What's In a Name?


What's In a Name?

Mergers and acquisitions activity is on the rise in the architecture and engineering industry. A common question arising among acquired firms due to this activity is: "Will we be able to retain our firm's name?," notes Steve Gido, an associate who specializes in merger and acquisition consulting for ZweigWhite, a management consulting, information and education provider for the design and construction industry. Gido explains that for a buyer, changing an acquired firm's name always involves a trade-off—the loss of the old name may hurt the combined firm when it comes to the goodwill of some clients, but it also helps the combined firms to share a common identity.

Gido shares three naming options acquiring firms should consider as well as tips for when to use each:

* Leave the acquired firm's name the same. "A firm with a different service specialty or niche than the parent company may find it beneficial to retain its original name. Holding onto a name can reassure clients and leverage the acquired firm's brand identity and goodwill," he says.

* Immediately change the name upon closing the deal. "This approach is common for firms that make multiple acquisitions and want to have a common identity and vision for their organization. An immediate name change goes a long way toward breaking down the inevitable 'us-versus-them' feeling that develops after closing," adds Gido.

* Allow for a transition period after the deal. "In the majority of instances I've seen, there's a six- to 12- month transition period in which the selling firm retains its identity under the umbrella of the acquirer's name. During the transition the new entity retains goodwill and uses marketing and branding to inform clients of the new combination and structure."
A New Phase for Archeworks

Archeworks, Chicago, IL's alternative design school, has recently released The Archeworks Papers, a new scholarly initiative to commemorate the school's 10th anniversary, partially sponsored by the Marshall B. Front Family Charitable Foundation. Design historian and theorist Victor Margolin was commissioned to write the first paper, entitled "Healing the World: A Challenge to Designers." Professor of Art and Design History at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Margolin sees the world as deeply wounded and believes that designers are faced with an unprecedented challenge to help heal it. He explores some of the ways that designers can transform the human capital of design knowledge into the social capital of effective action, and seeks to locate a socially responsive design practice within the complex network of groups and organizations that are actively committed to the healing process.

Dr. Margolin's work, plus written responses from Archeworks' founders Stanley Tigerman and Eva Maddox and architect Doug Garofalo, comprise the first in the series
of Archeworks Papers.

"With the publication of this first volume of The Archeworks Papers, we have started a new phase in our young life where we have begun to commission independent scholars annually to reflect and ruminate about various matters close to our collective hearts," writes Tigerman in the book's introduction.

Archeworks' students work in multidisciplinary teams with non-profit partners to create design solutions for social concerns. For more information, visit www.archeworks.org.

Cradle-To-Cradle Home Hits 300 Mark

The first International Cradle-to-Cradle Home design and construction competition, launched in April 2004 at EnvironDesign®8, is a two-part competition that allows students and professionals to compete with peers and offer solutions to the problem of designing buildable and sustainable housing. Designs are to be developed around the principles and framework described in Cradle-to-Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough, FAIA and Michael Braungart.

The first in a series of nationwide and international implementation markets will be held in Roanoke, VA, located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Competition organizers have reported that 300 registrations have been received since its launch, representing professionals from Japan, Australia, Korea, New Zealand, Chile, Venezuela, Honduras, Canada, United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, India, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Iran, Belgium and the United States. Additionally, other communities have begun to express interest in bringing the project to their locales. Housing advocates in New Haven, CT; Norfolk, VA; Minneapolis, MN and New York City have all discussed the project at this point.

Schools confirming their formal participation for the upcoming fall semester include Radford University, Kent State, University of Minnesota, University of Maryland, University of Kansas, Miami University Ohio, Ecosa Institute, Savannah College of Art and Design, Woodbury University, Judson College, Andrews University, McGill University, Red River College (Manitoba), University of Tel Aviv, University of Technology Sydney (Australia), Curtin University of Technology (Western Australia), University of Applied Sciences (Germany), and Gazi University (Ankara, Turkey). Other schools are in the consideration process.

