See or Be ‘Scene’

Lately there has been a lot of discussion in our office about current trends in aesthetics, their functionality, and originality.

I’m sure we can all think of several examples – white on white, exposed ceilings, rustic wood detail and polished concrete floors, minimally furnished with metal chairs or benches. The minimalist look is big right now, and while we are all fans of simplifying things, I have been asking myself if the design aesthetic meets the intended use.


Design, much like Fashion, passes through trends over time. There has always been a build up of ornamentation (eg. the Victorian era)


…followed by a reactionary response of minimalism (eg. Modernism) followed by a softening and search for handmade details and craftsmanship (eg. Art Nouveau and Prairie Style)


…and so the cycle continues.

Now while all of the ladies in the S3 office LOVE purging clutter and enjoying a fresh, neat and tidy space, there has to be a line between minimalist and LIVEable. We can’t all expect our spaces to look like a catalog forever, right?




Since we spend most of our time thinking about how humans interact with spaces and the functionality and comfort that is required, I wonder how non-design-obsessed people feel about minimal, spare spaces. Do they feel warm and inviting? Do you want to linger and relax? How many times a day do you have to wipe a white counter or mop a white floor? Furthermore, how does the industrial look of bare lightbulbs and exposed ceiling ducting affect one’s experience with lighting and acoustics? I find myself wanting for a burst of colour, interesting texture or a bank of soft seating.

In this Social Media age we are living in, we are over-saturated with staged, filtered, and often superficial representations aimed to evoke envy and the “drool-worthy” response. While these can be super fun to look at, I wonder how these spaces actually perform for the inhabitants.

I am a believer that Design can convey a lot about identity. When I walk into a space I’d like to see an originality which makes me curious about the home, business, and the people who spend their time there. It’s an opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd, tell your story and get people excited about your space! I guess what I’m saying is I like a space with character… and plants. Lots of plants!



What do you think??



Smart Sustainable Structures

Structures? Yes, I said structures. There’s yet another ‘S’ to our story. At S3 we don’t like being bored, so we’re constantly adding to our repertoire of services. In our last blog post, Elaina introduced our Lighting Design Department. Today I’ll be unveiling S3 Design Build.


Smart & sustainable is our mantra at S3. However, our ideas and designs are only relevant if they actually come to fruition. Finding sustainably focused builders can prove to be challenging. It’s at the junction where ideas meet reality that projects can fall off the rails, or take a different turn.

So our team began the journey of seeking out like-minded builders and trades of all sorts. I’m happy to say we’ve found a number of kindred spirits. And wouldn’t you know it, one individual in particular became a regular face around the S3 office. He’s a burly, bearded character with an excitement about sustainable structures that’s comparable to a kid on Christmas morning. Let me introduce Sean. Sean has been in the building industry for 15 years and currently works as a site superintendent for a large commercial construction company. For the past 18 months we’ve been strategizing, planning and dreaming about what a sustainable design / build / development company could look like and I’m thrilled to say it looks pretty awesome.


What will be our focus?

You guessed it… Smart, Sustainable Structures.

What does that mean?

  • Looking at alternative building materials and how they can be used in practical, energy efficient and cost effective ways.
  • Working with conventional materials in new ways to achieve greater energy efficiency.
  • Designing with climate, site orientation, practicality and aesthetic interest at the forefront, not as an afterthought.
  • Not trying to compete in the conventional market, but creating a new market.

Why does this get us excited?

Because all of us at S3 dream about living, working and playing in environments that are unique, smart and cool… and we believe that there are people beyond us who share this dream also.

What’s up and coming?

Shipping containers anyone???



Stay tuned for an upcoming blog to find out more.


Tracy Signature Photo