We needed to create a hierarchy within the spaces as we wove the story elements in.
One of the most fun aspects of the design process was partnering with local artisans and makers, bringing them in early and leveraging their expertise to help ideas come to life quickly. For example, we leaned on Erik Rueda Design Lab’s expertise and creativity to help us deliver on some of our lofty conceptual goals like the mailboxes we converted to a feature near the reception desk, and the wooden beams in the café riffing off of tea crates and the Boston Tea Party story.
We also partnered with artists during our design process. Mark Grundig designed and executed a number of elements in the project including the mid-century modern pattern on the lobby floor and murals in the workspace and gym and helped get design signoffs for out-of-the-box finishes. He provided custom samples along the way and would work with our team to hone in on unique approaches to achieve the looks we were going after.
The Innovation Tower – a three-story collage of Boston’s inventions -  involved so many people on its own to make it happen. We started with a Jay-Z album cover reference and a big idea, modeled a concept in 3D and reviewed it in VR, working with the contractors and engineers to figure out how to support it, pulling lists of elements together with Adam&Co, and ultimately partnering with Individuals Collective to execute it.
Once you are part of something like this, it leaves you yearning to do it againThe relationships we formed on the project remain strong and these folks will be long-time collaborators with PCA – we can’t wait to find more ways to work together in the future!

We forget that the true success is in the process. We forget to reflect on the process. We forget to celebrate the process. That is where things are built beyond the result: relationships, experience, resilience, appreciation, and pride. We get stronger through our paths. We learn forgiveness when we falter. We learn in a world that screams for perfection, that there is beauty in imperfection, and creativity grows when things do not go as planned.
So how do we start this shift in communication?
How can I ask this of you, of this community, if I do not do it myself? It seemed apropos that the first story to be shared was the process of this project.


This concept like most started with a conversation that became compounded by shared energy. We all have a personalized approach to our processes. Mine in the ideation stage is to pace while writing each idea on a post-it seeking a combination that turns a thousand thoughts into an actual concept.
Here I was thinking I was only building a brand, but I was about to find out two equally important processes were about to take place. The first was the process of building this brand, the intention behind it, and connecting the look to the feel. The second process was the memorable relationships that were going to be introduced and built along the way with individuals that immediately became mentors, educators, and friends.

I always start a project by rooting the intention to hold the vision as we know the journey can be equal parts organization as it is chaos. I remind myself to follow the path by trusting the process. Being a perfectionist, it is important for me to understand “the day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit”.
“Hold the vision. Trust the process.” This became my mantra.
In a way, this process is a lot like relationships. Pouring love into a concept, nurturing it through drafts, knowing when to let ideas go, and over time it develops into a collection which forms our landscape.
I break the development down into three sections:
The look which is the logo, colors, and typography. This is the face. 
The feel which is the brand and the values. This is the personality. 
The story which is the intention. This is soul.
“Hold the vision. Trust the process.”
There is a vulnerability I often feel going into new environments. There was this moment that hit me like a wave right before I submitted the proposal for the newsletter. A reminder that I was submitting my design and intentions to a group of designers. I nervous laughed as I hit send. I knew there were going to be moments of humility, growth, pressure, and satisfaction throughout this expedited timeline. The night before we presented the proposal, I think I slept two hours as I calculated the expertise on the call anticipating more great questions that would need answers. I had to bury the fear that this was bigger than me.  


"Hold the vision. Trust the process.”
As we navigated multiple drafts the vision became more and more clear like a camera coming into focus. We changed the name in each revision until it aligned. I sat in a sea of colors night after night before finding a palette that resonated with the feel. It was poetic that it would be earth tones for a newsletter that intended to be grounding. The typography was essential to me. It had to be personal which led us to a script. All I had to do was narrow it down from twenty to one.
“Hold the vision. Trust the process.”

One iteration at time the pieces of the puzzle had all started to fall into place to develop the full picture. I also quickly knew that this was not my project. It became the committee's project as time and expertise poured into the final result. The comfort that came with that support accelerated the movement of this concept to the finish line in just a few short weeks. My personal motivation was not personal at all. It was more than that. I needed to push past my fears of this being successful to create something for the community that would inspire us, connect us, and mentor the young professionals who see the award-winning design projects and think “how will I ever get there”. We tend to look at others at their peak and forget their path.
“Hold the vision. Trust the process.”
In an industry of clean lines and photogenic outcomes saturated with expertise and talent, this newsletter leans into not only the wins, but the imperfections and evolutions. Design is about process and within a process are multiple moving parts in an ever-changing environment. How can that not be a little messy? That is what makes it all so beautiful and authentic.
Our achievements run parallel to our education. This is our way to mentor each other, to relate by narrating realistic paths to success, and to reveal the truth behind our numerous drafts by failing forward, learning instead of losing, and growing through each other’s experiences.
I hope you continue to take this journey with me to connect through our untold stories of the design process whether it be through collaboration or as a reader.
“Hold the vision. Trust the process.”