Inside IONIC

IONIC Awarded Vytal Studios New Headquarters in Richmond, VA

We are excited to announce that Ionic DeZign Studios was awarded a new office project for community-focused tech company, Vytal Studios, as they move headquarters to Richmond, VA!

Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia successfully competed with Florida and North Carolina for the project, which will create 155 new jobs.

Vytal Studios is a technology-based educational content developer and production company that will be investing $6.8 million as they relocate from Austin, TX to 1802 Semmes Avenue in RVA. We’re designing the new office, along with renovations of the previous historical structure, as well. The area will include studio space for filming content and office space for development and post-production functions.

Established in 2018, Vytal Studios is a technology company that builds and delivers custom employee and online training through immersive learning on a proprietary platform. Vytal Studios leverages the power of its state-of-the-art LED Video Wall production, Virtual Studio, combined with Epic Games Unreal Engine technology to create custom learning and development content. Vytal Studios can create any environment or simulation its clients desire to resemble a learner’s work experience and maximize training effectiveness. With a team of learning specialists and best-in-class production managers, Vytal provides everything a company needs to create and deliver high-quality, engaging learning content, from script to finished product.

Vytal intends to engage the local community and collaborate with Virginia Commonwealth University and local stakeholders to develop an extended reality cluster in Richmond through a nonprofit organization called One Vytal Difference.

“Our tech talent was a major driver in Vytal Studios’ decision to relocate from Austin to the City of Richmond and continue its fast-growing momentum,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Virginia’s higher education system is committed to providing the training and opportunities to build the workforce of the future to attract and retain high-caliber companies, and we look forward to a strong partnership with Vytal.”

“Virginia, specifically Richmond, has everything an emerging creative technology company wants,” said Jim Smith, Vytal Studios CEO. “Access to talent and higher education institutions, a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, local and state governments that get it, and just a super cool vibe that reminds me of Austin 10 years ago. I feel we can be a ‘Vytal’ member of the community and drive growth that draws the extended reality industry as a whole to a home in Virginia.”

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Richmond and the Greater Richmond Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Northam approved a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Richmond with the project. Vytal Studios is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

“I am so excited and pleased to see Vytal Studios come to Southside Richmond,” said Delegate Betsy Carr. “Not only will the company provide much-needed, good-paying jobs, its goal is to provide training to allow participants to become more successful employees and companies—a win-win for everyone. Moreover, its commitment to forming a nonprofit and working with Virginia Commonwealth University to develop an extended virtual reality cluster will enhance our community, making it even more appealing for families and businesses.”

IONIC is excited to be part of this amazing project and we look forward to sharing more details as they come. 

Celebrating the 5-year Anniversary of Aaron Payne

This month, Aaron Payne is celebrating 5 years with the IONIC Team! A native of Richmond, Virginia, Aaron Payne attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, obtaining his professional degree in 2015. He started his architectural career with IONIC in the Spring of 2016.

In his five years with IONIC, Aaron has taken advantage of our diverse portfolio. He has gained experience in retail, restaurant, industrial and office projects. Although skilled in all areas, his favorite project to date was an office/warehouse space in Fredericksburg (pictured below). This creative challenge demanded that multiple uses and tenants’ needs were met, while working with simple materials (corrugated steel and brick) to give the space character. It’s projects like these where Ionic DeZign Studios shines and we couldn’t do it without Aaron on our team.

Thank you Aaron! We’re looking forward to seeing other projects you take on while reaching your goal to become a registered architect.

Read Aaron’s favorite quote, learn more about his career with IONIC as well as the rest of our talented team on our website, here.

DeZign Trend: Going the Full Distance with IONIC

Team IONIC is not the type to move on very quickly. We like to ensure that our designs are brought to life beautifully (and correctly). So, seeing projects through to the end is very important to our firm. But keeping your architect involved past the concept and design phase isn’t just for our assurance – it protects clients (you) and helps the contractor. 

