50 Years of Design – Welcome Desk Sculpture Competition

During our 50th Anniversary Spirit Week celebration of Design Day, we unveiled the creations from our first annual internal design competition. The Welcome Desk Sculpture Competition tasked participants to form a team and create a desk sculpture model to be a flat pack. The submissions also included a design narrative. Team members from all departments and offices were encouraged to participate.

In 2017, a group of our team members created a series of desk sculptures to gift to select clients. These gifts served as a celebration of completing the design process and moving into their new space. This year, we revamped the program and collected design submissions for a new family of sculptures. The sculpture design would be required to fit in 5.5″ x 5.5″ box, be made of laser cut cherry or walnut wooden material and have two intersecting elements. Graphic representation of the sculpture concept could be a rendering of a 3D model, hand sketch, painting, or photo of an actual model. Written narrative could be prose, haiku or singular words. The idea for the contest originated through Ware Malcomb 5.0, an initiative to achieve continuous firmwide improvement and transform employee-generated ideas into action.

Judging criteria was based on creativity, graphic presentation and story. The judges included our Chairman Lawrence R. Armstrong, Tom Jansen, Principal, Mary Cheval, Principal, John Thomas, Senior Fellow and myself.

After reviewing twenty-two impressive designs, the team of Terri Massick and Tom Glennon, from our Irvine and New York City offices respectively, were Grand Prize winners. Their creation, titled Growth – Support – Partnership, is a W and M designed to hold a potted plant. It was described as “a symbol of growth and life.”

“As I listened to the initial competition presentation my thoughts were, for someone to want to put something on their desk, it needed to be something beautiful, functional, and representative of Ware Malcomb,” said Massick. “Tom’s input and help was valuable, and it was really fun and awesome working with him. I am beyond excited and honored that we won the competition because there were some amazing and creative submissions by all who entered.”

Sculptures are currently in production and will be distributed, along with the other sculpture families, to our offices next quarter.  

“I really enjoyed participating in the WM desk sculpture competition, as well as working with Teri on the design development of her initial concept to use our logo as a plant holder, conveying the idea of Ware Malcomb supporting mutual growth between our clients and ourselves,” said Glennon.

Due to the volume of designs that were submitted, judges also selected a runner up. Rob Kiester and Ryan Kane, both from our Denver office, were awarded Honorable Mention. Their design, titled Shadow, displayed a zig-zag W and M that creates a shadow on a horizontal surface, similar to a sundial.  

I am excited to see our WM team sharing their creativity beyond architectural practice.

Experience the thought provoking designs from the competition through the link below: