of the different speeds of digital and physical production? Execution is much faster on the digital side. How can that help the experience of the physical side?

BS: It’s so much easier to iterate in a software environment than it is in a physical one. What we have found, though, is even in industries where traditionally people have thought it’s impossible to iterate, you can iterate. One example is shipping. It could take as many as ten years for a ship to go from concept to launch. In the past, there was one design, which was locked in at the beginning, because they said you can’t iterate a whole ship. Now there are two different design specifications, one that is locked early on, and a second one for software—for control and operation systems. As technology evolves and its operators’ ways of working evolve, iterations can continue to be made to those systems. When it's launched a decade later, the software is modern, intuitive, and easy to use.

JI: A McKinsey retail banking study found that early technology adopters prefer their most important transactions to occur in physical spaces. In other words, people who are deeply interested in digital technology are deeply interested in physical environments. When making important decisions, they take cues from the person they interact with and the design of the space they’re in. Are companies thinking about the design of their physical environments given that physical space becomes more consequential as our lives become increasingly digital?

BS: I’m working with a car dealership, which has traditionally been a physical environment. We hear lots of pain points with that model: Often the centers are outside of towns; you need to travel to them; the salespeople are often commission-based and that can lead to a pressurized environment. Therefore, some people hypothesized that the future of automotive was basically an Amazon for cars. It would all be digital. Different companies piloted that, and they found it doesn’t work. People want a combination of physical and digital. While you can make things more efficient by moving to digital, often, particularly for large purchases, people still want a human connection. And as you say, the physical environment can have a big effect on that experience.

JI: With the completion of the study, McKinsey has a good overview of the industries that can benefit from good design. What industries do you believe will have the greatest benefit?

BS: We’ve seen the power of design on everything from energy to consumer goods to hospitality.

We believe it’s a signal that design has come of age. Across industries, design is a priority for senior management. I don’t know a single company where creating fantastic products and services don’t matter. Frankly, if you’re not doing that, then why are you a company at all?

Placeholder Alt Text

INABA Creates a Cylindrical Beacon For A Norwegian Concert Hall

 
Fabrikator

INABA's inverted chandelier comprises a steel frame clad with aluminum tubes and activated by LEDs.

Both simple in its geometry and intriguing in its illumination, a massive new lighting installation in Stavanger, Norway, aims to activate the lobby of a concert hall and create a welcoming civic gesture. Designed by New York-based INABA, the cylindrical structure responds to its setting in a variety of ways. Cutaways in the cylinder reveal views out for visitors inside the concert hall and also reveal slices of the dynamic LED lighting inside the structure to people outside the concert hall on the plaza. Jeffrey Inaba, principal of INABA, calls the installation Skylight, and refers to it as an “inverted chandelier.” The light is reflected within the rings, rather than out. The outside is coated in glossy white to reflect the warmer daylight and ambient light in the building. The design of Skylight is meant to function as a recognizable figure for the building, which was designed by Oslo-based Ratio Arkitekter.
  • Fabricator  DAMTSA
  • Architect  INABA
  • Location  Stavanger, Norway
  • Date of Completion  January 2013
  • Material  Hollow tube steel, 1-inch-square-profile aluminum tubes, LEDs
  • Process  Rhino, rolled steel, standardized connections
In order to make the maximum impact given the constraints of a public art budget, Inaba and his team worked closely with the well-known Argentinian fabricator DAMTSA, which fabricated the exterior panels at Neil Denari’s HL23. By keeping the geometry simple—just a cylinder with cutaways—Inaba was able to standardize the curvature of the installation, which simplified the process of rolling the hollow tube steel frame. One-inch-square-profile aluminum tubes clad the exterior of the cylinder, connected to the frame with standardized attachment details. DAMTSA and INABA worked together on several prototypes before ultimately settling on the cladding system. INABA designed Skylight in Rhino and collaborated with Buro Happold on the steel structure. The 22-foot-by-38-foot permanent installation, which weighs 6.5 tons, is suspended from the ceiling by a double pin connection. The angle at which it hangs is determined by the weight of the structure. It aligns with the angle of incidence of the sun, which allows the structure to have the fewest possible shadows throughout the day. The LED lighting scheme, animated by New York–based MTWTF, within the rings changes for intermissions, curtain calls, and when the hall is not in use. INABA decided to use pure white and aqua marine light so as to differentiate the installation from the warmer house illumination and the famed Nordic light. Mezzanines surround Skylight on three sides, giving concertgoers numerous vantage points to view the piece as well as the landscape beyond. For INABA, the piece suggests a way to move forward in their approach to architecture. “We’re interested in how do you take the constraints of costs, construction techniques and turn that into a conceptual framework,” Inaba said. “Skylight is not a piece of architecture, but it shows how we are pursuing architectural practice.”
Placeholder Alt Text

