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Events

The West Hollywood Design District Presents Decades of Design 1948–2014
November 19, 2014–February 2015
The first-ever retrospective exhibition uncovering, examining and celebrating six decades of rich design history in West Hollywood. The curated ­­gallery will showcase design pioneers and present tastemakers through bold graphics, photographs and original product.

FOG Design + Art Fair
January 15–18, 2015
Benefiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), FOG Design+Art is a four-day celebration and exploration of modern and contemporary design, architecture, and art with dynamic exhibits, custom installations, art galleries, lectures, and discussions with leaders in the art and design worlds.

Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio
February 20–May 24, 2015
This February, the Hammer Museum will present the West Coast debut of Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio, featuring the imaginative work of British designer Thomas Heatherwick and his London-based studio. Heatherwick is known for his unique design concepts ranging from products, such as a handbag for Longchamp, to large-scale structures like the new distillery for Bombay Sapphire Gin.

 

 

Competitions

Deadline: December 31
Kitchen Design Contest
Wolf and Sub-Zero 

Deadline: January 16
Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition 2015
Ceramics of Italy 

Deadline: February 23
I Like Design
Interiors & Sources 

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Hidden
« Book Review: Chinese Megastructures | Main | Showroom: Ghost World »
Tuesday
Feb112014

Building Your Business: Seeing the World, Part 1

Participants in EPT Design's TREK program have traveled the world, seeking inspiration and renewal. They bring back a new perspective on their work that imbues the firm with creative energy. Image courtesy EPT Design.If you happen to be fortunate enough to work at EPT Design, a landscape design firm with offices in Pasadena and Irvine, and have a hankering to check out what’s happening with, say, playgrounds in the Netherlands or dry gardens in Australia, you’re in luck. For the past decade or so, the company has offered the TREK program, which gives two staffers each year the chance to travel and explore.

The program (TREK stands for Travel, Renewal, Exploration, Knowledge) got its start over a decade ago when Nord Eriksson and his partners Matthew Hall and Stephen Carroll started thinking about their own travel experiences. “We got really rejuvenated and inspired,” says Eriksson. “We talked about our travels in the office and in client meetings.”

From there, it was a few steps to discussing “how much we wished our staff could benefit and how we could trigger it,” he says. “We wanted them to travel, be renewed, explore and gain knowledge. They would benefit personally and also bring back information to share.” With that, TREK was set in motion.

The program is set up as a competition. Employees are invited to submit proposals, and at a dinner, a jury composed of staff and clients, evaluates them. “The ones that win have demonstrated a really strong central idea, provide specifics relative to what they’re going to do, demonstrate some research and have some specific, measurable goals that gets the jury fascinated,” Eriksson explains.

While benefitting the employees themselves, the TREK program has also had a meaningful impact on the direction of the firm, as returning participants get a chance to present and share their experiences with their colleagues. A trip to Portland, Oregon, revealed an ingenious rainwater-collection system—the photos of which “circulated in the office like wildfire,” says Eriksson. Another employee’s trip to Paris to study urban gardens has also inspired and shaped thinking at the firm.

TREK has proven to be a great draw in recruiting prospective employees, since it provides a quick and easy way to see “what we are about,” notes Eriksson. “It’s a very good way to showcase our culture.” Of course, it’s impossible to overstate the personal piece: “The real gift is that people’s world views change,” he says. “You see the world through other’s eyes and realize and appreciate where you come from.” 

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