Design In Bloom 2017
Spring is a season that brings new growth. Warmer temperatures rouse trees, grasses and flowers from their chilly winter slumber and rich, natural colors begin to emerge, thawing winter’s frost. In Denver, though, it is more than the vegetation that’s in bloom.
Modern In Denver magazine’s signature spring event, Design In Bloom, brings creativity, nature and design together and allows them to, you guessed it, bloom. The annual event, in its fifth year, challenges architecture and design firms to work with a different medium to create innovative, architecturally inspired floral displays. At Vertical Arts, we believe that it is important to participate in and support events like Design In Bloom and this was our third year of involvement.
Held at Space Gallery, in the heart of our Denver office’s neighborhood — Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe, Design In Bloom provides architects and designers with an opportunity to showcase their artistry in the form of floral designs and arrangements that draw on their background in architecture and design. The event also tested participating firms and forced teams to learn and grow from a design process unfamiliar to their firm.
At Vertical Arts, the design for our centerpiece actually grew out of a design contest amongst our staff. One of our internal contest’s judges, James Davis, is a designer we worked with to create our electrically eroded ping-pong table and one of the designers we ended up collaborating with on our Design In Bloom piece. We worked with James to combine elements of the contest designs that we both liked and strived to create a new and unique conversational piece that anchors any table while still allowing conversation to flow above it.
We treasure the collaborative design process at Vertical Arts and strive to find interesting local artists to create unique pieces for our clients. As a result, we felt that working with our neighbors and community members would add another element of value to our design. Accordingly, we turned to Jessica Schimpf of Mantra Glass Art for help as well. Jessica — one of very few female glassblowers in the country — creates her own unique designs by utilizing processes that are rarely used by other artists that work with glass.
Each artist’s open design process made them easy to work with but getting the glass to fit the rest of the design was a learning process and something that turned out to be more challenging than we initially expected. The result of our open collaboration with James and Jessica is a beautiful synthesis of steel, wood, and glass bound together by electricity, fire and heat. When executed properly, the elemental reaction caused by fusing fire, glass, wood and steel works well with what we’re trying to do at Vertical Arts. The various design techniques we utilized pushed materials to their limits and revealed their inherent beauty, creating something unique that fits the mold of a custom piece.
In the end, Design In Bloom is so much more than just a marketing event for us, it is a fun and different way to engage with colleagues and potential clients. We are looking forward to the opportunity to do more of these kind of designs for people, allowing something unique to bloom each time.