Real Estate Journal — ODM — Architects & Engineers — July 27 - August 9, 2018 — 9B


M id A tlantic

A rchitects & E ngineers Firmopens new space to experiment with& leverage technology to revolutionize design solutions

Mancini Duffy opens new hub for firm research & development


designers can revise right in front of them while in a virtual reality environment. Design- ers at Mancini observe this interaction via large tv screens and walk through the project with the client as they do. Ad- jacent to the arena, a counter is dedicated to 3D printers and curing stations—all arranged so that the manufacturing process of printed elements runs smoothly and efficiently. These efforts are powered by a custom computer built by one of Mancini’s in-house program- mers that includes some of the most advanced processing and graphic components coming out

of Intel and Nvidia. Kipfer works closely with Giordano and the leadership team at Mancini to move the firm’s investment in technology forward. “We are unleashing ourselves from traditional de- sign delivery for those clients who are interested in technol- ogy. The Design Lab is the best incubator for those ideas to become fully realized,” said Giordano. “We want all of our staff to engage with us in the process, that’s why we allow for dedicated R&D hours to ex- plore what is possible and Kip- fer has been integral in keeping everyone up to speed.” 

EW YORK — After more than a year in development and pilot

programming, Mancini Duffy has opened its newDesign Lab, a hub for the technology-first design firm’s research and development program. The state-of-the-art, 250 s/f lab plays host to a microfactory of 3D printers, free-range virtual reality gear, drone docking, and more. The Design Lab is the culmination of the firm’s investment in leveraging tech- nology to enhance the design process and commitment to making people’s lives easier. “Our goal with the Design Lab is to find unique ways to integrate technology into our day-to-day practice and elevate the design and delivery pro- cess,” said Mancini president Christian Giordano . “When we use technology to improve the internal aspects of an ar- chitectural firm, the way we do things is optimized and made increasingly efficient, helping us boost our volume of high- quality services. The Design Lab is the perfect place to evolve this process and explore innovative ROI solutions for our clients.” Mancini has been operating this initiative out of a small workspace located in the firm’s Chelsea office. Cramped quar- ters, however, have not limited the range of services that have already been engaged by cli- ents: large-scale 3D printing at Chaminade High School’s new Dolan Family Research, Science, and Technology Cen- ter and Galeria Melissa, a high-end boutique in SoHo; virtual reality-driven design sessions for kitchen upgrades at Boqueria Restaurant; and Drone mapping for a high- profile financial services client, to name a few. The newDesign Lab expands the firm’s capability to com- municate design. The special- ized space is a testing ground where clients and designers can collaborate in real-time. “Our clients know themselves and their needs the best,” offers Michael Kipfer , the associate who is spearheading the research and development efforts at Mancini. “The Design Lab gives us the capability to interact both with clients and our proposed designs to com- municate between seamlessly between the two. In turn, we’re enhancing workflows, making updates in real-time, and giv-

Shown from left: William Mandera, CEO; Scott Harrell, principal; Christian Giordano, president; Michael Kipfer, associate/head of R&D) ing our clients more for their time and budget.” al reality “arena,” a 100 s/f area marked on specially-designed carpeting, where clients can interact with designs and the Spatially, the Design Lab is laid out around a central virtu-

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