We’ve been talking about Thoughtful Sophistication™ a lot in our studios; what it means to us and what we hope it means to others. Of course, there’s our Thoughtful Sophistication collection—but it’s more than just the products and finishes you see. It’s a way to move Beyond the Barn™ to see the other side of reclaimed wood, options that are sleek and modern with a soul.
However, nothing good comes from just talking in your own bubble, so we reached out to some of our design friends to get their take on what Thoughtful Sophistication means to them, what they see as the next wave in interiors, and how they stay inspired as a creative.
I had the fantastic opportunity to chat with Susanne Angarano, Principal + Interior Designer at Ashley McGraw in Syracuse, NY. The architectural design firm creates spaces where people are inspired to work, learn, collaborate, and play—or “design with purpose”, as they say. Susanne’s work is mostly in educational spaces.
D: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today Susanne, I really appreciate it. Tell me more about your work in sustainable design.
S: Thanks, of course. I started my education in Interior Design and got my masters in Sustainable Design. I landed at Ashley McGraw because it’s a very design AND sustainability focused firm full of people very passionate about both. Our firm is very deeply rooted in sustainable building science and holistic sustainability which is my passion. We have a great balance of the science and the ecological in our sustainable approach and I love how they synthesize together in our designs.
Is holistic sustainability the next step for design?
S: I think so. We take a lot of our direction from International Living Future Institute’s Living Buildings Challenge—what I would call a holistic design approach. It looks at the science behind the energy, water, and site—but also materiality, beauty, social justice, and environmental justice—it’s a great framework to use. I think that even if projects aren’t going towards this certification it’s a great guiding principle for projects so that sustainability can become more than just energy usage or recycling to end-users and clients.