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RICSSummit of the Americas Toronto 2014
May 4-6, 2014
RICS Summit of the Americas 2014 is for any real estate professional looking to draw from timely, in-depth market knowledge that will be shared by local and international experts in the land, property and construction sectors. The summit will provide an excellent opportunity to connect with top professionals from around the world and engage in educational seminars and premier discussion forums. 

Sonoma Living: Home Tours
May 10, 2014
AIA San Francisco and AIA Redwood Empire are excited to announce Sonoma Living: Home Tours, a new home tours program for 2014. Sonoma Living will showcase a wide variety of architectural styles, neighborhoods, and residences—all from the architect's point of view. The program provides design enthusiasts and the general public with an inside look into the world of distinctive residences in Sonoma county. Tour participants have the opportunity to see some of the area's latest residential projects from the inside out, meet design teams, explore housing trends, and discover design solutions that inspire unique Sonoma living.


Design for Social Impact
May 25–August 3, 2014
Based on the idea that design is a way of looking at the world with an eye for changing it, the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) presents Design for Social Impact, an original exhibition offering a look at how designers, engineers, students, professors, architects and social entrepreneurs use design to solve the problems of the 21st century. 

 

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AIA|LA 2014 Design Awards Program Registration 
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Deadline: December 31
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Wolf and Sub-Zero 

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Wednesday
May222013

Workbook: New York State of Mind for PUMA

Nathan Lee Colkitt and his team, working closely with concept and store designer Plajer & Franz, created a design for PUMA's SoHo that captures the city's spirit and remains true to the company's brand. Photograph Garrett Rowland/Courtesy Colkitt & Co.Architect Nathan Lee Colkitt’s relationship with PUMA goes back nearly a decade. “I moved to LA in 2004, working for Stephen Kanner, the architect who came up with the initial design for the first PUMA stores in world,” he recalls. Hired initially to work on high-rise projects, economic realities put those on hold. “I got moved into the retail department and assigned to the PUMA account. I had never seen that side of things. It was fast paced—the closest thing to instant gratification you can get in architecture.” Colkitt became the department head in short order and traveled around the world as the brand expanded. He ultimately struck out on his own, establishing Colkitt & Co, but kept in touch with PUMA.

Eventually, PUMA came to him with a new opportunity: the chance to redesign the company’s outlet program. “They never had an outlet design,” explains Colkitt. The existing stores had stacks of shelving, rounders for clothing and harsh warehouse lighting, but, says Colkitt, “The market was shifting, and the premium outlet was rising. We started thinking about how to display the merchandise, make it shop-able and user friendly.” Colkitt and his team reimagined the outlets, moving them more in line aesthetically-speaking with its full-price stores by improving displays and lighting and creating central areas of the store to allow customers to try on footwear and linger.

In 2011, the company decided it was time to refresh its store in New York’s SoHo district, first opened in 2001 and without a substantial remodel since. “It was a little dated,” Colkitt says, “but in one of their prime locations." Colkitt and his team were one of several groups brought in to work fulfill the the concept design and store vision created by Plajer & Franz, who imagined a space that would reflect the overall PUMA brand while still giving the store a sense of place. For example, the wood bleachers and emphasis on footwear throughout the store are part of the overall brand strategy. Other elements give it an “only in New York” feel. Windows that seem as if they could have come straight off a brownstone line the walls. In the dressing rooms the tiled walls give the illusion of a subway station. The neon “Girls Girls Girls” sign, directing shoppers to the women’s section, is a sly nod to the city’s seedier past. “It’s a fun way of breathing local culture into the store,” Colkitt notes.

Good things have been flowing from the continued collaboration. The project led Colkitt & Co to expand—the firm now has a New York office. Recently, the SoHo store received an award from ARE in the Softline Specialty Store category, and Colkitt and his team are working on additional stores around the country. “It’s always a partnership,” he says of the collaboration. “And there’s always a little bit of humor with them.” 

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