Here is [ASD] vice president Michael Neiswander’s comments on how to make the chemistry work and philosophies blend:

With seven offices nation-wide, ASD’s staff includes nine registered architects, six registered interior designers and 47 other design staff. The firm’s 74 employees are led by 13 principals and 23 project managers. Here is vice president Michael Neiswander’s comment on how to make the chemistry work and philosophies blend:

“At ASD we focus on “branded environments” that reflect our client’s culture and philosophy, so we would typically organize and deliver interior design/architecture and environmental graphics on a project by project basis,” Neiswander said. “In delivering a branded solution, our projects typically involve all three disciplines, or at least two of the three. At ASD, we market and structure the project team around the core discipline involved and bring in the appropriate personnel from the various disciplines as needed to deliver services. The complexity of the project requirements would dictate the experience level of the various personnel assigned to the project. Thus our clients truly get competency of design and execution from people that understand the problem at hand.”

As for organizational structure and reporting, Neiswander said “With our multiple locations and disciplines we have organized the firm into a loose studio format. We have one graphics studio, one architecture studio and multiple interiors studios (our corporate mainstay).The studios are not necessarily bound by geography—for example, our architecture studio consists of people in Atlanta, Cleveland and Tampa. This flexibility has allowed us to put the appropriate personnel on any given project based on talent, project location and capacity vs. personnel location only.

The firm is led by a management team comprised of the studio / discipline principals. The management team meets monthly to discuss market activity and other issues.

In addition to the management team, there is a smaller operations group that meets every two weeks to discuss manpower/workloads, budgeting, marketing and other issues.

**“How Good Do You Want to Be?
—Quite Good
—Very Good
—The Best in the Field
—The Best in the World?

Talent helps, but it won’t take you as far as ambition.”**
—Paul Arden