People sometimes ask me how the firm’s name, Chroma Design, applies to the work we do. I would like to share my inspiration. “Chroma” means colorfulness, it is a quality of color, a measure of its intensity, and a way to express a color’s purity. I chose this name for our firm because it provides a deeper, more insightful description of a significant design element. Just as understanding the meaning of “chroma” can help others appreciate color in a new and more meaningful way, Chroma Design’s aim is to help clients develop a more profound understanding of their site and its potential.
To gain this deeper understanding of each project and place, we follow a design process with the intent to uncover a location’s resonating character, evaluate its potential to evoke meaningful human impressions, and arrive at a stirring physical expression.
The word “Design” adds emphasis to the firm’s title. In this application, design refers to a set of skills and an approach to applying them by following a design process. The trick to using a process is to avoid allowing it to stifle creative exploration. The steps in the process are all useful but to keep things flexible, we don’t always follow them in a linear fashion. By allowing the designer to cycle through the formative steps in whatever direction provides the quickest access to a better design solution, it opens up possibilities to solve problems and for the design to embody the project vision.
Can these intentions be applied to every project? Yes, but our most successful projects involve a sensitive client, a site with unique potential, and a project vision that can be driven by one bold idea. In this case, the design challenge is a lot like a visual art project in that the site’s presentation to the viewer is the main event. Careful attention is always applied to satisfying the intended-use program, complying with local codes, adhering to a budget, responding to site attributes, and respecting adjacent land uses; but all are viewed within the context of the “Big design Idea.” Some projects such as community gateways, involve the creation of a single all-encompassing visual experience while others require the creation of a sequence of views and happenings for people to enjoy as they move through the site.
With design challenges constantly changing and each project taking our team on a new adventure, the professional ideology embedded in our firm’s name provides a stabilizing force that guides us through the creative process.