The Background

The University of Arizona has a proud tradition of producing professional-class athletes since their inception in 1899. Originally constructed in 1928, the Arizona Stadium has been through many additions and renovations with the most recent major upgrade in 1988. The school knew it was time for an overhaul with an extensive redesign and expansion. The entire north end zone was rebuilt over a year and a half ago and completed in July of 2013. The new Lowell-Stevens Football Facility is a 184,000 square foot facility that includes areas for strength and conditioning, training, coaches offices, locker rooms, showers, storage and meeting space.

Increasing competition among college football clubs has generated the need for innovative design. The Wildcats locker room design would be an integral recruiting tool for the school’s athletic program. Attracting and competing for potential recruits’ attention required high-end design and that element of cool.

The Challenge

Tasked with designing the locker room and surrounding spaces, Heery Design sought to create a base camp of sorts for the athletes—a hub to gather, recharge, do homework and get into the zone before game. The University of Arizona locker room needed a wow-factor feature in the space to set the school apart from competing athletic clubs. The design team sought to match the University colors and create a jaw-dropping feature with high end details like concealed hardware attachments and minimal seams.

The Solution

Inspired by a lit emblem on the ceiling of another university locker room, Karen Verplanck McCallum, Senior Designer at Heery Design, envisioned the University’s circular trademark block A as a glowing centerpiece within the millwork of the ceiling in the locker room.

“We wanted to create this larger-than- life ceiling element with a material that would glow. We wanted to hide the hardware, attachments and light source, too," says McCallum. The firm knew that 3form could create the exact color match that Chroma was the natural choice, but they weren’t sure how it could all be evenly lit without showing hardware.


The Innovation

3form engineered and built a complete solution starting from a unique substructure for the ceiling feature. This innovation was the foundation for the entire feature and included a reflective panel, recessed white LED lights, strategically placed hardware and a raised platform for colored LED lights to illuminate the custom red of the A and the custom blue Chroma outline.

Note: We will be launching a new section of our website with access to more full case studies. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for updates.


Furthering our ambitious goals of becoming a zero-waste manufacturer, we're debuting a new program, called Reform, that will give second-quality materials a new purpose. With Reform, artists, up-cycling geniuses, craft crusaders, and other creatives can have access to newly available materials at affordable prices on our website.


“Reform materials might be untrimmed, oddly sized, have blemishes, or have other defects—kind of like diamonds in the rough,” said Michael Johnson, Director of Sustainability, 3form. “Through this program, we hope to significantly increase our recycling rate while filling a creative demand.”

The Reform program offers the following benefits:

• Reduced 3form manufacturing footprint through elimination of some carbon emissions previously associated primarily with waste-to-energy materials disposal.
• Saves money in terms of waste transportation / disposal costs while providing a way for the Reform system to sustain itself financially.
• Creates more opportunity to educate staff, in highly pragmatic ways, about recycling, waste reduction, sustainability opportunities and reduction of carbon footprints.
• Provides affordable and beautiful 3form materials, to those with limited budgets.


This program will complement our current Reclaim program, which sells first-quality material though our website. These products include leftover materials from cancelled orders or pieces returned from an installation. These pieces are then inspected and prepared for another application.


