Designing a Better Way Forward

We’re taking the philosophy we’ve lived by since our founding in 2000 and turning it into a mantra for the growth ahead, and for this new blog.

By Richard Cuebas, AIA, LEED-AP

I love that word. Mantra. It means two things, according to Webster’s: “a sacred chant in the Hindu and Buddhist tradition” — not the definition we mean — and “a phrase or truism that reflects one’s basic beliefs and guides one’s actions” — that’s the one.

But there is an even better definition that goes back to the word’s Sanskrit-language origin in 18th century India, where “man” meant “to think” and “tra” meant “an instrument of action.” So in that country, mantra has historically been interpreted as “an instrument of thought to enable an action.”

That is exactly why we arrived at Designing a Better Way Forward as our new mission and tagline. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Designing — it’s what we do, the instrument part, the action part. We design, we ideate, architectural, engineering and education solutions to enhance life in buildings, neighborhoods and cities.
  • A Better Way — this is a basic belief in classic mantric tradition, driving the thinking part to an ever higher level. We always shoot for the unexpected answer, for a better way of addressing a challenge posed, or an idea presented, by the client.
  • Forward — where thought and action meet. We design for future living, which means we’re constantly thinking of what that is likely to be, and that in turn keeps us one step ahead, or several. Because what we help build usually lasts decades, even centuries, and while we can’t anticipate what life will be like that far ahead, the forward look takes us, and therefore you, pretty far.

Today, we’re launching this blog, and have called it Better Way, because it’s where we will place our thoughts. But our thoughts take us deep into the design and forward parts. It is all a single project. A holistic intention. One mantra.

And it won’t just be our thoughts. You will read (text), see (videos and images) and hear (podcasts) the thoughts and voices of numerous contributors and collaborators, including, we hope, YOURS. Consider this an open invitation to submit your pieces, share your thoughts, project your voice, and become an extended and integral part of Team Integra.

Because to ensure that the ideas we bring to the drawing table (and computer screen) help shape and prepare us for that future living, we must first think of every possible dimension. Together.

And that’s what Designing a Better Way Forward is all about.

Posted on August 9, 2016 in General

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About the Author

Richard Cuebas is co-founder and Vice-President of Integra Design Group, Managing Member of our Charlotte office, and leader of the firm's Sustainability and Interior Architecture practices.

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