That’s why we encourage all of our clients to take advantage of our Contract Administration (or CA) services. As Contract Administrator, the architect has many duties. That includes everything from completing paperwork to carrying out regular inspections and monitoring progress on-site. It means having a set of informed eyes on all aspects of your project, at all times. 

As the person who ultimately takes ownership of the new space, it’s important to protect your investment. Keeping your architect on for CA does just that. 

On too many occasions our team visited a worksite to find less expensive windows installed, concrete laid outside of code or countless other shortcuts and mistakes. 

By visiting the site regularly, viewing the work often and ensuring it’s being built in accordance with the contract documentation – the client can rest assured that the quality of workmanship and the end result will be exactly what they expect. 

Sometimes it isn’t about preventing mistakes. Good contractors like to have an architect involved because Contract Administration gives them guidance during the build. 

Your architect is the designer – that includes design of the construction details (how it is built). The contractor is the builder, following the architect’s instructions. Even detailed drawings and specifications cannot always fully describe complex plans. It helps enormously if the architect who created the concept and design is available during construction. They can answer questions, give instructions and be a professional and informed point of contact to make any design/technical decisions if required.

As Contract Administrators, we do everything possible to ensure our designs reach their full potential. If you’re ready to start your project and get it done correctly, let Ionic DeZign Studios know. 

IONIC is Hiring!

About Ionic DeZign Studios 

Ionic DeZign Studios is a fast-paced architectural firm based in Virginia Beach, VA with twenty-one years of experience creating spaces that enrich the lives of those who use them. We provide site and space planning, complete permit and construction documents and ultimately, construction contract administration to bring our client’s visions to life. 

We promote a team environment where designers and architects work closely to support a value system where client relationships are paramount. IONIC’s core values guide every decision: Innovation, Creativity, Teamwork, Respect, Problem Solving and Family. Now, with an influx of projects, we are seeking the right candidate(s) to help continue our growth.

Open Roles

We are accepting candidates for the following positions. Richmond, VA based candidates preferred, but fully remote candidates are encouraged to apply. 

Project Architect

  • Registered Architect preferred
  • Minimum 5 years of experience
  • Proficient in Revit and AutoCAD
  • Knowledge of Lumion or Enscape preferred
  • Responsibilities include production of conceptual designs and construction documents for a variety of project types. Coordination with team and consultants.
  • Full Time. Salary + Benefits Package.

 Interior Designer

  • Minimum 5 years of experience
  • Proficient in Revit and AutoCAD
  • Knowledge of Lumion or Enscape preferred
  • Responsibilities include selection and specification of colors/materials/finishes for a variety of project types in cooperation with the Project Architect. Assist in the production of conceptual designs and construction documents. Coordination with team and consultants.
  • Full Time. Salary + Benefits Package.

If you have experience in one or both of these positions, please submit your cover letter, resume and portfolio examples to info@ionicdezigns.com.

No RSVP Needed: IONIC Open House

February is typically our favorite month of the year because it’s when we host our annual Open House. We invite friends, family and clients to celebrate another year around the sun at both IONIC locations, while showcasing past and future projects, and the team’s exceptional party-planning abilities. From “Brats + Hardhats” to “DeZignosaurus Rex” we enjoy outdoing ourselves by taking the theme a little too far. Some may say that’s the IONIC way!

We aren’t able to gather under the guise of a zany theme this year, but trust us – we’re still celebrating. Our 20th year was one for the history books and we look forward to keeping the momentum going. We will have a lot to celebrate the next time our Open House comes around, but until then, please enjoy these fun moments and favorite captures from years past!

