Media // Calgary Herald

Jerilyn Wright was interviewed recently by David Parker of the Calgary Herald. His article (transcribed below) focuses on JWA's success over the years designing space for large multi-floor tenants.

"Wright basking in new projects from Inglewood"
by David Parker - Calgary Herald Oct 30, 2017

       Jerilyn Wright goes to great lengths to understand her clients’ needs before directing her team of interior designers when tackling a new project.
       When her company, Jerilyn Wright & Associates, was awarded the job of designing the interiors for energy company PetroChina Canada following its move into the Manulife Building at 5th Street and 7th Avenue S.W., she took off to China for a month.
       Wright wanted to see for herself the kinds of office environments to which senior executives were accustomed. The result is quite stunning, including her work with 14-foot ceilings on the top floor.
       Equally amazing are the interiors of the 234,000 square feet of downtown office space Wright did for Petronas, including a white, lacquered staircase that winds its way up to the executive floor.
       Petronas is a Formula One racing supporter, and in the Calgary reception area, a teal Mercedes-Benz race car will be suspended from the ceiling. The transportation theme is carried throughout the floors with “stretched out” cars and barges decorated over the ceilings.
Since Wright established her own company from a small Mount Royal Village office more than 30 years ago, the business has grown to serve many of Calgary’s major corporations, many within the oil and gas industry.
       Her company has designed 15 million square feet. She bid to design space for TransCanada Pipelines when it relocated to Calgary from Toronto. She was shortlisted and the awarded the job to welcome the company into 425,000 square feet in what was then the Petro-Canada Centre.
       Wright also won large contracts such as the space requirements when Dome and Amoco merged, requiring 720,000 square feet of office space. More recently work has been completed in the Dome Tower for Enerplus which occupies six floors in the TD Square Complex. Six years ago, Wright moved her business to Inglewood. It is home today to a staff of 13, including four associates and an in-house graphics team who work alongside the designers on many of their projects.
       The number of projects won and completed by JWA has meant that Wright has enjoyed her most successful three years in her business history.
       And this year is ending on some rather high notes with the rebranding of all of the Bellissima Fashions throughout Alberta and B.C, and JWA is looking forward to the move of the Band of Nova Scotia into space it has designed in Brookfield Place by year-end.
       Wright is enjoying a busy practice in Inglewood, but like many other successful Calgary business people volunteers her time currently as a board member of Calgary Opera and Ability for Good.

Award // MASI Design Awards

On October 4th, JWA proudly accepted an award at the inaugural MASI Design Awards gala. The award, in the "Office Space Under $80/ft2", was presented to the design team for their work on Black Diamond's new international headquarters.

The MASI Awards are presented annually to Interior Design firms with Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta in the overall categories of office, retail and hospitality, residential and multi-family design. For more info click here.

Links // Insights + Ideas

Below is a quick roundup of a few of our favourite websites that we draw insights and ideas from:

Retail Design Blog - A constantly-updated blog featuring recently completed restaurant, healthcare, office, hotel, and  retail interior design projects here.

Interior Design Magazine - One of the more comprehensive interior-design related websites online here.

Fast Co - A unique website covering design from a technology and innovation perspective here.

Event // Bellissima Grand Opening

If you're in the Edmonton area this weekend, be sure to visit Sherwood Park Mall as Bellissima unveils their new Concept Store. The women's' fashion retailer, has been working with JWA over the past several months on a bold new direction for their brand, interior design and customer experience. With 25+ locations across western Canada and several more in the works, Bellissima is a rapidly expanding retailer. If you can't make it to Sherwood Park, hang tight as the new concept stores will begin appearing across Alberta and BC in the coming months. 

Events // Calgary Real Estate Strategy & Leasing Conference

This semi-annual conference sponsored by JWA is on May 25th 2017. We're looking forward to hearing thoughts on the current state of the Calgary leasing market from some the city's industry leaders. Jerilyn Wright will be joining Ken Dixon of Strategic Group, Aly Lalani of Colliers International, and Damien Mills of JLL on a panel discussing tenant desires: who are today's tenants and how do they make their decisions? For more information click here.

Services // Graphic Design

JWA's in-house graphic design team has worked alongside the interior designers on many of our  recent projects adding an additional layer of visual interest and client-specific branding . The graphic design team's work has included custom interior signage, vinyl film applications, custom rugs, custom textiles, and, most frequently, custom wall coverings. The images above are a few examples.  

Meaningful branding on an interior design project extends far beyond simply placing a brand's logo on the wall behind the reception desk. We work directly with our clients to extend the reach of their corporate branding guidelines beyond two-dimensional formats (stationary, websites, advertising, etc...) to include interior space.

