Curated by Shea: May

At Shea, we pride ourselves on staying on top of what’s happening in design news so that you don’t have to—and we pull what’s smartest and most forward-thinking together to save you the time of sifting through it all. It helps us keep tabs on what’s fresh, inspiring, and happening in the world—and we make a few headlines of our own, too.

“Spring 2022” – Shea:
The online edition of Shea Ink Spring 2022, featuring Khaluna, Preston Spire, Smith Coffee, Smack Shack, and a sleek North Loop financial firm

“Clever’s Guide to Color Trends Through the Decades” – Architectural Digest:
Architectural Digest’s Clever outlet looks at color trends throughout the decades, a helpful reference when looking to design with any particular era in mind. The piece dives into not only what colors were the most prolific beginning in the 1920s, but why those hues took hold during those particular periods. From the rich jewel tones of the Art Deco era to the acidic pop-art tones in the ’60s to the avalanche of Millennial Pink, the colors that have been popular in design (commercial, residential, and product alike) have given an indication of where society stands. The 2020s are about individuality and experimentation, making electric blue and lavender the shades to watch, but a desire for nostalgia means that nods to colors of the past will be in demand as well.

“The Post-Pandemic Office” – Architectural Record:
A handful of office experts—from real-estate managers to designers to developers—weigh in on what’s in for office spaces as companies work to draw employees back to them in a hybrid environment, while also serving their own needs. Hotel desking and outdoor workspaces are top priorities as building owners and managers focus more on the hospitality aspect of their spaces, with lobbies and common areas offering top amenities and hotel-like atmospheres. Companies are making design accommodations to best serve workers wherever they are, including flexible seating arrangements, incorporation of top tech, and gathering spaces for collaboration and creativity, along with very dedicated heads-down space. Well-being of workers is also top of mind, with self-care spaces and opportunities for fresh air being paramount to retrofits and new designs. Finally, developers and architects are working to better-incorporate office spaces into neighborhoods—whether that means integration or building a neighborhood up around the office in a mixed-use “metroburb.”

“Shea Partners Again with Danny del Prado on Macanda in Wayzata” – Shea:
All the news to know on Macanda’s early-summer opening in Wayzata, another partnership from Shea and beloved Twin Cities chef Danny del Prado

“Macy’s is Betting Even Bigger on Smaller Stores” – Wall Street Journal:
Macy’s is making a move to roll out smaller department stores, offering a smaller physical selection of products and more digital services. Market by Macy’s stores are roughly a fifth of the size of the typical department store, with inventory mixing trendy and staple items, and providing spots for online-order pickup. These stores have shown themselves to be more productive to staff and stock with inventory, following Nordstrom Local and Amazon in the small-format store space. Other traditional mall tenants are also looking to open-air centers in in-line locations that are more likely to generate daily foot traffic.

“Say Goodbye to the Boring Conference Room” – New York Times:
The New York Times delves into conference-room design, noting that dull, narrow spaces are getting a major reboot to become more welcoming and collaborative. First, they’re embracing new shapes and sizes (square and shiftable, to be flexible and democratic). Looser looks are taking hold, with soft furnishings and more focus on true décor versus the traditional sterility. They’re also popping up in new locations—in building amenity spaces and open-air work areas. And they’re bringing in new tech to include all employees and clients, no matter where they are in the world. This piece looks at the new LinkedIn California flagship to illustrate each of these ideas.

“Decompression Area: Ideas for Leisure and Rest Environments in the Office” – ArchDaily:
“Decompression rooms” are the latest iteration of the office well-being movement, a physical manifestation of a company’s dedication to its employees’ health—often leading to improved performance. ArchDaily discusses the many different kinds of decompression spaces, including open areas (those with plenty of space around them, either outdoors or not), play and entertainment spaces to unplug and socialize, break areas to snack and chat, and areas dedicated to sporting and fitness. In a tight office space or tricky remodel, even an empty corner can become a decompression respite with creative design and décor.

“For a Touch of Retro Whimsy, Restaurants Are Turning to the Illustrated Menu” – Eater:
Menu design can have a surprising impact on the overall dining experience, whether it’s realized or not—and the latest illustrated-menu trend means that design is making more of an impact than ever on people as they order. Illustrations make a menu feel special and can add a strong dose of personality to a menu, whether it’s drawings of craft cocktails or sketches featuring local landmarks. Eater looks at how several restaurateurs are using illustrated menus to create a sense of place in their restaurants that extends the design vibe from the space to the tabletop, heralding back to a finer time of dining out and making it an exciting, immersive, and playful experience again.

“Edina Country Club Honored as a 2021 Finance & Commerce Top Project” – Shea:
The Shea reimagination of Edina Country Club, featuring new public spaces and three fresh concepts designed with today’s and future members in mind, has won a 2021 Top Projects Award

“Upping the Ante” – VMSD:
“Regular” grocery stores are no longer an option as the market continues to get more crowded with gourmet and specialized brands. VMSD looks at how three different markets have curated their selections and design to create a business strategy that calls for repeat customers thanks to higher-end experience. Giant Riverwalk in Philadelphia takes a major brand and creates a more designed, natural experience that feels sophisticated. Washington’s MetropolitanMarket is a small-chain store that mimics a restaurant experience and uses the surrounding natural elements to influence design. And Super Marche in India strives to create a memorable experience with glass and mirrors.