Mar 20, 2015

5 Questions For: Jacob Simons, NBBJ

Name:  Jacob Simons                 
Title:  Experience Design Director
Company:  NBBJ

Which of your designs or projects are you most excited about right now?
Which single project? I can’t do it. The diversity of our work is what excites me most. From tech clients changing the world as we know it; to the Ladybug House, which will meet our country’s desperate need for palliative care for children and their families; to a power utility company’s substation that will connect the community with their natural resources and environment, NBBJ’s work is massively diverse. Without such broad challenge, I would feel my impact and value was being restricted.

Tell us three words that embody your design philosophy.
People. Purpose. Delight.

What's your favorite place in the Pacific Northwest?
The many profoundly beautiful forests that spread across our land. I grew up exploring “the woods” just off my family’s property on Reeds Lake in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and it has always held a special place in my heart. The forest is alive and filled with curiosities; I would spend entire days exploring and building. To this day, it makes me tear up to think of how great those days were, and I seek the forest often for inspiration and reflection.

Who or what are you inspired by right now?
Art. The creative confidence and freedom exhibited by an artist is unparalleled. As a designer, many of my works are founded in highly rational principles like increasing productivity for a workforce, enhancing business returns for investors, reducing errors for clinicians… all highly valuable pursuits. However, a passionate and committed pursuit of more humanistic and primal values, such as meaning and delight, has captivated my attention. More difficult to quantify, of course, but they are likely the experiences that make life worth living.

What do you think of the color gray?
Love it. Some of the most beautiful things in the world don’t demand attention.

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