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Transforming spaces with Gensler

So much goes into bringing Hopscotch Design Festival to life beyond planning the logistics, lining up the speakers, and prepping the swag. Even once all of that is done, there’s a crucial component of creating the right intentional energy in our festival spaces to carry the spirit of Hopscotch forward in a collaborative, beautifully designed way. We’re incredibly fortunate to be collaborating with Gensler this year to turn our Hopscotch Design keynote space in Raleigh Convention Center into much more than a default event venue. I had the chance to chat with Bea De Paz, Senior Designer at Gensler, about the amazing work we can look forward to at this year’s festival.


Why is design important to you, Raleigh, and the world?

Design is important to me because it can impact everything, including the way we live and work. Aligned with purpose, design is transforming the human experience across the world.

I’ve lived in Raleigh for four years and have experienced a big transformation. Raleigh is at an exciting time right now as it is growing and changing rapidly. The city is booming with new people, creative industries, and revitalized neighborhoods. I believe it is important for the design of the new spaces to reflect the soul of Raleigh while still being high quality.


Tell us about the project you helped Hopscotch Design with. Why did you and Gensler want to be part of it?

We helped with the overall master planning of Hopscotch Design’s main event space in the Raleigh Convention Center. This involved designing the space’s layout to plan where attendees and speakers would be, as well as the overall look and feel of the room. We are bringing together different product vendors, like Interface carpet, and looking at the use of their products in a different way.

The Gensler team and I wanted to be a part of this initiative to show how design influences people’s event experiences. We leveraged design to create a unique and memorable experience for creatives to gather and connect about their ideas during this event—and it was a personal interest of mine to get involved in design at this scale to impact a creative event. It was a unique opportunity for me to work on event space design and impact the local Raleigh community. I’m excited that Hopscotch Design extends to all sorts of creatives, including architects, and that we can be a part of this initiative!

Gensler is helping us transform Ballroom C in the Raleigh Convention Center into an interactive venue for our keynotes during Hopscotch Design Festival

What’s your vision for the future of Gensler?

Gensler believes in the power of design to help make a better world. My vision for Gensler is to continue to design other types of experiences, whether they are built environments, pop-up spaces, or using virtual reality to help design human experiences and impact people’s lives in a positive way. Gensler is very invested in research and technology, and my vision is to continue to use these tools to create exceptional design solutions.

I believe that design impacts everything around us, not just in physical environments. I am proud to have worked at Gensler for 12 years now and have seen transformation in the way we design our projects. I’m looking forward to what the future holds and how Gensler’s design work will continue to impact people’s everyday lives.


What do you hope that attendees will experience or take away from this collaboration? What’s the intention of this work?

The intention of this work is that we can use thoughtful and simple design solutions to change an overall room layout and create an impactful event. I hope that attendees will take away that it only takes very simple and thoughtful design solutions to create a whole new experience. Simple tweaks can recreate an experience and change the dynamic of spaces.

An example of how we’re doing this in the Hopscotch Design space is the “runway” path throughout the space. It gives the speaker an opportunity to move while presenting and be integrated with the audience. This impacts the overall experience to help presenters and attendees connect during presentations and events.


Who is your personal design hero, and why?

My personal design hero is Phillippe Starck. He is not bound by the mediums of design and is always thinking outside of the box to create designs that are brilliant and unexpected. From toothbrush to hotel designs, he has designed everything from small to large scale, impacting the design industry with his creative solutions.


Thank you, Bea! We are incredibly grateful for your hard work on this project and for the support of Gensler. We can’t wait to see our space in the Raleigh Convention Center come to life! If you still don’t have your tickets, it’s not too late—click the link below to purchase your tickets, and join us for Hopscotch Design Festival on September 7 – 8, 2017 in the heart of downtown Raleigh.

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- 2016 Hopscotcher

Sept 6-7, 2018 | Raleigh, NC

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