This time in Denver, Design Forum yields discussion, collaboration

By: James Colburn
6 December 2016

CTA’s 2016 Design Forum was hosted at the recently-remodeled office of CTA Denver. The two-day event gathered a multitude of folks from various CTA office locations and disciplines to explore the firm’s design mission and goals for the future. The event itinerary included, but was not limited to, case studies of CTA design projects; design charrettes for micro-unit complexes; model-making; PechaKucha presentations; tours of downtown (including stops at Union Station, RiN, LoHi, and the Civic Center) led by the Denver team; presentations of the art of simple, elegant architectural detailing; discussion of CTA’s design personality; and a review of the term “empowerment” and how it affects all aspects of our work environment.

This event is a great opportunity for designers, architects, AITs, and engineers to come together and see how we can improve upon our process of design as a firm through discussing, designing, and presenting. A free-flow of communication and dialogue on every topic allowed the group to share opinions and thoughts about our process, which created in-depth discussions about CTA as a whole.

Each item in the itinerary was unique and gave the group different vantage points about the firm’s process goals and architecture/engineering in general. Interactive design sessions/charrettes allowed the team to see how one another thinks, operates, speaks, and shares experiences about design and CTA. All of these items helped create a stronger understanding of CTA design and how we can make elegant, simple, and cohesive designs to better serve our clients.

The group also had the opportunity to go out and explore the growing, vibrant city of Denver; eat at a variety of local restaurants; attend happy hours; and get to know each other on a personal level — some meeting each other face-to-face for the first time. The attendees came away from it knowing more about: each other, the firm’s approach to design, and the exciting places we are heading in the near and distant future.

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