I love the art of making a functional idea into reality - whether it is a huge team effort for a shopping center to a simple piece of furniture in my home. The simple act of utilizing my head, hands, tools and basic materials to build the environment around you is an inexplicable feeling. Defining the built environment from the micro scale has its own merits compared to the macro scale. Nonetheless I start the design the same way – how will the environment. space, brand, or object be used?
Designs must be followed through. A concept is useless if it is only on paper and not what is actually built; a test of design is if a concept can be picked apart, get input from others, improve the issues that the design was requested, approved by the client, understood by the builder’s and built. Each stage I always ask the question – is this understandable? Can this be communicated to anyone? Does it still improve or solve the issues the design was needed for? Illustrations are not pretty ‘money shots’ for marketing only – it’s to communicate to everyone the intended result. Illustrations are beyond the one or two highly rendered still images – it’s also the use of visuals to diagram every piece of the design.
My name is Kirk Schumacher and I am a designer, illustrator and a maker.
Studio H2G, Birmingham, Designer
As a Designer and Illustrator at H2G I helped clients translate vague concepts into designed realities for many developers and brands locally, nationally and internationally. I have worked on shopping center development projects in urban centers from concept to design development. Within these centers I have also worked with tenant leasing teams to develop design criteria for new tenants, as well as visualizing an opportunity to attract new, desirable tenants. The progression of scale for projects goes from local grocery stores to shopping centers to international master planning. I have had opportunities working in concept, design development, strategy, planning, and acting as project manager.
Retail design is an ever changing creature that is anything but dull. Designing retail spaces creates an opportunity for consumers to interact with great design, create visual interest and engage emotionally. Shopping environments should never be a place just to shop – they need to be a destination. This destination planning creates spaces that are attractive to developers, owners, and consumers alike.
Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI, US, BArch, Architecture