What’s our vision? Why, to transform the world! Isn’t that the vision of grandeur that so many of us suffer from? Or aspire to, should we say? But honestly, our ambitions here at Catalyst Ranch Design are smaller than that. All we’d like to do is take every office space in the nation and do the Catalyst Ranch once-over on it. That’s it! Really, it is! Okay, so we have aspirations overseas as well . . .
I recently came across a woman who succinctly put forth the core questions I have struggled with for years: “Why would we want to spend our days in a dark room without a view? We have enough time for that when we are asleep at night in the darkness of our bedrooms. Our days would be best spent in workspaces that stimulate the senses and envelop us with creative elements in whatever form they take.” This woman has now become my kindred spirit. Marilyn Zelinsky has spent years writing about workplace design and recently published a book called “The Inspired Workspace.” I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for the impetus and courage to make the brave decision to dramatically alter their workplace and inspire their employees.
It’s exactly this uninspired feeling that started me on the path to Catalyst Ranch and Catalyst Ranch Design. I spent 19 years working in typical corporate cubicles. Well, my personal cubicles were rarely typical – there was artwork on the walls, Chinese lanterns hanging overhead, toys I’d collected, an umbrella chair, photos. But I was the exception. Co-workers coveted my workspace and it occurred to me that there was no reason why corporate “sameness” needed to be the norm. And, that is why I flew the coop. Catalyst Ranch, a creative meeting and event space, would become the crack in the door into enriching corporate America. Through their experience of Catalyst Ranch, clients could see the effectiveness of the environment in the productive results of their meetings. And want some of it day-to-day in their own backyards. You know what they say – proof is in the pudding!
The design style for Catalyst Ranch comes as a result of “living the vision” in a lifetime of collecting for the Catalyst Ranch Design Team. From world travel and art collection, to the personal experience of discovering the secret whereabouts of the best back alleys of fascinatingly diverse Chicago neighborhoods laden with exquisite castoffs, the process continues, layer upon layer. Every found treasure is expertly studied and revisited to embrace its imperfections while focusing on its hidden beauty of design. Honing, smoothing, perfecting, weaving the multi-ethnicity of art and furnishings to create a finished design which feeds the creative spirit through a primal connection to communication through familiar association.
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