As part of this mission, T-REX partnered with Arcturis to develop a 10,000 SF coworking space and technology incubator where entrepreneurs, developers, designers, and other professionals can build their businesses, foster a community of innovation, and create a network of creativity and support.
Just a few generations ago, countless dresses and pairs of boots were designed and made in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Second only to New York in importance, the city was known as a fashion capital that helped dress the nation.
Second only to New York in importance, the city was known as a fashion capital that helped dress the nation. That role has faded over the years, but the St. Louis Fashion Incubator aims to revive the industry.
The non-profit, which provides emerging designers with studio space, a stipend, and mentorship, envisions a hub of local companies designing and producing garments.
Former CEO of architecture and interior design firm Arcturis, Patricia Whitaker believes in that mission and connected her firm with the organization...
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Arcturis was interviewed among other globally-reaching architects to discuss major trends in innovative workplaces. The latest trend paper from the Brookings Institution, Innovation Spaces: The New Design of Work, dissects major trends in modern workplace innovation.
 "Economic innovation is increasingly open and collaborative"
 "Collaboration-centric work and worker preference are revaluing face-to-face communication"
 "Technology is increasingly ubiquitous in the workplace with innovation spaces witnessing a particularly pronounced infusion of tech over the last 10 years"
Arcturis recently discussed the future of the workplace with Colliers International and the St. Louis Business Journal.
MEET THE EXPERT: As a Principal at Arcturis, Julie Keil leads the workplace design team by establishing strategic direction and providing dynamic solutions to meet her client’s complex business needs. Her 28 years at the firm have made her a national expert on creating office spaces for world-class clients like Wells Fargo, Ameren, Express Scripts and Equifax.
St. Louis Business Journal: What industries are driving the local office market?
Keil: The start-ups. The Cortex area. The biotech. The life sciences. You still have your large corporate activities, but there’s a lot of activity in the start-ups, the more entrepreneurial-driven market. That activity is really exciting. It gives a different perspective to the type of space that is created for the market.
St. Louis Business Journal: What are the hot projects?
Keil: The Cortex hub, the Armory, and the growth in healthcare with the BJC expansion — that whole area is going to be a huge transformation over the next several years. Innovation is so important. I think corporations are all acknowledging that even if they have their corporate campuses there is a tie and an interest to have a presence in a Cortex-type of environment.
St. Louis Business Journal: The mantra we’ve always heard is location, location, location, but really there’s lots of locations that you’re referencing that have big potential right now.
Keil: In the corporate world, what we see as a huge driver is attracting and retaining top talent. With the shift in the workforce with a lot of the baby boomers, who I think historically like being in the suburbs, they like an easy commute. With more millennials really becoming the dominant population, I think there is a desire to be in more of an urban, metropolitan-feeling area. That’s where they want to live and it’s also where they want to work.
People can work anywhere. It used to be that people had to physically drive or commute in some manner to their workplace to physically work. Your desk was there. Your access to technology was there, and so on. Today, technology makes it possible to work anywhere, any time. I question if our future is really going to be corporations or if it is going to be diversified, where you have multiple offices that are more hub-like for people to come together and collaborate. Oftentimes, people have the ability to be able to work at home, but they want that personal connection. That’s where you will see people come into work a couple days a week that do not necessarily need to, but do to make that connection.
The energy at the “ground breaking” of the Saint Louis Fashion Incubator was nothing short of contagious. The talent, the potential and the combined passions seemed to feed off one another with the shared notion that this space is going to impact St. Louis in a big way.
Located in the Artloft Building, situated in the 1500 block of Washington Avenue near City Museum, the incubator space will be ready for six fashion designers in January of 2017. The goal is to provide the support necessary for these designers to grow their businesses and help put St. Louis back on the map for fashion.
As the lead architect and designer for the incubator space, Arcturis’s design was heavily influenced by the passions and fashions of the designers inhabiting the space. While much of the existing space benefits from ample ceiling height and plenty of natural light, the freshly opened mezzanine originally did not. This disconnect of space was a challenge for creating an engaging and comfortable working environment for the designers. Arcturis’s solution involved opening the space to take advantage of as much natural light as possible. The design team succeeded in creating a space that feels less constricted, while staying within a limited budget.
Designing a space that is conducive to a diverse group of creatives is no easy task. The solution, ingenious in its simplicity, proved to be the use of neutral colors and finishes to create an environment that does not overwhelm the designer’s work and allows their creations to be the focal point.
Fashion Fund’s new space on Washington Avenue ties directly to the history of the district as a hub for garment fabrication, once considered a major player in the United States from the late 19th century until World War II. Now, the Saint Louis Fashion Incubator is determined to bring that prestige back to downtown St. Louis, and Arcturis is honored to be a part of that journey.