Video: Material Matters

How It's Made: A Tour with Visual Artist Janice Arnold

When it comes to specifying products, sometimes how it's made and where it comes from is as important as the piece itself.

One of the most rewarding aspects of an interior design career at NBBJ is the ability to source textiles from around the globe. But as any designer will tell you, sometimes the best materials for our projects come not from another continent, but from down the street.

That’s certainly true with the design of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campus in Seattle. To connect the interiors with the foundation’s “local roots” mission, we worked alongside local artisans and craftspeople to create sofas, chairs, tables and stools made from Pacific Northwest wool and timber. Not only are these materials highly sustainable, they are also beautiful in form and function.

One such example is the work of visual artist Janice Arnold—named by the Smithsonian-Hewitt National Design Museum as one of today’s leading hand felters. We had the privilege to work with Janice as she created a beautiful sofa made from local wool. We invite to you to learn more about Janice and see firsthand how the sofa, which now rests comfortably at the reception building at the Gates Foundation, was made.