Canstruction Cincinnati: A Behind the Scenes Look

As most of the U.S. has been consumed with March Madness;  vigorously filling out brackets by tracking player statistics, loyally standing by your alma mater, or choosing teams based on most stylish uniforms, we at K4 have been involved in some madness of our own.   Since November we’ve been scouring the grocery store aisles for the perfect canned food labels and weighing, measuring, and comparing various cans to see how they stack up against each other (literally) in preparation of the 2014 Canstruction Cincinnati competition.

Canstruction is an international community service project of the design and construction industry to benefit community food banks.  Architects, engineers, designers and contractors compete to design and build fantastic giant-sized structures made entirely out of canned foods.  After the structures are built and the winners declared, the creations go on view to the general public as a giant art exhibit.  At the close of the competition, all of the food used in the structures is donated to the local food bank for distribution to community emergency feeding programs.

Now that the 48,586 pounds of canned food collected this year are safely stacked at the Freestore Foodbank, I thought I would give you a behind the scenes look at what led to the design, build out, and award win of our Canstructure – “Fighting Hunger One Fork At A Time.”

final picture 640

Author’s Own Photo
K4 & HGC Canstruction 2014
Fighting Hunger One Fork At A Time

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Financial Brand Consistency in the Physical and Digital Space

The financial brand can encompass many components in both the physical and digital space, including:  products and services, front line service, the branch design and environment, the website, social media, marketing materials, signage, credit cards, branded technology, community sponsorships, advertising, etc.  Being brand consistent means being consistent in everything you say and do, with everything the customer can see, hear, or touch.

The task of creating or maintaining brand consistency can seem daunting and strategy development can be difficult when taking into consideration the above marketing properties in both physical and digital spaces.  So how does one begin brand alignment and how do you best maintain brand consistency throughout the process?

Let’s hear from two experts from different ends of the spectrum.  First the physical space – Jeff Klump, President of K4 Architecture + Design; a firm providing Architecture, Interior Design, Graphic Design and Constructions Services, specializing in the financial industry.  For the digital space, Kristin Sundin Brandt, President of Sundin Associates, a marketing agency for banks and credit unions.

Jeff Klump, President of K4 Architecture + Design & Kristin Sundin Brandt, President of Sundin Associates

Jeff Klump, President of K4 Architecture + Design & Kristin Sundin Brandt, President of Sundin Associates

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For the Love of Design…

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, some of us at K4 wanted to share what we love about design and why.  We hope you enjoy this post and that we may inspire you to appreciate the design your interact with in your daily lives.

Sandy Tenhundfeld, Project Manager/LEED AP

I am going with the LEGO set.  I love that when you design with them, there are infinite possibilities while at the same time, there are constraints.  You are constrained by only using specific pieces/sizes etc., but you can come up with infinite designs!  Even better than the design elements are the hours I spend with my children having fun while learning at the same time.

I also absolutely love the Museum Center.

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3D Printing: Bridging Digital Design with the Physical Environment

If it was unclear from the majority of my blog posts, one of my many passions is computer modeling. Computer modeling is beneficial in many ways, from initial rough designs all the way down to the final built project; the model can provide unique views and detailed conditions that may have otherwise been overlooked. A lot of my projects, primarily any carpentry projects I might be embarking on, start out as computer models. In fact, just about everything that requires some kind of planning for me starts out as a computer model. These models allow me to find potential problems when I start building things and address them before they become issues. Sadly these models only exist in the digital world, but do they have to?

The world of 3D printing is a rapidly expanding industry. 3D printers may very well be joining the ranks in plotter rooms of professional offices, or even sitting next to your trusty inkjet printer on your desk.  What is currently available allows people to print 3D models of items or small parts to go in a larger contraption.  Recently announced at CES 2014 (does being an IT Manager qualify me to go next year?) is the Replicator Z18 3D printer from MakerBot Industries.

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A Step-by-Step Guide for Procuring Architectural/Engineering Services

A building program is a major effort entailing the investment of much time and money.  Therefore, an important step in achieving success is selection of the Architectural/Engineering firm (A/E) that will play a very important role in the undertaking.  The basic components of the A/E procurement process include the following:

  1. Develop the program for which the project must be designed.
  2. Gather available data.
  3. Prepare the scope of A/E services required.
  4. Submit the Request for Proposal to A/E firms.
  5. Interview A/E firm(s).
  6. Make the selection.

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Designing for the Client, not the Designer

Creative designers from all fields, whether you are an industrial designer or an advertising strategist, struggle with balancing their personal tastes with client’s needs and expectations. This is especially true in graphic design. What designers need to come to accept is that while you may not be creating your masterpiece with every project, it is much more important to learn and gain experience than trying to create a “wow factor” for your portfolio. To do this, start with a clean slate for your design – do not create something you think will impress the client without first going through the steps below.

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Twas’ the Night before the Architectural Registration Exam…

Twas’ the night before the Architectural Registration Exam, when all through my apartment, not a creature was stirring, except for me, pacing back and forth with sheer panic about the upcoming audit of the knowledge I should possess in order to advance my career.

Ok, so I failed at that rhyme fairly quickly, but as we enjoy this season of cheer and good tidings, I’m sure several of you (young project designers, draftsperson, interns, and project managers) are beginning the seemingly daunting task of becoming a Registered Architect.  With two down and five to go I’m definitely no expert, but below are some tips and positive thoughts for all you architectural candidates, snug in your beds as visions of great architectural feats dance in your heads… so in the spirit of Christmas, I give you the 12 days of ARE Prep.

On the twelfth day of Christmas the ARE brought to me…

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Emerald Green is so 2013, Hello to Radiant Orchid!

Pantone announced PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid as its Color of the Year for 2014. “An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence…It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

A version of the purple hue, Pantone describes the hue as “a captivating, magical, enigmatic purple” that “emanates great joy, love and health.”  They expect Radiant Orchid to infuse interiors via paint, accent pieces and accessories.  Eiseman expects people will take to it quickly because it’s a flattering color for many skin tones and complementary neutral colors, but it will also look like something people haven’t seen in a while.

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Finding Passion, Purpose and Value in the Work You Do

Only 30 percent of American employees feel engaged or inspired at their jobs and the vast majority of U.S. workers — 70 percent — are not reaching their full potential, a Gallup study concluded.

Those who were “engaged” said they are passionate about their work and feel a connection to their company — they are responsible for the most innovation within their organization. Those who were “not engaged” act “checked out”; although they put time and effort into their work, they don’t have energy or passion.  While 30 percent said they were engaged, about half of Americans (52 percent) fall into the latter category.

Nelson MandelaImage Source

Nelson Mandela
Image Source

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K4 Gives Thanks!

This year (and every year) K4 is thankful for our clients who allow us to practice our passion for a living and keep us in business, our partners who we enjoy working with, and a really cool building designed by us that keeps a roof over our heads and keeps us all warm (too warm for some, too cold for others depending on your gender or where you sit….)

We are most thankful for our employees, the pulse of K4, the people who make our home away from home what it is.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’d like to personally thank our employees for their contributions to K4 throughout the year, professional or personal, that are appreciated and definitely don’t go unnoticed.

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
John F. Kennedy

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