“These new steps grew out of celebrating design one’s 10th anniversary,” Methot reports. “The company has grown over the past decade and the industry has evolved and changed, so we decided a restructuring was in order to help us handle an expanding client roster more efficiently and to take us into the next 10 years.”
design one corporation has implemented a company-wide restructuring marked by four personnel promotions, announces founder and principal designer Christien Methot.
Design one will now have coordinated production and design departments. Curtis Dunn has been named vice president of production and operations with Todd Gardner heading the design department as senior designer and design director. Emily Merriweather has been designated the company’s administrative manager and Karina Krepp director of special projects.
The restructuring moves design one from a more individual-based work environment to a more systemic corporate environment, which will allow the firm to more efficiently handle a large number of shows and leverage the entirety of the workload in dealing with vendors and pricing. Now projects will begin with the design department addressing the design intent, workload and procedural questions then handing off the job to the production department to determine logistics. The new workflow will permit swift, effective implementation of projects.
Curtis Dunn emphasizes that “the client experience will not be changing” as design one restructures. “Clients will still work closely with one designer and build that relationship. But our ability to act on a larger and more rapid scale is enhanced by not relying on the designers to take a task from concept to completion. We now have our teams working together to make us that much more responsive to clients’ needs.”
Dunn, who has assumed the role of vice president of production and operations, joined design one two years ago to take on production management and lighting design assignments. He will now lead the production department, and will take a lead role in the administration of the company. Prior to joining design one, Dunn served as the managing director of the Eos Orchestra, ran his own production company, Theatrical Systems Services, in Valhalla, New York, and spent five years as production manager at the State University of New York’s (SUNY) Purchase College Performing Arts Center.
“When I joined design one I had hoped this model was in our future,” Dunn says. “It’s a significant milestone that the company is successful enough to have made this change.”
Todd Gardner takes on the dual role of senior designer and design director with staff designers Wendy Luedtke and Martin Graves reporting directly to him. He has been an associate designer at design one for nine years. Prior to that Gardner earned a BFA in Scenography at SUNY New Paltz and worked as a freelance electrician and a theatrical technician who spent two years on the staff of the Public Theatre’s prestigious New York Shakespeare Festival. At design one he has handled numerous fashion-related shows and has journeyed to China several times for projects for the Macao Music and Arts Festival and the Jianfu Palace Garden Museum and Visitors Center in the Forbidden City, Beijing.
Emily Merriweather assumes the title of administrative manager dealing with non-client based areas such as insurance, payroll, accounts payable, and crew bookings. She joined design one in 2001 after working as an office manager at a New York City dotcom. She was graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a BA degree in Theatre and still works in her spare time—often at the Public Theatre—as a costumer.
Karina Krepp has been named design one’s director of special projects after working chiefly as a business consultant and cheerleader for the firm since its inception. In her new role Krepp will more directly guide the day-to-day flow of the office with her responsibilities ranging from organizing and formatting the company’s corporate retreat and spearheading the new-employee handbook to writing copy for PR packets. Krepp has been running her own personal training business in New York City for the past 15 years.