The 13th Annual Contract Design Forum—a two-day gathering of the 40-member Contract Editorial Advisory Board, invited guests who are leaders in the commercial design industry, and representatives of sponsors—was held last week at La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Fostering engaging and thought-provoking discussion, the Forum is held annually for leading experts in commercial architecture and interior design—architects and designers who are principals of firms, and nationally recognized designers of workplace, hospitality, healthcare, retail, education, and civic projects, as well as design educators and national real estate leaders.
This year’s forum kicked off with salsa making in teams at the Santa Fe School of Cooking, and included visits to the Museum of International Folk Art to learn about Alexander Girard’s folk art collection and SITE Santa Fe—a contemporary art space with a brand new building by SHoP Architects.
Dinners were enjoyed at Eloisa, which was a nominee for the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in 2016 and The Compound, a restaurant with a rich 50-year history that was designed by Alexander Girard.
This year’s speakers were Andrew Gordon, Ellen Dunham-Jones, and Jason Schupbach. Gordon, directing animator at Pixar Animation Studios, delivered a talk about creativity and storytelling, while Dunham-Jones—a leading authority on retrofitting suburbia—spoke about her authoritative book on the subject “Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs.” Schupbach is the director of The Design School at the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University and discussed his seven years as the director of design and creative place-making programs for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).
Contract Design Forum was sponsored by Bentley, Crossville, Davis, Humanscale, Keilhauer, Kimball, Kwalu, Mohawk Group, OFS, Shaw Contract, Sunbrella, Tarkett, Teknion, Universal Fibers, and Wolf-Gordon.