14 local Design firms including ATI, gathered in Sacramento on Saturday, June 22, 2019 to put on a unique runway show, turning commercial interior products donated by sponsors (such as carpet and wall coverings) into wearable and futuristic outfits.
The MERGE Fashion Show, held by International Interiors Design Associate (IIDA) in Sacramento is put on once a year to raise money for local fashion designers.
This year’s philanthropic theme was ‘Design for the Future’, supporting organizations whose efforts positively shape the minds and experience of our youngest generation – our future educators, influencers, and leaders.
Each design team chose a different theme from which to draw inspiration. This year, ATI chose The Rebirth of Conservation and partnered with material sponsors (Stikwood, Architex, Mannington Commercial, eZoBord, and Armstrong Ceilings) to bring it to life.
The entire concept, from start to finish, was a 6-week team effort led out of our Roseville office. Many late nights, working lunches, and weekends were spent turning the concept into a beautiful reality. ATI’s design team included:
We sat down with ATI’s lead designers to take us through their process.
THE REBIRTH OF CONSERVATION: THE CONCEPT
This year’s concept, The Rebirth of Conservation, involved integrating the practice of preserving natural resources by means of breaking down materials so that they could be re-used in multiple ways. As our human population continues to grow, so does our waste.
In order to ensure a viable future for generations to come, it is essential to implement the conservation of natural elements as part of our daily lives to reduce our impact on the environment.
To visually depict this, ATI’s design team implemented the concept of the deconstruction of natural elements into their truest raw form. Just as a forest is made up of critical elements from the floor to its canopies, the design began with the strong vertical elements found in trees. It then transitions to all thriving green life that provides us with oxygen. From there, the design melts into the roots that stabilize and provide all nutrition to our ecosystem.
The final look was represented by the value found in clean water, the provider of life and growth to all living beings. These multiple aspects came together to depict the organic relationship between all of these elements and the importance in protecting them and allowing them to thrive in order to ensure a prosperous future.
The final look
6 WEEK DESIGN PROCESS
After brainstorming ideas and coming up with the concept, ATI’s design team reached out to sponsors (Stikwood, Architex, Mannington Commercial, eZoBord, and Armstrong Ceilings) to discuss what materials they could provide that applied to the theme. From here, ATI’s team began to experiment with the donated materials to envision how they could manipulate them to express the idea.
Once the final sketch was complete, the team switched straight into production mode.
During the course of 6 weeks the team got together during lunches, stayed late nights after work, and got together on weekends to produce everything needed.
Since the concept tied into going back to the raw form of nature, the team broke down all of the materials they were given to new, smaller forms that visually represented the concept.
The team hand cut all of the Ezo-board, ripped all of the carpet tiles and color coded the strands, shredded the Stickwood, and sewed together the fabrics.
A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT (THE GOOD AND THE BAD)
All of our team’s hard work came together to produce the final design, but it didn’t come without some funny stories and highlights to share along the way.
Our team pushed through downfalls as almost every design team member was injured at some point throughout the process including blisters, burns, fiberglass injuries, fingers poked and prodded, and more – ouch!
But this didn’t stop them! After all it was a fun collaborative effort that our team got to share together. There were many nights ordering takeout and watching Netflix in the conference room after hours to ensure the production stayed on schedule. Even each team member’s family came out to help with the process at some point, including, husbands, kids, and even parents!
ATI’s MERGE team had an amazing time at the event and received lots of wonderful feedback regarding the amount of detail we put into our design.
Thank you to all of the reps that donated their products to us and thank you to our design team, friends, and family for sharing this experience with us. We can’t wait to be back next year.
Check out more pictures from the event below.