We'll share one secret we've discovered. One very successful approach has been to add subtle references that only "insiders" will understand -- for example the colour of a former logo or an aerial map of a company significant site.

Our range of capabilities also include logo design, stationary design, and illustrations. 

Links // Workplace Research

Below is a quick roundup of a few articles/stories that have circulated through our design studio over the past few weeks. This selection largely relates to workplace design.

A Dezeen article that breaks down the findings of Haworth's latest findings on happiness here.

As a refresher: a quick breakdown of each major showroom at this spring's NeoCon 2016 here.

Calgary Economic Developments positive outlook for the Calgary business marketplace here.



Clients // The Dermatology Philosophy

We're always glad to share the pursuits and accomplishments of our clients - in this case the Dermatology Learning Institute. The team behind the the DLI has a bold and optimistic vision for their practice as well as the future of their professional discipline. A little bit more about the Dermatology Learning Institute can be found here. Keep an eye out for them over as they'll be growing rapidly in the next few years. We'll be working alongside them during this time to develop their brand expression in the built environment.

Recent Thoughts // Retail Design Trends

We're currently working with a great western Canadian retail brand on the relaunch of their entire image and in-store shopping experience.  We'll be sure to share more as the interior design develops but in the meantime we thought we would list some of the discussions that we're having as many point towards greater macro trends that are occurring in retail design internationally:

1. It is imperative that the in-store shopping experience is substantially more stimulating and rewarding than the online equivalent. How can the interior design of the built environment support this and what are the new ratios of product to brand/lifestyle/interaction elements in a space?

2. Has technology (virtual assistants, virtual reality, 3D printing) matured enough that its use in retail design is seamless or does it feel forced? Maybe customers prefer their in-store shopping experience to be an escape from tech rather than an immersion in it?

3. We're certainly seeing more interactive customization/DYI areas. Is this a passing trend or will this type of hands-on interaction remain? Maybe it relates to the research on brand attachment that indicates Gen-Y and Millennium shoppers want to build deeper relationships with the brands they identify with?

4. For many growing retail brands there are advantages to marketing themselves as local but there are also advantages to marketing themselves as large players in their market. How can an interior design strategy balance these two potential extremes?

We welcome your thoughts and hope this inspires your research on retail design


Events // CIFF 2016

Jerilyn Wright & Associates is proud to sponsor the 2016 Calgary International Film Festival. For more information and tickets visit:

Link // A Study on Activity Based Workplaces

Activity Based Working (ABW) is an office workplace planning model that is growing in popularity - particularly among companies dependent on innovation and/or staffed by Gen-Y and millennial employees. ABW is a model in which individuals do not have an assigned traditional work-space (a desk). Rather, all employees share from a pool of unassigned desks but also an assortment of alternative work-spaces such as open collaboration areas, team classroom space, informal work lounges, closed focus rooms and small meeting rooms. 

The International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) in partnership with Leesman recently published an exhaustive study on the ABW model over a 1 year period, utilizing feedback from over 70,000 users currently working in Activity Based Workplaces. One of their key findings was that individual satisfaction (and thereby productivity) rises significantly with ABW. However, this increase is satisfaction only occurs for the users that adapt to and embrace the model. The highlights of the study can be accessed here

Recent Thoughts // Simplification

Design appears to be shifting. However, unlike a "trend" this shift is a not a knee-jerk reaction to a "latest and greatest" product or idea in fashion, technology or art. Instead, it appears slower and more methodical - possibly indicating a more lasting impact? The shift is simplification. The last 20-30 years of mass-consumerism have taught us to expect constant variety and change - a cyclical movement of in-fashion and out-of-fashion. We think that this may give way to a global preference for simpler designs - not less design, or cheaper design.

Take the Musling Restaurant in Copenhagen as an example. Designed by Space Copenhagen, maintains a simple layout, palette, and selection of fixtures/furnishings without being uncomfortably minimal or appearing cheap. The Musling restaurant has character, richness of material, and visual interest. 

We at JWA look forward to seeing this evolution of design as we regularly advocate for timeless interiors as a way for clients to safeguard their investment in real estate. 

Link // Knoll Research on Workplace of Today

Knoll recently wrapped up a four year "multi-layered" research study on the workplace of today, confirming many of the same challenges that we have been identifying with our local Calgary clients. These include: balancing collaboration against a need for dedicated offices, additional comfort via residential-inspired products, variety in work space options and fluid space planning that allows different types of space to overlap each other. You can read the full article here.