Interior Design

'15

Andres Saavedra

JGA (Branded Environment)

Interior Designer

Nature and evolution inspired the award-winning Sleep Number booth designed by Andres Saavedra in conjunction with the team at JGA for the 2017 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. CES is the “world’s gathering place” where consumer technologies and where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.” The Sleep Number booth received four innovation awards at the event and was profiled in the April edition of Exhibitor Magazine as one of the Best 15 CES 2017 Exhibits.

“CES booths have to be innovative and utilize the latest high tech for this year,” said Saavedra, an interior designer at JGA. “Sleep Number asked us to design a booth that introduced their new bed, Reborn 360. It was overwhelming at first, but past experience working with the company helped us provide the comprehensive design that they were looking for. Our inspiration was nature and how nature evolves.”

The display, illuminated by white lighting, featured five Reborn 360 beds in which guests were invited to recline and watch informational content playing on flatscreen monitors overhead. This was one of the most “talked about” exhibits at CES according Brandwatch, who analyzed social content generated during the event by following the trending topics on social media, coverage from tech news outlets and consumers’ organic shares and comments.

As an interior designer, Saavedra creates store prototypes, storefronts, layouts and unique fixtures to fit the space and the brand needs of the company – ultimately creating an experiential branded environment. Sleep Number has been a client of JGA since Saavedra began working there in 2015. In fact, his second project was to design their flagship store in Columbus, Ohio, which was awarded a silver ARE Design Award in 2016 and featured as a specialty store in Retail Environment magazine.

“I enjoy being able to create a physical space that represents a brand and gives shoppers a unique experience,” he said. “What I love most about my job is the unknown, the discovery, and the challenge. I have completed projects on an international scale (Cemaco in Guatemala, Cacau Show and Oticas Carol in Brazil) as well as nationally (North Face, Fannie May, Orvis, Sleep Number, Ember Ice and Fire, and restaurant airport projects).”

Saavedra admits that when he originally began pursuing the field of interior design, he thought it would be “something different.”

“When I was about to graduate from high school, some friends invited me to visit Henry Ford Community College,” he explained. “They asked us what we wanted to study, and I said ‘interior design.’ Back home in Mexico, I took ceramics paintings for a few years and the person in charge of the studio would do it all: from floral arrangements to upholstery. When I heard ‘interior design’ for the first time, that’s what I chose.
“After completing the program at Henry Ford, a friend of mine told me about CCS, a name I had never heard of. So I decided to come to CCS’s student show, and I was impressed with the amount of work students do and the quality of their work. It was that day that I decided to apply to CCS. I was accepted on the spot and received positive feedback on my work.”

In addition to giving him the education he needed for a career in art/design, CCS gave Saavedra the opportunity to work on real life projects. He worked on a sponsored project for the 36th District court house as part of the sophomore/junior studio. The judge and staff loved it so much that they “brought it to life.”

“During my first semester at CCS, I was put into the sophomore/junior studio which was a little intimidating,” he said. “But thankfully, I had an amazing professor who knew the challenges I was going to face. She gave me personal attention and showed me that I can do great things. Today, I can’t thank this professor enough for believing in me.

“Another class that prepared me for the obstacles ahead was Consciousness, Creativity and Identity. That class taught us how to meditate to promote wellness and expand our consciousness and creativity. Even today, I still meditate after work and every meditation is a different experience. It helps me to leave work behind and start fresh the next day with new ideas. This class also prepared me to discover who I am as designer and as a person.

“My advice to future designers is to stay true to yourself and your design personality. People really appreciate and value this characteristic. Also, never give up no matter how hard or difficult it seems because you will overcome your challenges and look back and say, ‘I did it. I made it. And it’s awesome.’ The bigger the challenge, the better you become as a designer. It only prepares you for something greater.”

Saavedra’s portfolio can be found online at https://issuu.com/andressaavedr/docs/web_portfolio_.