“GuildWorks aims to Inspire with Lightness in form, Beauty in Structure and Grace in Movement,” reads an inspirational quote on GuildWorks’ website, a design build company in Portland, Oregon that creates fabric architecture installations. “In a lot of ways, we’re multiple companies in one,” explains Founder and Senior Design Principal, Mar Ricketts. “We design. We engineer, or specify, and then we fabricate and install.” With one foot in the art world and the other in architecture, GuildWorks uses the sky as its canvas, creating elaborate geometric structures that are both aesthetically alluring and provide shelter. Mar founded the company nearly 25 years ago in Massachusetts, then moved it to Madison, Wisconsin before settling in Portland. In its infancy, Guildworks created tension structure kites which Mar sold to stores and distributors. The company evolved to creating work for stage sets and mobiles for lobbies and hospitals, then took another turn in Portland, where Mar started creating installations for events and outdoor summer festivals. This year GuildWorks is embarking on more permanent installations than ever before, fulfilling a dream he has had since founding the company.
“Fabric structures are visually stunning and beautiful and that’s part of what drew me to them, along with being sustainable,” recalls Mar. “The combination of being sustainable, having material sufficiency, and while offering beauty, function and form – all in one, this is what drove me into the industry.”
The materials GuildWorks uses are amongst the most sustainable options in the building market. They require less heavy equipment, fewer transport needs and contribute to greater efficiency across the board, ultimately resulting in higher efficiency in design, production and installation. GuildWorks recently went through the rigorous process of applying to become a certified B Corporation, furthering their commitment to environmental stewardship, high social standards and inclusive business practices. Mar is also passionate about educating architects and developers about the advantages to using fabric architecture. “Many architects don’t see fabric structures as a basic material. You know, they see bricks, concrete, glass, etcetera, but membrane structures really have so many possibilities for being enclosure and weather protection, while being sustainable and making a visual statement.” Continued on Business Impact NW >>>