Connecticut McCooe Horiz 300x200By Matthew McCooe, Connecticut Innovations

Think back to where Connecticut was 20 years ago.

A National Hockey League franchise had just left the state, it was one of the only places in the country where incomes were actually falling and we were known more for David Letterman’s speeding tickets than anything resembling innovation.

On the national economic stage, Connecticut was a punchline.

Yet, since then, Connecticut has steadily flown under the radar, evolving from a state that most investors would bypass to a place that saw exits for two homegrown unicorns — startups valued at more than $1 billion — in the past few months.

Pirie Laura PirieBy Laura Pirie, Pirie Associates Architects

Storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we use at Pirie Associates to create environments for our clients. This is true for projects that range from retail fit-outs to university buildings to city and community planning projects. In fact, the greater the number of stakeholders, the more critical storytelling is.

Most people think of architects as designers of form, and that’s true, we are. In fact on a typical project, 75% of our time is spent on developing the form. However, there is an essential 25% that can make an ordinary project extraordinary.

Imagine that before any form is crafted, the most important 25% of the effort is expended eliciting and defining intentions: our client’s intentions. Why do this? Because environments are woefully underutilized if they only look beautiful and function appropriately.