We know it’s hard to gauge time in this year that wasn’t, but a markedly bright spot for us was ringing in our ten year anniversary. And while this is not how we envisioned celebrating our big 1-0, our remarkable team of talented and thoroughly wonderful individuals have made working from home more than bearable. In the chaos, we found our rhythm and our innate nimbleness went into creative overdrive.
This year we have welcomed six new staff members from all over the U.S, and we welcomed a future staff member (baby Edith).
We saw the completion of our latest “mega pocket patio” at the Scarborough Building off of Congress and 6th Street, as well as celebrated the 6th and 7th transformation of parking spaces into social catalysts. Yep, this whopper transformed 6 spaces on congress and 3 on 6th Street!
Hindsight being 20/20, but who would have guessed these bastions of open space and design would have become so valuable in COVID times, as the importance of outdoor open space became a vital lifeline for many cafes and restaurants? We also worked with the Downtown Austin Alliance and AIA Austin on creating a spatial study of downtown ATX, leaned into our passion for public art by commissioning our own alleyway mural, logged hundreds hours of community volunteerism and were honored to present at a multitude of national and local virtual conferences (our current Zoom ranking = Jedi Masters).
A big, bright spot for us was November 16, 2020. Our efforts of transforming the parking spaces on Congress Avenue was recognized with a proclamation from the City of Austin for “Street Patio Day.” From the pilot project at Royal Blue Grocery, to seven completed South Congress parklets (with four more in planning!). We’re proud of our own version of tactical urbanism — increasing pedestrian access on the main street of Texas one reclaimed parking spot at a time.
2020 marks one of our most influential design years where the parking lots of the former Highland Mall were transformed into the urban oasis that is Fontaine Plaza and within that project were able to see up to a 85% reduction of impervious cover, preserve all of the heritage trees and design a custom art installation that blurs the line between art, branding and signage for project and for the Austin Community College. We are in the final throes of overseeing tens of thousands of native plants being planted at the magnificent Waterloo Park, and we are currently in the process of ecologically restoring a former petrochemical depot in East Austin!
Despite the fact that Zoom revealed all kinds of weird and wonderful things about people's living rooms, spare bedrooms, kitchens and more we are blessed to have such an amazingly resilient and creative team that have pivoted effortlessly into this new virtual paradigm (and even seen many advantages of doing so!). Reflecting on 2020, we acknowledge there is so much to be grateful for - the new baby additions to the family, the fur baby company mascots, the pre-COVID travel and the mid-COVID creative travel, major life events, a refresh to our website and overall the demonstration that our company culture is still very much weird and wonderful!
So, as we raise a glass to you, to the next 10 years, and to returning to clinking glasses in person again one day soon. Please mask up, stay safe and may the force be with you.
Onwards and upwards!
Enjoy our 2020 year in review - image style!
dwg. fur babies
Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy 2021. From our family to yours!