One of the things we get asked most often is to describe what Design Fugitives does. And it’s a tough question to answer, because the short answer is “Pretty much ANY architectural art. What do YOU want us to do?” Unfortunately, that’s not very descriptive. And while it does facilitate a great conversation with our potential clients, it doesn’t necessarily answer the question.
To answer the question of what we do, we found the best way is to answer the questions of who we are at our core and why we do what we do.
So, who are we?
We are award-winning, high-tech, commercial artists. We are designers, craftsmen, and fabricators.
We are architecturally-trained artists who decided that we wanted to pull our focus from designing buildings and instead use our creativity to design and fabricate extraordinary, custom, large-scale architectural art pieces.
We combine intentional design and traditional craftsmanship with a cutting-edge, full-service fabrication shop to create sculptures that blur the lines of art, design, and technology.
We are problem-solvers. We are approached by clients who have an issue which they are unable to fix on their own. We are the ones to communicate with them to find the perfect solution to tangibly fulfill their need.
We are proud of the recognition we’ve received on projects, such as our Cosmic Ecclesiastical Baldacchino and Light Mobile at Johnson Controls, which both won Merit Awards from CodaWorx earlier this year.
We are creators of long-lasting, high-quality pieces. We are not creating pieces that are trendy today and will quickly be replaced with the next fad. We are creating pieces that will last with and live inside the buildings as long as they are standing. We are designers of classic, timeless, multi-generational pieces.
Why do we do what we do?
The aspect of Design Fugitives that truly sets us apart from our competition is our devotion to human connection. We believe in creating a partnership with everyone we work with and cultivating a collaborative setting.
We have a strong dedication to conceptual clarity. Our clients come to us with a need for something unique to their organization, and we work closely with them every step of the way to ensure that all the aspects of the project are coherently brought together in a final, visual piece that is exactly what they had imagined.
Our hands-on approach begins with creating a dialogue with our client; it’s our job to bring their idea to life. Together we brainstorm concepts, and then we take those concepts and turn them into sketches and renderings, but our clients are there with us for every step of the process. It’s not until we have done exhaustive research and the final design is shared and agreed upon by all parties that we move forward and fabricate a piece that will leave a legacy.
We stand behind the craft of creating custom, unique, meaningful designs. We do not create cookie-cutter, mass-produced, one-size-fits-all pieces. We are not replicators and do not create copies.
We strongly believe in creating a product that is not only aesthetically appealing, but also carries a deeper meaning and is a true testament to the person or organization it is created for.
At the end of the day, we tend to specialize in four major categories of pieces: atrium sculptures, ecclesiastic art, LED fixtures, and 3D wall coverings. We are currently working on a beautiful 300-piece LED atrium sculpture for a new building in downtown Milwaukee and 72 custom-carved wooden 3D wall panels for a new apartment complex in Wauwatosa. But we’ve also created everything from CITY BLOCKS coasters that sold at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC to a 14-foot tall steel sign for the Hank Aaron State Trail to various public and privately-owned furniture pieces.
We are always looking to push the boundaries of what architectural art can be and communicate. As long as the project is one that forces creativity and allows for one-of-a-kind fabrication, it’s something that we’d be excited to take on.