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Bigger and Better! 

Team IONIC has been growing! Last year was one of the busiest years we’ve had and we only expect it to keep going. We’ve onboarded some amazing new talent, including several new Architects and DeZigners, to our team over the last year to meet this ever growing demand. It’s been an exciting time and one that we don’t take for granted! Having a larger team doesn’t just lead to more projects. With so many talented individuals, we have more inspiration, more perspectives and more creativity! This year, Ionic DeZigns will be pushing the boundaries that we’re already redrawing even further.

We’re Baring It All

Ionic DeZigns is constantly reiterating and reimagining the possibilities of architecture. In fact, it’s a defining characteristic of our firm. Unfortunately, our audience rarely sees how big our ideas can get, because these innovations often live only as concepts and renderings. The most forward-thinking concepts are rarely built, but they push the realm of possibility nonetheless. The exciting part is knowing that these innovations WILL eventually be part of your daily life.

Our typical retail, commercial and residential landscapes are changing fast and IONIC can envision where it’s going. We’d like our audience, clients and patrons to see how their daily lives can change in the future, too. So, in 2022, we’re going to share all of these ideas with you. Keep up with us by subscribing to our newsletter and social channels to stay in the know.

Moving Forward

IONIC has been a leader in capturing the visions of businesses, leaders, and homeowners for twenty-two years. We have always referred to it as the IONIC Masterplan. But now, we think it’s time to rebrand the idea of the IONIC Masterplan. What we do is more than just vision. It’s about the ability to merge far-out ideas, big dreams and real spaces into a single project and ultimately bring it to life. In 2022, we’ll be changing the way we share our big ideas and what we’ll call this exciting process. Be sure to keep an eye out!

Core Values Revisited: Teamwork

Ionic DeZign Studios has accumulated a broad range of experience over its more than 20-year history. The firm has performed master planning, interior design, space planning, contract administration (and more) for projects ranging from community worship centers to cutting-edge office buildings, apartments, retail and industrial facilities. But experience isn’t the only secret of IONIC’s success. It’s another word: teamwork.

“Teamwork makes the team, work”

As a Core Value, teamwork is not taken lightly around here. We spend ample time contemplating ways to encourage our people and improve team processes. It’s impossible to simplify it all into a list, but we’re going to pick out a few of the most important aspects of our team-based company culture.

Candor – Good ideas come from anywhere. In order for those ideas to be brought forth, the freedom to speak without fear of being shot down, criticized or penalized is critical. We believe that every idea is worth sharing and that honest feedback is the responsibility of every team member.

Retreats – We schedule time away from the studio with our team on a quarterly basis to review status, plan and discuss ways to improve the way they work. These sessions throughout the year confirm that our team is healthy and eager to find new ways to improve projects and processes.

Fun – We take random opportunities to stop work, bond with the team and have fun. We also try to keep our work fun, itself! By connecting with people on a more personal level, we build a dedicated, loyal team that loves what they do.

Credit – We give our team “ownership” over the work they perform. Our team members are given the responsibility and freedom over their creativity and what they produce. They have a stake in every decision.

Tools – Imagine a rough framing carpenter without a proper framing hammer. The nail may be driven, but with difficultly, inefficiency and a very unhappy carpenter. We invest in the tools needed to properly communicate and perform our work. Software, hardware and everything in between is kept up to date and appropriate for the work that we are producing.

Excellence – We strive for excellence, not perfection. Much frustration in leadership stems from leaders requiring their team to perform the work the same way that they would. We have built our team with smart, creative people and choose to let them do what they do.

IONIC would be much different today without the well-functioning team atmosphere we’ve cultivated. It would be impossible to push boundaries, expedite designs, satisfy clients or even complete the simplest of plans without a team that goes to work for each other.

Take a look below at what some of our team members are working on!

Merging Past and Present with the IONIC Masterplan

What is it that sets IONIC apart? It’s not just because of our knack for unique and modern elements and it’s not solely because we’re known for creating beautiful spaces with traditional guidelines. It all depends on what our clients need – and it’s that approach that makes us stand out. We call it the IONIC Masterplan.

With our process of the IONIC Masterplan, we help clients recognize their own vision and needs, using it as a guide in our design work. Whether you dream of a fresh, innovative look or a unique space that still incorporates conventional guidelines, we can create it.

Take a look at St. Bridget’s Catholic School. This middle school in Richmond, VA was previously the Westhampton Baptist Church. It was an historic-gothic revival style church built in 1914 and listed as one of the most endangered buildings in the city. Our client envisioned a modern learning institution within the traditional architecture of the building.

Our primary challenge was creating a lively and creative interior space that would inspire the minds of its students while still preserving and renovating the original architecture of the historic-gothic building (and retaining it’s Historic Tax Credits).

the IONIC Masterplan rose to the occasion. Ten new STEM-centric classrooms with modern flourishes and a new Student Commons were added as well as a new office and administrative spaces including a teacher workroom. These rooms were modernized by including vibrant color schemes in the new flooring, carpeting, painting, lighting and sound-damping fixtures. The Sanctuary space was also transformed into a Performing Arts Center but retained it’s original floorplan and made use of the existing stage, stained glass windows and the existing pews.

Now, St. Bridget’s Catholic School is a blend of the old and the new, the classic and the contemporary and a single example of IONIC’s ability to innovate through VISIONERRING.

If you’re looking for a firm that can rise to your challenge – whether that means an emotive yet conventional place of worship, a state-of-the art learning institution, or one space that does both – we’re the firm you’re looking for.

Welcoming Summer Intern, Charlotte McGraw

Charlotte is a rising senior at Virginia Tech pursuing a bachelor of science degree in Interior Design. She grew up in Richmond, Virginia but living in Virginia Beach for the summer while working with IONIC! Charlotte is excited to learn about in a real working environment and hoping to pursue a Master in Architecture and eventually enter the hospitality industry for commercial interior design.

We asked Charlotte a few questions about how she came to architecture and her hopes for her summer with IONIC:

What brings you to the industry? 

I have always had a passion for studio art and design, and anything that would allow me to be creative. I am inspired and captivated by the purpose behind design decisions and the opportunities to create impactful structures and spaces. This catered to my interest in architecture as it allowed me to use my creativity and curiosity in a professional setting, while solving complex problems and finding innovative solutions. I love to work with people and be hands-on, and feel as though this industry ties all of these areas together.

What discipline of architecture are you most interested in pursuing? 

The discipline of architecture I am most interested in pursuing is Interior Design. I am also thinking about graduate school to pursue a Masters in Architecture degree following my bachelors. I hope to go into the hospitality industry for commercial interiors, because I love the design freedom that comes with it. You can really think outside the box and push boundaries with less limitations, creating memorable spaces that make the user want to come back.

What do you believe you can gain from your internship with IONIC? 

I believe I am going to gain valuable experience with IONIC as I am in a real working environment helping with real projects, versus a classroom setting. I am gaining an understanding the flow and process of an architecture and design firm while learning a lot from these professionals. Since starting a little over a week ago, I am already getting exposed to more aspects of the design industry I would not be able to in school, such as visiting a project’s construction site and working with MEP engineers. This experience will also help me expand my network and build a stronger foundation for my future career. I am so excited for the rest of the summer with IONIC!