We had a close friend and fellow designer call the other day to congratulate us on our recent accomplishment in Jefferson Parish, he then said “so why do you think you won?”
We believe there were two primary reasons: The solution was both inclusive and digestible.
Inclusive: Cadence researched and looked closely into what organizations and which people were actively partaking in their community within the project area – we then included them in our solution. A blueprint for community-specific outreach programs was produced for the Parish to implement using the resources they already had in place. Making people, both community members and project-related professionals, the key ingredient to its success.
Digestible: We knew there would be a panel of judges and a public that would see our design boards and have a fleeting moment to decide if they liked what they saw and if it made sense. We took that into account from day one with our team. The communication “design” of our idea received equal the amount of attention as the actual environmental design. If the audience doesn’t understand your ideas, you have failed. The boards (inspired from infographics) were user friendly, easy to comprehend and left the audience feeling satisfied after reviewing the solution.
Our friend also asked, “What made you enter this competition?”
As a new company, each new project we engage in is a conscious effort to build a portfolio of work that is all at once: challenging, meaningful, and profitable. Competitions, like all types of projects (paid or unpaid), come with benefits and pitfalls, so analyzing if this was the right decision for us came with much thought.
Our reasons for wanting to enter this particular competition:
- The region and place was of personal significance to us. Jefferson Parish is in Rebecca’s home state and the project site is one block from where she spent time as a child at her grandparent’s house.
- Public spaces and living environments are important to the healthy sustenance of human life. We want to be involved in projects that affect positive change in communities.
- It was a competition that promised a cash award and was backed by a collaborative effort between private businesses and government entities. Quality design and ideas should be paid for, and this group recognized that. It showed us this community had a responsible mindset. We believe in the strength of collaboration, so we wanted to support a community that did too.
- A project of this magnitude warranted, if selected as one of the top place winners, a decent amount of press coverage. As a new company, this could prove to be valuable and provide us with some promising exposure.
Finally, we explained to our friend this was our chance to approach a monumental project “our way”, never selling short on the values of which we started Cadence. Collaboration and open communication opened the way for creativity to unfurl. That creativity was cooked in ingredients that delivered the client a realistic, successful and meaningful living environment. We proved our approach can work.
So now, as Paul Harvey would say, you know “the rest of the story”.
Thanks to our dear friend who always asks the right questions and for inspiring this blog. Watch out Berkley, there is a great new mind coming to town.