Eight Emerging Voices Honored by the Architectural League

Eight up-and-coming architecture firms from across North America have been distinguished as Emerging Voices by the Architectural League. The prestigious award is bestowed annually on a group of firms that have established a distinct design voice in their work and have "the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism." This year's winners are INABA, 5468796 architecture, SCAPE Landscape Architecture, Studio NMinusOne, Oyler Wu Collaborative, SsD, Arquitectura 911sc, and Atelier TAG. A jury comprised of Henry Cobb, Geoff Manaugh, Paul Lewis, Jamie Maslyn Larson, Annabelle Selldorf, Claire Weisz, and Dan Wood selected the firms based on a review of their portfolios. Past Emerging Voices have included many of today's top-name architects including Morphosis, Enrique Norten, Deborah Berke, Michael Maltzan, SHoP Architects, Jeanne Gang, and Steven Holl. Each year, the winning firms present their work at a lecture series presented by the League in New York. Beginning on March 2, will take place at the Rose Auditorium in the new Morphosis-designed building at The Cooper Union. Also watch for an upcoming issue of The Architect's Newspaper where we feature a profile of each Emerging Voices winner. Information on the lecture series and architecture firms from the Architectural League: All lectures will be held at the Rose Auditorium, The Cooper Union, 41 Cooper Square, New York City at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are required for admission to the lectures. For more information on the lectures and tickets, visit www.archleague.org, beginning February 1. Friday, March 2 INABA, Jeffrey Inaba, New York and Los Angeles: INABA’s projects range from books and diagrams to installations, creating physical form from abstract content. 5468796 architecture, Johanna Hurme and Sasa Radulovic, Winnipeg: With a focus on housing and public projects, the collaborative office playfully explores the possibilities of architecture within the constraints of modest budgets and materials. Friday, March 9 SCAPE / Landscape Architecture, Kate Orff and Elena Brescia, New York: Through its landscape and urban design practice SCAPE researches new futures for the urban-natural environment. Studio NMinusOne, Christos Marcopoulos and Carol Moukheiber, Toronto: The studio’s work, both built and theoretical, explores the frontier of the digital and real and its effects on the physiologies of occupants of buildings and environments. Friday, March 23 Oyler Wu Collaborative, Dwayne Oyler and Jenny Wu, Los Angeles: Oyler Wu’s installations, pavilions, and façade experimentations are informed by and explore fabrication processes and materials. SsD, Jinhee Park and John Hong, New York, Boston, and Seoul: The firm’s work, from private residences to light sculptures to public buildings, combines research and production to find multivalent expressions from minimal form. Friday, March 30 arquitectura911sc, Jose Castillo and Saidee Springall, Mexico City: The office responds to the rich social and political complexities of Mexico in its wide-ranging work from social housing to urban planning. Atelier TAG, Manon Asselin and Katsuhiro Yamazaki, Montreal: The firm builds primarily in the public realm exploring the civic functions of architecture.  
Placeholder Alt Text

HOLLYWEIRD

So the iconic HOLLYWOOD sign was nearly turned into the backyard for a bunch of mansions, but fortunately the recession intervened—one of a surprising number of upsides to the downside, it seems. But that doesn't mean those big white letters aren't seeming a little tired, and so a Dutch designer has come up with a rather clever new use that Curbed tipped us off to: turn the sign into a giant hotel. As Christian Bay-Jorgensen explained it to the Daily News, "The ultimate goal would be to preserve an internationally recognized landmark while helping the city generate badly needed funding." If that weren't bad enough, our pal Alissa Walker points us to Jeffrey Inaba's plan to uproot the individual letters, loaning them out to areas of town in need of cache. The design provocateur explains after the jump, plus images of both, uh, projects.
Unplanned Surplus The Hollywood sign has exceeded its purpose. As a marketing tool for real estate development, it has generated value incommensurate with its own material worth. As a tourist destination, it is more popular than most buildings in LA. In lieu of a singular skyline, the sign is a default backdrop for televised New Year’s countdowns and late night comedy shows. The Hollywood sign has assumed an iconic role in the city far beyond its original ambition. Its value is an unplanned surplus.
Unplanned Surplus The Hollywood sign has exceeded its purpose. As a marketing tool for real estate development, it has generated value incommensurate with its own material worth. As a tourist destination, it is more popular than most buildings in LA. In lieu of a singular skyline, the sign is a default backdrop for televised New Year’s countdowns and late night comedy shows. The Hollywood sign has assumed an iconic role in the city far beyond its original ambition. Its value is an unplanned surplus.
Think you've got a better idea?