SUTEISHI_006 The Background The New York City South Street seaport area of Manhattan is a vibrant and lively area of shops and restaurants. Located along the charming cobblestone streets in the heart of the downtown pier area SUteiShi restaurant boasts both a breathtaking view of the Brooklyn Bridge and world-class sushi. Newly opened 2006, SUteiShi was Victor Chan’s first of two sushi restaurants in Manhattan. The proximity to the coastline put SUteiShi and its neighboring shops along Peck Slip Street in hurricane Sandy’s path. In late October 2012, the restaurant was crippled by the storm and a torrent of high water surging through the streets in the neighborhood. After six feet of floodwater receded the interior of the restaurant and building were completely in need of a gutting and rebuild. Electrical and HVAC systems had to be completely replaced as well. Suteishi_damage2 The Challenge Digging out of the mess the storm made and rebuilding was a major undertaking. Chan regrouped with his architect Kimberly Chin of Jack L. Gordon Architects. The determination was made to use this as an opportunity to improve on the original interior design and create a whole new look. Previous to the storm, SUteiShi’s had two backlit Wovin Wall features which punctuated and defined the space. Destroyed by the storm, the walls were an integral part of the branding of Chan’s restaurant. Re-energizing the space with two simple yet stunning feature walls behind the main bar and the sushi-prep area led the team through many different ideas, but until Profile was introduced by Chin, the designer and owner kept looking. The Solution According to Chan, the wall was the most important aspect of the entire space. “We went through 20 rounds of concepts,” says architect Kimberly Chin. Upon seeing the Profile panels in Chisel “he fell in love with it,” she remembers. Plans to wall wash Profile panels with light created a seamless and stylish backdrop night or day for patrons and expertly crafted sushi creations. SUTEISHI_003 The main feature walls were the last pieces to be completed. In addition to the feature walls, new lighting and the complete overhaul on design, the team installed another bathroom, an office in the back and redesigned a more efficient kitchen. Designer Chin drew inspiration from the restaurant’s romantic name (SUteiShi is Victor’s wife’s name in Japanese) to include rich woods and deep reds throughout the space along with the soft glow of blossom LightArt fixtures in the vestibule. SUTEISHI_010 Specifying the ultra modern-looking Profile panels in Chisel with a Queenston Oak finish was the finishing touch for the complete remodel. Once Profile was decided upon, the turnaround from specification to installation was smooth and inexpensive. The project was completed and the restaurant reopened in October 2013, one year after Sandy hit.


Memorable learning experiences come from more than a good teacher, they come from free communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. HMFH Architecture from Cambridge, Massachusetts is decentralizing the old school library to foster learning. This video shows that an open environment in elementary schools cultivates a feeling of trust, fun and interaction. Learning is a wonderful part of life and this kind of architecture can have a powerful impact on young lives. Inspiring!


I've been doing a lot of company trainings lately. When I describe the importance of “400ppm of Carbon Dioxide” in atmospheric concentration, an otherwise wonky scientific concept, I make the analogy that when we exceed Earth’s capacity to balance climate altering emissions, it’s like putting your family’s pizza in the oven, only to watch helplessly as the oven door locks shut, and the temperature continues to rise… with no possibility of stopping that oven from getting hotter and hotter, until dinner is nothing but a charred disk. Right about this time I start to see some very desperate faces among those in my training, especially if I scheduled around lunch time.

Then we talk about their ability to purchase another pizza, or anything else ever again. Why? Because we then tackle the idea of spending Earth’s available ‘carbon budget,’ and about how humanity’s continued over-spending is leading towards bankruptcy – a ‘breaking of this piggy bank’ that they and their children will need to survive. We discuss Earth’s finite ability to fill up this ‘atmospheric bank,’ and how this is similar to their ability to regenerate their own bank accounts through paychecks – for most this is a finite ability that is quickly well understood. We also talk about how each of our daily life decisions to drive, or heat homes and water, or consume products excessively, or really doing anything with no conservation in mind, should be viewed as a withdrawal. And that those withdrawals are bankrupting their children.

Even though I have laid down some hard facts, and some hard pills to be swallowed, trainings often end with applause and thank you's. I have told them what they already knew, what they already inherently feel is true—yet in a manner that makes sense in their lives, by removing that wonky, heady, jargon-laden, confusing cloud of information about what the problem really is, and how to do something to make change one day at a time.

In creating a product with artisans from another country, time and patience play into the development. Our team found that working with craftspeople who don't speak English often spawned creative communication.

