Monday, November 27, 2017

Chronicle 38: Honored To Be Recipients of Two Design Excellence Awards

On October 14, 2017 in Houston Texas, Centric Design Studio (CDS) was presented with two design awards, during the 45th Annual National Organization of Minority Architect's (NOMA) Professional Design Awards of the National Exposition. These two awards meant a lot to CDS Partners, Saundra Little, AIA and Damon Thomas, LEED AP whose corporate vision is not only to design buildings, but also to design more equitable, economically viable, and sustainable cities.

Little, and Thomas were honored to receive a design award in the Historic Preservation Restoration & Renovation Category for their work on Techtown Detroit's First Floor Renovation. There was much competition for this $1.5 million, 20,000 square-foot first floor renovation project. The TechTown building originally designed by renowned architect, Albert Kahn in 1927, is now the longest operating business innovation hub, helping entrepreneurs in all stages of development  to connect with the right resources, at the right time.

The pair were equally as honored as they took the stage to receive a second Design Excellence award in NOMA's first ever Small Project category for their work on the David Klein Art Gallery. The redesign of the David Klein Gallery, was also featured in a book by Michael Arnaud titled, Detroit The Dream is Now, a photographic journal about "The Design, Art, And Resurgence of An American City," reminiscent of the gallery owner's, dream of bringing a national presence to Detroit's design community, when Centric Design Studio was hired to design and adapt this space for his second art gallery in the burgeoning downtown area of Detroit, MI.

When it comes to adapting older urban buildings for new purposes Centric Design Studio has found a perfect balance for planning and designing spaces that allow natural lighting to flow through. While honoring the integrity of the original structure and design, they add new energy efficiency technology enhancing the building's beauty and functionality.

About the National Organization of Minority Architects, (NOMA): NOMA is headquartered in Washington, D.C. NOMA consists of volunteer members who contribute their time and resources to champion diversity within the design professions by promoting the excellence, community engagement, and professional development of its members.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Chronicle 37: Centric Design Studio receives 2017 Michigan's Salute to Diversity Award

Centric Design Studio was honored to receive Michigan's Salute to Diversity Award on October 26, 2017. According to Everything Business Corp, an online magazine, a Diversity Business Leader is an individual who is a diversity role model or top officer of a minority-owned business (read article).

Centric Design Studio's Architect and Principal Saundra Little and Design Director Damon Thomas are not only exceptional Diversity Business Leader's and role models, but also Diversity Champions. 

Centric Design Studio invests in the future of minority and underrepresented students in the architecture field by providing internships and mentorship opportunities. Additionally, the partners volunteer their time to the planning and development of projects designed to expose a diverse group of people to the significant architectural achievements of past generations of African American Architects, hoping to increase the interest for future generations of minorities to consider architecture as a potential career choice.

By: Vivian White

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Chronicle 36: Designing Healthier Office Spaces


Sustainable design also means healthier design - and healthier processes. Most of us spend over 1/3 of our lives inside office buildings. This makes the design of buildings and office space very important to our environment and our health. Creating healthier workplaces is a central part of Centric Design Studio's sustainable design strategy. The ways in which we use energy, and our choices of materials and processes, are the most effective way to reduce fossil fuel emissions and contaminants released from materials and processes.

Case Study for SpaceLab, Detroit, MI
Take a look inside one of our recent design projects. SpaceLab Detroit opened their doors for their first public grand opening June 8th, 2017. SpaceLab Detroit is a co-working office space in downtown Detroit area, conceived by husband and wife team, Bobby and Karen Burton. It is a state of the art, efficiently designed work space for today's entrepreneurs, architects, engineers, and construction service providers.

Natural Lighting
healthier office space renovationOn this project, the south facing windows maximize the benefits of daylight from both the morning and evening sun. Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D and is critical for facilitating vision and our bodies' ability to regulate hormones, which in turn keeps processes related to alertness, digestion, and sleep functioning properly.

