Two years ago, before we knew much about identity or even considered re-branding ge WATTIER architecture, we had a desire to more clearly define what we want to do in our work and how we want to connect with clients interested in the same things. We took our own discovery | visioning process (now pullback) that we use to begin the design process with our clients and turned the focus on ourselves.
After a few sessions where we spoke vaguely about design, values, process and clients, we knew we had to dig deeper and get personal. Almost naively and certainly optimistically, we asked, “What if we could drill down to 2-3 words that describe why we do what we do? Why do we get up in the morning?” We each took a week on our own to develop our own individual answers and then brought the team back together.
Vague descriptions were out and bold clarity took the wheel. As a team, we sought the force that moves us to strive for great design solutions and to engage with our community and clients : our drivers. We distilled, debated, combined, questioned and pushed until we were left with only the meat.
At Slingshot Architecture, our drivers are the heart of our purpose, but more importantly our approach to people. make sense, serve, mean it.
Thank you to everyone who joined us on Friday for our relaunch party. The gathering afforded us a chance to thank our clients, consultants, friends and families for their part in our firm and our work. To those that were not able to make it, we have also greatly appreciated your feedback and support over the last week.
I have two personal observations to share coming away from the event:
#1 – Sharing the new brand is a blast! It is effortless and authentic. I realized this when I caught up with a previous client that works in a space that we designed with him. I explained the new name, our purpose and process. It was not a shock, he was not surprised… instead he nodded in agreement and said he wanted to meet about his next office space. Our clients know this is who we are, but now we can speak clearly about what they know.
#2 – Our team is strong and unified. When I look back across the images of the staff preparing for the launch and then at the event, I see a group of people that cares about each other and truly enjoy spending time together. It is awesome to work with talented individuals that are having a good time in their work. Can’t wait to see what’s next!
Today we begin a new chapter in the life of our architectural firm. Over the past ten years, we have been very blessed to work on many amazing projects in Des Moines, around Iowa and in other locations. As we roll out some changes and clarity to who we are and how we desire to provide work, it is a good time to share with you a few key thoughts that have become clear and unmistakeable to me.
Although I’m not a native of Iowa, Des Moines has become my home due to the people I’ve been fortunate enough to know through work and outside of work. Thank you to all of you that have guided and pushed me to pursue my architectural dreams. Thank you to all of you who invited me to assist you with your architectural needs and provided us with several great opportunities.
I have an absolutely amazing family. Thank you mom for being an integral member of our team for several years. Your dedication and support was immeasurable. Thank you Tony and Riley for not only allowing me to pursue my passion, but your understanding when I too often chose poorly and put my work ahead of you two. Sandi, none of this would have been possible without your commitment, strength and strong love. Thank you. I hope all four of you can share in the success and pride of today because it would not have happened without you.
As for the firm itself, it’s clear “its just bigger than me now”. Our office studio is a group of amazing people that share similar life and work drivers with me. Our drivers are embedded in our Process and Purpose. Our Purpose is very simple. We need and expect Meaning in our work. If we rigorously Serve our Clients and provide processes and solutions that Make Sense, we will find and deliver Meaning. Our Process is threefold. We Pull Back so we can clearly identify a project, generate Momentum to define solutions and strive to make Impact.
Regarding our drivers, I must point out it has been difficult yet simple and very rewarding, to clearly identify them as a result of the dedicated work Justin, John and Adam at 8|7 Central did to “discover” our firm. They also created all our new, very personal, graphics and firm materials. Besides their never ending great work, we also now have three new friends and accomplices in the battle to do meaningful design.
David Voss, Dan Drendel, John Bloom and Sandi Wattier have pushed, pulled and joined forces with me over the last many years. They are awesome and I truly value working with them and their friendships. Their leadership, expertise, maturity and desire to build our firm while impacting Des Moines have made it easy for me to recognize our firm is no longer about a single person name or even a group of names. The firm name must change so it is aligned with our Process and Purpose.
ge WATTIER Architecture is now Slingshot Architecture.