Corporate sponsorship has also been secured from BASF, Shaw, James Hardie, Forbo Flooring, MechoShade Systems and many other local and regional organizations.

The Cradle-to-Cradle Home competition is presented by the Roanoke Regional Housing Network. For more information, visit www.c2c-home.org.

NeoCon East: Inspiring Solutions

NeoCon East will bring the NeoCon brand of diverse resources to the East Coast contract industry from October 6 to 7, 2004. Returning to the Baltimore Convention Center, the show provides attendees with inspiring solutions for the design and
management of the built environment and features four specific show components: Government Interiors, Buildings Show® featuring the Lighting Pavilion, GREENlife™: Products for Sustainable Environments (see box on page 14) and the new Architectural Stone and Ceramic Tile Exposition.

Over the course of the show, CEU-accredited seminars and association forums will be offered. All educational sessions are 60 minutes in length, rated by three skill levels and accredited for 0.1 CEU, 1LU or CMU. Additionally, two keynote addresses will be featured. On Wednesday, October 6 at noon, join Michael Sullivan, director of the Pentagon Renovation and Construction Program, as he presents "On Cost, On Schedule, Built for the Next 50 Years." Learn how the renovation of the largest low-rise office building in the world (The Pentagon) went from the point of the being canceled due to mismanagement to becoming an unprecedented success based on innovative organizational teaming, acquisition and project execution concepts. On Thursday, October 7 at noon, Shashi Caan discusses "Imagination and Responsibility." Her lecture will explore the forces shaping interior design's future by answering
questions that relate to the profession's goals, requirements and responsibilities.

For more information, click on the NeoCon East button at www.merchandisemart.com.

Masquerading for Education

The Kansas City chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) will hold its eighth annual Masquerade on October 20, 2004, at the Belger Arts Center, Kansas City, MO. Masquerade is an annual event designed to raise scholarship funds for students in regional interior design programs. Blank masks are distributed to interior designers and architects in the Kansas City area, who transform them into creative works of art. These unique pieces are then showcased and auctioned at the Masquerade, a stylish evening affair attended by members of Kansas City's design, creative and furnishings industries. This year designers are required to follow the theme of "ReUse, ReCycle, ReMask" by incorporating 50 percent recycled or recyclable content into their design. Also, as an additional feature to the event, local artist Jennifer Isom
will be creating and donating an original painting centered on the theme of the Masquerade, with proceeds again benefiting the scholarship campaign.

The total proceeds from sales of the masks will go to the IIDA Kansas City scholarship fund. Interior design students at regional universities and colleges must apply and compete in a detailed selection process to obtain these scholarships.

For more information about attending the event, visit www.iidama.org or e-mail: mask@iidama.org.

Green Buildings Open Their Doors in New York City

On Saturday, October 2, 2004, Green-HomeNYC, in partnership with the North East Sustainable Energy Association, will host the second annual New York City Green Buildings Open House. Green buildings from across the five boroughs will open their doors to the public to show how aesthetics, quality and affordability can go hand in hand with environmentalism, human health, comfort and well-being.

New York is rapidly gaining momentum in the burgeoning green building movement — finding ways to make the city's unique building stock vastly more healthy and environmentally sustainable—with current success stories ranging from upscale apartment buildings to affordable housing; from rapid transit stations to courthouses and libraries; and from midtown high-rises to Brooklyn lofts. Open House attendees, whether building professionals, building owners or tenants, will get a chance to see green building elements such as fuel cells and solar cells, geothermal heating, non-toxic materials, designs for daylighting and energy efficiency, comfort controls, and the use of renewable, salvaged, recycled and recyclable materials.

GreenHomeNYC staff will lead neighborhood walking tours and a multi-borough bus tour, where building owners and architects will describe the features of their buildings, explain the way the buildings function, and examine not only the benefits of the green features to the residents and the city as a whole, but also the costs involved in making the project a reality.

The 2004 Green Buildings Open House will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 2. Information about the tour is available at www.GreenHomeNYC.org.