Electric Lighting
Prioritizing around  natural light minimizes electricity usage, the largest source of carbon emissions. In addition, most of the lighting used in the space is LED, which uses energy more efficiently than traditional lighting and emits less heat. Motion sensors cause the lights to turn off when there is no movement in the room. Using less electricity helps us keep our environment healthier and adds up to big financial savings for the owner and tenant. 

Adding to the comfort level and energy efficiency of this space was a switch from steam heat to gas, allowing the occupants more control over temperature. The radiators were kept to maintain the character of the space, however, the duct work was reconfigured to facilitate the new system.

Use of Materials
Acoustical ceiling tiles are used in the offices for noise reduction. Environmentally-friendly materials were used for the carpeting, which also utilizes processes to maintain clean indoor air quality. Designer roller shades will give occupants maximum control over the amount of natural light to allow in, while also providing protection from UV light. 

Located in the heart of Detroit, SpaceLab is a model for the future of design and economic growth. Design challenges within the city's 2030 District consist of a delicate balance between maintaining buildings historical intellect while deploying healthy, sustainable, aesthetically pleasing key elements. All of this adds up to a reduction in fossil fuel energy use and costs. LED lighting also qualified the business owners for a sizable rebate from DTE Energy.  What is not to like about implementing sustainable design?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Chronicle 35:Making Big Changes One Global Footprint at a Time

Why is SUSTAINABLE DESIGN important to 
property owners and managers, developers, and building professionals?

It is because the buildings we occupy daily make up over 40% of the global demand for energy and materials that produce carbon emissions.
Due to the continuous high demand for material and energy consumption, as building professionals, our decisions have a big impact on our environment. Making our impact a positive one will require a conscious effort.


Thinking sustainable design, doesn't mean knowing everything about sustainability. It does mean that we make a conscious decision to try.

Commitment to Reduce Carbon Emission

Centric Design Studio - along with our partners, employees, and vendors - have made a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emitting energy, as part of our design process. We encourage other building professionals to join with us, in making the decision and commitment to replace fossil fuel energy consumption with carbon neutral energy consumption. There are numerous rewards to implementing sustainable design and processes. Mainly, by reducing fossil fuel emission, we will reduce - and may even reverse - climate change. Building professionals have the greatest potential to make a big impact.

The 2030 District is committed to reducing carbon emission to zero fossil fuel energy consumption by the year 2030. This sounds like a lofty goal but it is possible, one global footprint at a time.

As a Founding Partner in the 2030 District, along with the 2030 District Network, Centric Design Studio will continue to be a valuable resource for businesses in the city of Detroit. We help organizations and businesses by providing them with the information and tools they need to visualize and implement their plans and become more sustainable by design.

Centric Design Studio Commits as a Founding Partner
Centric Design Studio Commits as a Founding Partner

Friday, August 4, 2017

Chronicle 34: Congrats to Shanita Rutland of Centric Design Studio

Shanita Rutland, Visualization Design Leader
Congratulations to Shanita Rutland!

Centric Design Studio wishes you on the best in the Class of 2018, AIA Detroit Christopher Kelley Leadership Program (CKLDP)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Chronicle 33: Sustainable Design At Centric Design Studio

When we started Centric Design Studio eight years ago, one of our goals was to be a sustainable design-focused architecture firm. We are located in the heart of Midtown Detroit and in 2017 our firm became a founding member of the Detroit 2030 District. We are committed to transforming buildings and interiors to a more sustainable and healthier design.

At Centric Design Studio, we listen carefully to you, your goals and mission, and what you hope to accomplish. We provide solutions on how to make the space work for you, utilizing a variety of methods such as energy assessment consultation services, 3D modeling, strategic planning and much more.

Take a look at our approach to sustainable design and what sustainability means for an urban area.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Chronicle 32: Celebrating 8 Years of Designing Detroit

In November, we celebrated Centric Design Studio's 8th anniversary at the Society Room at St. Andrew's Hall, one of our newest projects. Here are a few photos: