Design partners John Nottingham and John Spirk thought so. Saving a beautiful old church and rehabbing it as a den of creativity, Nottingham and Spirk catalyzed community revitalization in a moribund neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio. As an antidote to tossing out buildings and neighborhoods, “our firm salvaged and reinvented an old building to create an inspirational space for our team to work and our clients to visit,” says John Nottingham.
In the center rotunda, they use Herman Miller furniture components to create an interactive organic space. The lower level of the building, the former Sunday School, is a two-story space surrounded by a balcony. On the ground floor, Nottingham-Spirk Design houses its prototype construction machinery and prototype technicians. The engineers are located on the balcony, where they can keep their eyes on the prototypes being made below.
The hand-carved mahogany pipe organ is computer controlled and used to commemorate special occasions. It should be noted that Thomas Edison installed a pipe organ in his Menlo Park invention facility to help inspire creativity.
"Working within our repurposed space inspires our product and package designs to combine old and new functions resulting in entirely unique innovations, with an eye toward long term sustainability," explained Nottingham. See my accompanying post: “Cool Juice Display” to see one of NS’s latest inventions.
What household name brands would we recognize NS for? NS designed Sherwin-Williams’ all-plastic, recyclable paint container which replaced the old metal can which is often sent to landfills by retailers because of denting and rusting. And NS’s branding and packaging for Purell helped it to become the leading hand sanitizer.
In the spirit of social responsibility, NS’s building rehab also ignited a new wave of development activity in the surrounding neighborhoods that hasn't been seen in decades. Entrepreneurial startups as well established companies have taken advantage of NS’s 535 patented products which in turn have generated new jobs and sales growth. Combined sales of NS products exceed 30 billion dollars.