There was a reaquaintance period. The previous trip in early 2012 to the remote village of Ndem, Senegal was when we first met many of the artisans who work on 3form Full Circle products. Once we dug in and started collaborating on design ideas, the artisans were more than willing to share their capabilities and suggestions. Often, we communicated through a translator and frequently I would draw pictures to illustrate the design aesthetic. We were all trying to be flexible with each other to reach a common goal.


People inherently love crafted products...and crafted products inherently have variation. Our goal is to work with these artisans for a reasonable, executable design. On this trip we strove to develop the nuances of form and detail to make it contemporary. The products we created on this trip will launch in spring of this year. We're confident in these modern designs. The products are relevant to the market and they provide a means of employment for a remarkable group of people in Senegal.

Arrival_airport Several members of our corporate team, product design team and two of our sales reps left for a trip to Senegal earlier this week. Working with artisans in the village of Ndem to create new ideas for encapsulating in our Varia Ecoresin® is only a small part of what is done on these Full Circle trips. Lois Williams and Tana Verbouwens share their experience with a letter written upon their departure from Ndem today:

Our work is done and we are now on our way to Saly then Dakar for the weekend before flying home very early Monday morning.


We spent most of our time in the village of Ndem, which is about three hours away from Dakar by car. Ndem is a clean and very well maintained village. Simple yet beautiful. The food has been interesting. Meals take a long time to be served. Overall, there is a lot of down time, waiting in the dining area (which is an area with tatami mats under a shaded structure). Breakfast was simply a baguette with butter and if we were extra lucky strawberry jam and coffee. For lunch and dinner we were each given a spoon. Everyone ate out of the same large bowl or platter. Our accommodations were very simple but comfortable.

Being in Ndem has given us a new appreciation for what it takes to create a Full Circle product. Our product development team have been amazing and extremely patient. The pace of the work and long breaks at lunch along with the limited availability of materials make everything move slowly.


The artisans who make Ensign are truly delighted to be a part of 3form. The metal workers creating some of our new products were so accommodating and provided ideas and other material options when the design team wasn't completely satisfied with where things were going.


We attended a micro savings meeting with 30 woman from three villages. The women took such pride in their work. They carried themselves with such grace no matter what they were doing.


We visited other nearby villages that are all completely impoverished. It was sad to see, but we felt comforted knowing that our efforts are making a difference with the solar charging stations, micro savings and market gardens that are being built.


We are sad to be leaving Ndem, but will have many fond memories and stories to share once we return home. We're both so encouraged to see the commitment 3form has through the Full Circle to improving the quality of life for the artisans and their families, villages and region.

For more information on the philanthropic efforts of Full Circle, download our FullCircle_presentation

Magical, vibrant and captivating are words Pantone uses to describe Radiant Orchid, their color of the year choice for 2014. Using that hue and description as a jumping off point, we are exploring all sorts of captivating colors and designs this year. We've explored other inspiring colors from Dezeen Magazine's bold red, Dulux's Totally Teal and Benjamin Moore's Breath of Fresh Air . In the spirit of finding a color that inspires, we've created a Pinterest board of all our favorite purple blues.


Inspiration often comes from the simple and humble. In a few days our product development team will be heading to Senegal as part of our Full Circle program. Artisans we collaborate with there create unique products such as Ensign. Our designers will be working with the artisans in the remote village of Ndem to create new interlayers for Varia Ecoresin and Pressed Glass that will come to fruition in an upcoming product launch. Part of the trip will include spending time touring local villages to gain a better understanding of how 3form's initiatives are positively impacting the communities and the individuals who bring spirit to our products.


We will be launching new products and new patterns in the spring of this year. Additionally, we'll be introducing a design customization program. This tool will be a useful resource for your design projects. Our design and marketing teams have been working diligently and tirelessly on creating modern patterns and innovative ways to customize them.

2014 is looking to be a magical, vibrant and captivating year.


