The Symantec Story: Why WELL?

Symantec-0213It’s always extra gratifying when a project you’re working on embodies a personal passion, but when it involves two?!?  That’s an architect’s dream. For me, this happened not too long ago when working on a headquarters renovation for tech giant, Symantec.

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, and competing for some of the best and brightest minds in the technology industry, Symantec understood from the very beginning that they would need to find ways to differentiate their workspace from the competition.  Not an easy feat when you’re surrounded by the Googles and Apples of the world. Yet, Symantec realized the power of good design and that they had an opportunity to create an environment that would make a tangible and measurable difference in the lives of their employees.  For us, and our partner firm AP+I, this was music to our ears.  READ MORE

March 23rd, 2017 | Comments Off | Work It
The Connection Between Space and Wellness

Flying Quinn

As living beings, we are impacted by our environment. Design plays a significant role in human health, and the way that we configure and manipulate elements in a space can mean more to its inhabitants than whether they like the color of the walls or the texture of the carpet. On the broadest level certain environmental factors have universal effects on all of us – i.e. daylight & circadian rhythm. In other cases these environmental factors are very personal and specific, based on our genetic wiring. Genetics set the stage and the environment activates those genes in different ways. READ MORE

April 25th, 2014 | Comments Off | Beyond Architecture
This is Your Brain on Space: Architecture & Neurology

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This post was co-authored by the very talented Chris Penndorf.

As designers and facility managers we are responsible for the environment that we keep. In order to make those environments effective, we need to understand the organisms that we’re designing for: HUMANS. Chances are we’re not really thinking of architecture in terms of how it relates to the human body, and even more importantly, the human brain. READ MORE

November 1st, 2013 | Comments Off | Beyond Architecture
Persuasive Presentations, Part 5: Incongruity

Have you ever been in a presentation where the speaker is droning on and on about something – it could be The Most Important Information in the World – but you wouldn’t know. You are plotting your escape from this living hell. Can you fake your own demise by having a hellacious coughing fit, thus enabling you to rush from the room? Sure, it might tear up your throat, but it would be worth not having to sit through this. READ MORE

January 16th, 2013 | Comments Off | Beyond Architecture
Persuasive Presentations – Part 4 Perception

The P in our SPICES acronym stands for Perception.  Perception is important because it gets to the heart of helping your audience understand that your information is for their benefit.  It frames the interaction and helps people let down their guard and absorb information.


September 10th, 2012 | Comments Off | Beyond Architecture
Persuasive Presentations, Part 3: Simplicity

A Plan is Great – but a Framework Allows Shifting on the Fly

To catch up:

We have identified the six elements for any persuasive presentation:  Simplicity, Perception, Incongruity, Confidence, Empathy & Story.   The first one that we’ll pull apart is Simplicity.

Ironically, when I went to translate the content that I developed for my presentation into this blog, this section – on Simplicity – had the most slides.  I think that illustrates our problem perfectly.  Simplicity is not easy to achieve.

Fret not, Dear Reader, we have a solution!


August 16th, 2012 | Comments Off | Beyond Architecture
Persuasive Presentations, Part 2: Setting the Stage

Seems so simple, right?

Right.  So far we have established that anyone can be a persuasive presenter, the first step as you embark on your new career as a Supersuader is to understand the raw materiel that you’re working with.  Of course you are delightful, with a sparkling personality.  At least that’s what your Mother says.  Even with your Mother’s rapturous endorsement you need to understand and evaluate – with the ruthlessness of a Visigoth – how other people see you.  You need to know what to emphasize and what to buttress.

Speaker, Know Thyself!


August 8th, 2012 | Comments Off | Beyond Architecture
The User’s Guide to Persuasive Presentations


A few years ago, I did a presentation for the AIA at Architecture Exchange East, which is an educational conference serving the Mid-Atlantic States.  The graphics were done by Nikki Mueller, one of our brilliant graphics designers in Marketing.  The name of the presentation was The User’s Guide to Persuasive Presentations.  I will attempt to serialize that presentation in this blog over the course of a few weeks. 


August 1st, 2012 | Comments Off | Beyond Architecture