Many years ago, when I was a young man…… Don’t you hate it when articles start out like that. Imagine how that former young man feels. This was the early 80s and one of my first real jobs was selling advertising space for a wonderful architectural magazine; Progressive Architecture. I learned a very important lesson during my tenure there; I was actually quite good at selling advertising space. I realized it was because I LOVED the product. You see when you love your product, convincing others to love it comes easily.
Well not only did I love the magazine but I really loved the wonderful world of architecture and design that I was being exposed to for the first time. One of the benefits of working the west coast for an east coast based magazine was when the editors came to town to visit architecture and design firms they liked having a driver who knew the Los Angeles and San Francisco freeway systems. So they actually let the ad hack tag along. I even got to meet Frank Gehry.
PA, as the magazine was known, was shuttered in December of 1995, after nearly 76 years of publication. It was truly sad to hear that such a wonderful magazine would no longer exist. The announcement in the New York Times stated “Architecture Loses A Progressive Voice”. Aaron Betsky, curator of architecture and design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art said “P.A. was important in reminding the profession that it had obligations not just to make buildings that work, but to show work that opened our eyes to new ways of seeing.”
In addition to Gehry I was exposed to work by such notable architects and design firms as Morphosis, SOM, Richard Meier, and Michael Graves just to name a few. Recently when I decided to launch this blog I knew that one of the key components would be regular features on the hot architects and design firms of the 21st Century.
I am very pleased to introduce the design firm I chose to use to launch this feature: Duncan & Miller Designof Dallas, Shanghai and Hong Kong. I found Duncan & Miller searching the internet for the firm that designed my favorite Dallas hotel; Hotel Zaza. When I was on their site I discovered that they also designed the interior of my favorite Los Angeles hotel: The Mosaic. So I contacted Kellie Sirna, a Duncan & Miller designer who also handles their PR and marketing. Kellie agreed to provide me with a firm profile and a few photos. The three photos at the opening above are from Kellie. In fact the first two photos, left to right, are of the recently completed SandPearl Resort and have never been published before. I love getting a scoop. Duncan & Miller’s profile follows:
Duncan & Miller Design is set apart by its passion to create, desire to serve and vision to achieve. As one of the world’s leading interior and architectural design firms, Duncan & Miller Design has extensive expertise in hospitality, food and beverage, condominium, multi-family, lodging and themed entertainment. Founded in 1989, the firm’s staff in the Dallas, Texas headquarters employees over 60, the two year old Shanghai, China office employs more than 60. The recent launch of the Hong Kong office is another demonstration of Duncan & Miller Design’s commitment to design excellence and service to its clients with a combination of timeless design and a second sense for future trends has more than excelled. Turner Duncan and Kimberley Miller, the founding Principals, are partnered with Scott Boyd and Eric Ullmann in the ownership of Duncan & Miller Design. With a combined experience of more than 70 years serving the hospitality industry, Duncan & Miller Design believes the selection of good partners for any project is founded on trust, skill and expertise. The firm has designed over 1000 projects, including successful assignments for such highly acclaimed hospitality companies as Marriott International, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Mandarin Oriental, Warwick Hotels International, Ritz Carlton Hotels & Resorts as well as many unique boutique and independent development companies. In addition, Duncan & Miller Design has partnered as lead interior design consultant with many significant developers in the creation of exceptional multi-family, condominium and assisted living projects. Duncan & Miller Design has experience in all market segments of the hospitality industry, including complete ground-up development and historical and renovation of full-service hotels in urban, suburban, and resort settings, development of free-standing ground-up restaurants and entertainment venues, creation and development of prototype hotel and restaurant concepts for national and international expansion, ground-up design for clubhouses, public areas, models, fitness centers, spas, and sales offices for condominiums, multi-family, and assisted living facilities. All incorporate the extensive full-service design expertise of Duncan & Miller Design’s creative interior design, architectural interior design, lighting design, graphic design, due diligence, feasibility studies, purchasing, and market surveys. Currently Duncan & Miller Design is engaged in hospitality design projects spanning three continents, 12 countries, and multiple independent boutique and flag hotel developments. Duncan & Miller Design is comprised of staff speaking 13 different languages from every corner of the world and locations in Dallas, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
The photos above are some of my favorite images from their website. Please click here to see many more. When you are there be sure to check out the section on their Historical Restorations. We live in Austin Texas and one of the crown jewels downtown Austin is the Driskill Hotel. Duncan & Miller designed the exterior lighting. It is Fabulous!!!
Here at Swank we appreciate Duncan & Miller’s assistance in this article. We believe that they truly “open our eyes to a new way of seeing”, and we will continue to keep our eyes on them in the future… as you should.