Kendall Hosts Student Symposium

Kendall College of Art and Design's student chapters of ASID and IIDA will host Collab-oration by Design 2004, an international student symposium. Slated for October 1, 2004, the event is open to students enrolled in interior design programs, interior design professionals, as well as industry partners. This year's program, to be held at Kendall College, Grand Rapids, MI, will examine "Environmental Influences on Design."

All presentations are CEU accredited. Keynoting the event is Rosalyn Cama, FASID, president and principal designer of CAMA, Inc. Her talk, "Future Planning for the Interior Design Professional," will address the successful transition from design student
to interior design professional. A luncheon address by David Fik, senior interior developer with the Ideation Group at Haworth, Inc. will focus on "Green Analysis and Cultural Sustainability."

Attendees can select two of four breakout sessions that will be given by: Mark La Croix, divisional vice president, Interface Fabrics, who will speak on "What Makes a Product Green?"; Caren Martin, Ph.D., CID, ASID, IIDA, IFMA, director of InformeDesign, who will talk about how to "Become an InformeDesigner: Bringing Research Into Your Practice"; Paul Williams, senior contract specialist, Honeywell, whose presentation will address "Discovering Personality—A Necessary Tool for Effective Communications Regarding Sustainability and the Green Movement"; and Keith Winn, sustainable design
specialist, Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber, Inc., who will provide an update on LEED-CI.

Assisting in sponsoring the symposium are: Haworth, Herman Miller, Steelcase, Trendway, ASID, IIDA, FIDER, Design Plus, Hamalainen & Associates, Lake Affect Design Studio, Landscape Forms and Virginia Tile.

For information, visit www.kcad.edu or call (616) 451-2787, ext. 230.

Honoring Great American Home Restorations

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Old-House Journal are seeking entries for the Great American Home Awards®. Winners will be announced in the May/June 2005 issue of Old-House Journal and Preservation magazines.

The Great American Home Awards is a national competition recognizing outstanding single-family residential rehabilitation projects of houses over 50 years old. Established in 1989, the contest honors homeowners and professionals for their dedication to the ideals of preservation, as well as for their commitment to excellence in rehabilitating old houses. The awards program is open to homeowners, professionals (architects, contractors, craftspeople, designers) substantially involved with the project, or third parties (preservation organizations, municipal governments, individuals) who know of outstanding projects in their communities.

All projects should respect the historic character of the house and must have been completed within the past five years.

Nomination deadline is November 15, 2004. Applications and descriptions of categories are available on-line at www.nationaltrust.org and www.oldhousejournal.com.

What's Green at NeoCon East

For the second consecutive year, architects and interior designers can visit the GREENlife™ exhibit at NeoCon East to find products to assist in maintaining a healthy planet while earning project points with rating systems such as LEED. Providing the products, processes and certification measures necessary to achieve eco-friendly design solutions, GREENlife highlights manufacturers who recognize the importance of sustainable design in both design and manufacturing processes.

In addition, four CEU-accredited seminars will be held exploring sustainable design and building trends.

* At 9 a.m. on Wednesday, October 6, Landscape Forms' Richard Heriford will present "New Trends in Environmental Design," a workshop that explores the findings of a white paper on new environmental design trends as discussed by design leaders who attended roundtable discussions on the topic.

* "Greener Office Space Does Make A Difference: How You Can Build and Manage Green," scheduled for Wednesday, October 6 at 3 p.m., provides simple ways to have greener office space and best practices from agencies that are building greener buildings and renovating their space using more environmental products. This workshop is presented by Sandy Jones, GSA, Public Buildings Service.

* "Where 'Green' has Been, Where It Is Going and How It Will Affect Product Costs" will be held on Thursday, October 7, at 9 a.m. Presented by Steve Bradfield of the Shaw Commercial Business Unit, it will explore the evolution of "green" efforts and how end-users can save money.

* At 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 7, GSA's Sandy Jones will present "GSA Can Make You Green." This session addresses what you need to know to help your agency meet their legal responsibilities of buying environmental products and how GSA is making it easy to buy green products.