Call it a sneak attack – a sneak carbon-footprint-reduction attack. Or perhaps call it a brilliant strategy to race ahead in a game that unofficially started around midnight, January 1st. Somebody of a less suspicious mind might simply think that 3form’s director of IT simply went ahead and did the right thing, while rebates were ripe, and while another notorious, clinging inversion held chokehold on Salt Lake City’s airshed. Those of us that work with Jon, though, we know better; as do most of you who work with ‘those IT Department people’ – those calculating minds whose tactical skills are constantly being honed sharp by video gaming, digital necromancy, software tweaks, or whatever it is they actually do behind that mysterious veil they call “a firewall.”

So when, on January 2nd, my return from the holidays was met with Jon’s victorious smile beaming with pride and the want to show off his new all-electric Nissan Leaf, I knew the proverbial gauntlet glove was on the table, err… keyboard?

You see, only late last month, during a preview of my 2014 environmental initiatives as Director of Sustainability, I announced as part of 3form’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral , we would be striving to reduce employees’ collective commuting impacts. While my personal driving habits have long included using natural gas, efficient diesel or biodiesel, or other ‘efficient types’ of autos that match my needs, I have been aware that I also need to improve my footprint, by simply driving less. It is apparently clear, with intentional irony in my word choice, that we in Salt Lake are killing ourselves slowly with pollution. And we are far from alone. Airsheds around the globe are rapidly degrading in basic breathability terms, from our own emissions, which then also contribute to dangerous global climate change.

It is time to take action. If for selfish reasons like breathing, then a-okay; if for less selfish reasons, like allowing kids, animals, plants, and other life forms a chance at a future, then great. Reasons aside, I need to take action, everyone does. Which leads us back to an IT director getting “the jump” on this Director of Sustainability – by switching to an electric vehicle, Jon’s emissions from commuting dropped tremendously – yet even more important is the commitment required to rethink how he drives; when one is limited to a range of 60+/- miles before recharging, one must plan ‘miles spending’ with care, similar to a financial budget. And the world would be a much safer place to breathe in if we all operated within a planned carbon-conscious mileage budget.

So what is my next move? While being passed in a race is never a favorite feeling, I am certainly happy to accept this challenge, more quickly and more fervently than I had expected. Chalk up my points already for a couple days of ride-sharing this week, and for my house thermostat settings in the mid-to-high-40’s (thankful to have my warm clothes!). Next week, more improvements. Game on, Mr. Jon.


As an appropriate epilogue, I am very happy to report that many others here at 3form have also told me of their actions to protect air quality and climate livability. As it turns out, I am not the only one whose thermostat is lowered to the point of wearing warm clothing inside, during winter (I know, crazy right? warm clothes in winter?). And we have cycle commuters. And we have a Chevy Volt owner here, along with others that might go electric, or car-free. And a populist movement is growing here, to secure a natural gas powered vanpool, from light rail stations, to public transit a viable option. With these and more actions and ideas, I am optimistic that 3formers will be a part of the solution to the problem that we should all admit: that roughly half of our air pollution comes from our tail pipes – and therefore, it is up to us to individually make the change we all seem to want. This race is underway, when will you catch up?


Our marketing made a short Happy Holidays short video this year. As part of this, they needed a sled.

This is the story of the holiday sleds, made from 3form scrap. A last-minute request to have a sled built from 3form materials inspired the idea for a 100% upcycled sled design. Kevin in Reclaim helped to collect the sled base materials.


Anna in Shipping came up with an idea for waste material sled handles.


We then procured some 3form decorative touches and I crafted two sleds in one night from expert advice and assistance Lisandro and Darren in Sampling, Jessica in Receiving and Matthew in Varia.


24 hours after the request was made for sleds, they were done and used in the filming of our holiday video. Thanks to the team at 3form and our "Yes, we can!" attitude, we were able to produce the video with these sleek flyers.

Take a look!

3form Holiday Video 2013 from 3form on Vimeo.