the garret

What’s top of mind at KSQ

trends

HEALING GARDENS IN SENIOR LIVING COMMUNITIES

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Healing Gardens are an important design component in best-in-class senior living communities, and this isn’t surprising considering their ability to provide social, psychological, emotional, physical and spiritual benefits to senior residents and staff. People of all ages and cultures find nature restorative, and Roger Ulrich, a leading researcher in healing gardens explains why:

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Camp T Square 4
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IT’S A STEM SUMMER IN KSQ OFFICES

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K12 outreach is a passion at KSQ Design and recognized as a direct way for us to give back to our communities and get to know our clients and end users better. We consider it a bonus when there’s a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) angle, since supporting STEM efforts also supports our industry and protects its future. We were lucky enough to have a chance to support STEM education recently when we hosted educators in our Charlotte office and students in our Tulsa office.

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KSQ News Graphic
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NEW PRINCIPAL ANNOUNCED

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We’re pleased to announce Monica Roberts has been promoted to Principal at KSQ Design. Roberts has 20 years of experience in marketing and joined the firm’s Tulsa office in 2012. Since that time her role has grown to lead our business development, strategic planning and marketing/communications efforts.

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Topping Out At Kingston High School: A Milestone in District’s Century Capital Plan

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KSQ Design is pleased to announce the “topping out” of the Salzmann building at Kingston High School–a milestone in the firm’s expansion and remodel of the Kingston Central School District (KCSD). The Topping Out ceremony was attended by representatives of KCSD, KSQ and our project partner BBL Construction who all signed their names on the steel beam as a symbolic gesture.

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culture

Student Housing Interior Design Brings Nature Indoors

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Adriana Vadasz joined KSQ’s interior design team in 2012 and was the 2015 recipient of KSQ’s Tulsa office “KSQ’est” (similar to MVP of the year). In addition to her interior design work she has also provided landscape design concepts to KSQ clients as added value. KSQ Associate Jon Pontious, Assoc. AIA, recently sat down with Adriana to ask her about combining her studies in interiors and landscape, and how she’s applied this knowledge to KSQ projects. Jon and Adriana have worked on projects together since college when they were both employed by Oklahoma State University’s Long Range Facilities Planning, and since joining KSQ they’ve worked on numerous student housing projects together. 

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FEATURED IMAGE
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Top 5 Interior Product Trends from Neocon

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I’ve just returned from Neocon–a three day interior design conference attended by over 50,000 design professionals–and stepped back to determine the five biggest trends I saw on display from over 500 different companies at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.

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trends

LET THE MUSIC PLAY: ART PROGRAMS IN SENIOR LIVING DESIGN

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When designing senior living programming it’s important to not overlook the importance of including an arts program. National studies show seniors involved in the arts improve physically and mentally. Music therapy, in particular, offers an essential component in dementia and Alzheimer’s treatment plans due to its ability to transport individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia to a different time and place, and help them remember things, events and people buried deep in their memory. The program can use multipurpose space, a specific room or take place during sessions in individual rooms. The technology can be throughout the building, limited to a specific room or as simple as a small, personal music player. While implementation within a community is flexible, the benefits of such programs are clear cut.

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flying machine
culture

Biomimicry: Design Solutions Inspired by Nature

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Nature offers the best design with work typically unseen or noticed on a daily basis. Despite all of the differences between organisms and the complexity of ecosystems, in nature every factor is planned and executed in perfection with all resources maximized. In the human world, we are constantly trying to solve problems in all fields, such as medicine, engineering, psychology, and, of course, architectural and interior design. Our solutions, though, are not always clear or the most efficient. But what would happen if we looked to nature as our inspiration to more sustainable and efficient problem solving?

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KSQ Design solar air heating
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Energy Systems and End Users: An Architect’s 30-Year Journey

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We recently installed a solar hot-air collection system at West Patent Elementary, part of the Bedford Central School District, in suburban New York. For this project all the elements for renewable energy came together: a good building sited properly for solar collection, an enlightened Owner willing to invest, and a product able to perform. For me, installation of the solar wall represents the realization of ideas of sustainability more than 30 years in the making.

