Debra Kunce, Schmidt Associates, Indianapolis
In our eighth Commercial Conversation podcast we welcome Debra Kunce, associate at Schmidt Associates Inc., Indianapolis
, to talk with us about how the firm at which she works has changed its approach and weathered/prospered during the recent economic downturn. Debra earned bachelor degrees in architecture and environmental design from Ball State University, Muncie, IN. Her work has been in traditional practice and currently in program management, serving clients through the execution of large capital programs. She is also responsible for the strategic and daily coordination of the Schmidt Strategies division and is a LEED Accredited Professional. She also serves the American Institute of Architects as vice president.
In this podcast, Debra describes how Schmidt Associates has changed its view of the architect’s/architectural firm’s role in projects and how the resulting program-management approach has changed how they do business and the success of that business. As you listen, you will receive an entire plateful of food for thought that very well could change how you think about your role and the role of your firm in its marketplace. Click here to download the podcast mp3 file.
(Note: If your browser (Firefox) doesn’t automatically play the podcast, right click on the link and download the file to your desktop. Double-clicking on the downloaded file will open it in your mp3 player, bypassing the browser.)
Shown below are some images of various Indianapolis public schools that were handled with Schmidt’s program-management approach. Here is Debra’s description of how the overall project was handled: “As program managers, we developed a standard elementary school program to serve 600 students. The architects (denoted below each photo) took the standard internal program and developed six different buildings that fit each neighborhood’s context. It gave Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) standardization within the building and unique character on the exteriors. These six elementary school projects set the tone for IPS’s initiative to improve more than 25 neighborhoods in the city. Old, outdated buildings that did not meet today’s educational standards were demolished and replaced with these new buildings, outfitted with technology in each classroom, and equipped with air conditioning (neither technology nor air conditioning existed in the previous old buildings). All students stayed on site in their original buildings during construction and were excited to see the daily construction progress of their new schools. Several teachers incorporated our construction progress into their lesson plans and students and teachers were allowed to visit the sites at appropriate times.”
IPS School 34 by SchenkelShultz Architects, Ft. Wayne, IN
IPS School 54 by URS Corp., Indianapolis
IPS School 51 by Domain Architecture, Indianapolis
IPS School 44 by Interdesign, Indianapolis
IPS School 43 by Blackburn Architects, Indianapolis
IPS School 63 by CSO Architects, Indianapolis
Below are interior shots from some of the Indianapolis Public Schools projects.
New kindergarten classroom
Example of classroom equipped with new technology