“My role as a leader of the design process establishes expectations and includes finding ways to inspire others, explore ideas and create wonderful places. I believe we find the best in ourselves when we are able find the best in each other.”
Name: Richard Pigford
Occupation: Architect & Partner at ArchitectureWorks
Creative Industry: Design
In full disclosure, Dick Pigford is chairman of the Create Birmingham board of directors. Regardless, we promise our usual, take-no-prisoners journalistic interview.?
1. As a longstanding Birmingham design professional, you’ve volunteered your expertise in initiatives around neighborhood revitalization. Why does design thinking matter in challenged neighborhoods?
Limited resources are available for many of these communities. Design considers how to best use resources when working together for improving the quality of life for neighborhood residents.
2. Has your time spent in neighborhoods struggling with difficult issues influenced the way you think about design?
Design is a process that begins with LISTENING. My experience when beginning work in many of Birmingham’s neighborhoods the residents’ are surprised to find that their participation, thoughts, ideas, goals, vision has any significance. LISTENING becomes a powerful communication tool for establishing a demonstrated commitment to the neighborhood residents.
3. Your work seems very deferential to nature. Do you consider that to be the case?
LISTENING involves not only hearing people, but equally as important is hearing what nature and the context of a place is telling you. Physical design always involves the adding to and changing of something, how design considers what God has already created will influence the quality of any solution.
4. Do you find that your role within your firm’s design process has changed over the years?
As talented people have joined our firm over the years all of our roles, not just my role, have become connected as a collaborator, mentor and resource. My role as a leader of the design process establishes expectations and includes finding ways to inspire others, explore ideas and create wonderful places. I believe we find the best in ourselves when we are able find the best in each other.
5. Do you have any words of advice for starting designers and entrepreneurs?
…to yourself & your gifts
…to valued individuals & resources
…to your client/customer
“Life is an adventure, or nothing at all!” – Hellen Keller