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community

KSQ K12 OUTREACH: MODELS AND MENTORS

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KSQ has been visiting K12 schools throughout the country for career days and while judging the NAWIC LEGO Block Kids competition recently we met a shy 6th grader named Justin who was one of the top finishers in his bracket. After the competition, Justin’s grandmother approached us to express her gratitude and share her grandson’s interest in the design field. We then coordinated an office visit for both of them to help Justin get a better understanding of the architecture and engineering careers…

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MEET OUR NEW NATIONAL DESIGN DIRECTOR, MARK MCCARTHY, AIA

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Mark McCarthy, AIA, has joined KSQ Design as principal and the firm’s national design director providing design leadership to the firm across all seven offices and in all market sectors.

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CU Boulder--North Approach
campus

NEW DINING HALL CREATES HUB OF STUDENT COMMUNITY

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Food brings students together–so do breathtaking views. At the University of Colorado Boulder, campus leaders combine these two magnets to create the new Village Center-Dining & Community Commons, a multifaceted project with views of the Flatiron Mountains designed to create a much-needed space for students to come home to in Williams Village. A short fifteen minute walk from the main campus, Williams Village offers an existing tight-knit community but lacks a modern dining facility, student service spaces, and a place for students to claim as their own. KSQ was given the unique opportunity to participate in bringing about the realization of the village model and designing its symbolic heart and center piece.

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Why Design Matters at KSQ.

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Every so often you get an opportunity to re-examine your work from a new perspective. In the last couple of years, that’s exactly what we’ve done at KSQ.

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Three chapter building design by KSQ
campus

Spotlight: KSQ’s Design for 25 Greek Chapter Houses at TCU

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Student Housing Business shared the first project images for the 25 Greek chapter houses KSQ has designed for the Worth Hills Village development on the Texas Christian University (TCU) campus. The new home for 25 TCU fraternity and sorority chapters will be within 11 buildings and complement the Multipurpose Dining Hall and three upper class residence halls KSQ has completed over the last two years in the development. The designs reveal a Greek Village within Worth Hills comprised of a series of small, interconnected buildings in a park-like setting with features that create community and embrace Greek culture and ceremony.

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IMG_0629
community

The Block Kids: KSQ’s Latest LEGO Education Effort

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It’s fair to say KSQ staff relish an opportunity to play with LEGOs and encourage a fondness in others for the classic building blocks. We’ve created an original bilingual LEGO STEM classroom program and recently had the opportunity to judge a Block Kids competition. The national LEGO building competition is hosted by the NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) and aims to introduce K-6 school children to the AEC industry. Members of our Charlotte office judged a local competition and helped select students to move on to the regional (and hopefully national) level. The event showed us what students could design and create using 100 LEGO blocks, a piece of string, and aluminum foil within a 40 minute time frame.

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campus

5 Favorite Features: OSU University Commons

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University Commons is the newest housing project on the Oklahoma State University (OSU) campus consisting of three KSQ designed residence halls in an adapted traditional layout. The buildings house more than 900 students, have a modified Georgian exterior, and are united by a grand pedestrian quad. We asked members of our interior design team to share their favorite features from the project, and their responses offer insight into the design intent and how great design helps build campus community.

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coleyhall
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Reclaiming the Res Hall: A Student Housing Before & After Story

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Colby Hall is an all-female residence hall built in 1957 and KSQ’s latest completed project at Texas Christian University (TCU). The project was completed in time for students to return to the building this fall and they’ve quickly created a new Colby community in the hall. But getting them there required a complete gutting of the building and taking the space from 1957 to 2015 in student life design. Here’s how our team did it:

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Classroom Makeover Delivers “Big Wow” for Teacher and Students

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This week a KSQ design team’s efforts brought a teacher to tears–happy ones. Over the weekend, we completed our third annual Project Classroom makeover for a deserving and dedicated public school teacher at Grissom Elementary in Tulsa Public Schools. Her reaction at the “big reveal” Monday morning made all the hard work well worth it!

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campus

Throwback: Student Housing at University of Colorado Boulder

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Last week on the University of Colorado Boulder campus we witnessed the demolition of the Darley Commons  to create space for the new Village Center Dining and Community Commons building (KSQ’s current project on the CU Boulder campus). It was definitely a moment to pause and reflect on the history of the campus (Darley was built in 1969), and it inspired us to create this throwback blog to our first project with CU Boulder and share unseen images from the project. Join us as we throw it back three years ago to the award-winning Kittredge Complex student housing project.

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