#LunchtimeLive with Array Digital and D. Eugene Thompson

IONIC’s founder and Entrepreneurial Excellence Award winner, D. Eugene Thompson, recently sat down with Array Digital to participate in their Lunchtime Live series to talk about what it means to be an entrepreneur.
From speaking about the challenges he faced as a new business owner, to gaining the traction that got IONIC to where it is today, a lot is packed in the thirty-minute conversation.
Want to hear Eugene’s thoughts and the origin story on IONIC? The Lunchtime Live episode is still available! Stream it, below: 

 

Announcing Newly Licensed Architect: Chris Warren

Ionic DeZign Studios is proud to announce that Architectural Associate Chris Warren has successfully completed his Architect Registration Examination (ARE) 5.0 and is a newly licensed architect.

The ARE is administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and is designed to assess aspects of architectural practice that affect the integrity, soundness and health impacts of a building.

Chris has seven years of architectural experience, and joined the Ionic team in 2019.  He earned his Bachelors of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech in 2011.

Chris’ experience includes residential construction, with a multitude of projects involving  low-income housing, multifamily residential and single family homes. As a registered architect Chris will continue contributing his unique vision to Ionic designs, with a focus on creating outcomes that exceed client expectations.

Please join us in congratulating Chris on this achievement!

… the New Normal?

How is your new normal today?

Has everything flip flopped suddenly? Yeah, me too.

One day I was driving to work and the next stuck at home….trapped at home.

Seriously though I’ve never been NORMAL. Some will call me unique, creative, entrepreneurial….or crazy, strange or even give me the look of “what the heck is wrong with that man?”

So now we know that I have a problem/super-power, let’s move on.

Why have we resisted the new normal? Why is it so new? Foreign? So unacceptable? The overused phrases that have come through my email and heard on countless news broadcasts or webinars….How many webinars have you been on this week?

Yeah….me too!

ZOOM Meetings? Yeah….me too!

 

My friend Dave Will sent me an email via Propfuel that resonated with what I was experiencing as well.

Here are some of the phrases I cut and pasted right from my email in about a 5 min search, that make me want to BARF EMOJI all over the place.

  • we’re living in unprecedented times – tops the list

  • this is the new normal

  • we’re in ever changing times

  • there’s no script for this

  • we’re in a shifting landscape

  • we’re all in this together

  • current way of life

  • challenging times for all

  • social distance shaming (actually that one is kind of fun)

  • navigate this extraordinary health and economic crisis

  • navigate these turbulent times

  • if only we were more proactive

We KNOW this is an uncertain and unprecedented time! So let’s just jump to the value proposition.

Tell me why I’m getting your email.

He is absolutely right….I know this…why do I have to also get another email telling me that business is fine…we are ALL working from home…we ALL have the ability to still work on your project…blah blah blah.

Don’t get me wrong. I am so glad you have been able to MAKE THE SHIFT. However, I believe it is going to take a lot more than just working from home to meet the needs of …. OUR NEW NORMAL !

It’s going to take creativity to discover how ALL of our industries are going to react to this crisis. It will create change…IT WILL! There isn’t a doubt!

Your normal will never go back to normal again.

You can’t stick your heads in the sand and say, “I can’t wait until this is all over and goes back to normal.” Ladies and gentlemen….WE ARE NOT GOING BACK.

The question really is…are you going to make the change? Meaningful change? We need to do something….and we will need to keep on doing it!

Sure, right now we will all be working a little differently….maybe even required to do a little more. Many of our firms just became OVERNIGHT STARTUPS!

We must adapt during this crisis. And we need to do it now…FAST!

CRISIS = Circumstances Requiring an Immediate Shift In Strategy. 

Become the new normal….become the change.

CoVa BIZ and Eugene

Eugene was featured in the recent edition of The Business Magazine Of Coastal Virginia – CoVaBIZ. Not only his efforts with IONIC but also his upcoming charity run for Diabetes – The 777 Challenge where he runs 7 marathons in 7 days in each of the 7 cities of Hampton Roads. Talk about Community!

Take a read through his article and if you want to know more about his running, go to this link.

Run Eugene Run