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James Dayton Design, Ltd. (JDD) is an eleven person full-service architectural design firm, founded in 1997. The projects of JDD have a contemporary focus and involve all aspects of the design industry, including architectural design, integrated interior environments, planning, and custom furniture. Current and past projects include work in education, civic, cultural, commercial, and residential contexts.
Based in Minneapolis, JDD has designed over seventy-five projects in its fifteen year history and has emerged as a leading force in the design industry. Recent and past projects have been met with critical acclaim and have been published both regionally and nationally. JDD is licensed in 13 states and has completed projects throughout the country, with work currently being planned for China.
JDD, Ltd. is a registered Corporation in the state of Minnesota and is owned by its sole Principal, James G. Dayton. Prior to founding his own office, Dayton worked for Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle in Minneapolis, Robert Lamb Hart in New York, and Frank O. Gehry & Associates in Los Angeles. James Dayton received the AIA Minnesota Young Architects Award for 2005 and the AIA National Young Architects Award for 2006.
Approach to Design
Architecture for JDD, Ltd. is a first-person empirical phenomenon. It is about making thoughtful, well-crafted spaces that serve clients well and contribute positively to the built environment in a creative and innovative way.
We listen carefully to our client’s needs and desires and take steps to identify the characteristics of place and the conditions which are unique to each project. We use our experience and abilities to adapt client goals and broader project influences into a sustainable vision, one able to withstand the changing circumstances which may occur during the course of a project.
We believe that the delivery of a beautiful building is ultimately the result of a noble collaboration by a group of individuals engaged in a common creative enterprise. Architectural design is a far-reaching endeavor, incorporating myriad disciplines and influences, and engaging a multitude of related professions. We work hard and long on every project to foster collaboration among these varied interests and to guide them toward a common vision and goal.
PROCESS AND SITUATION
We believe in the primacy of process and in the importance of situation. For us, the true meaning and appearance of each project is derived during the design process and is inextricably linked to each project’s unique set of situations. We do not work from any set of preconceived ideas nor have a prescriptive way of designing, but, rather, let the true sense of the program, client and the project specific influences such as site, place and context guide the design of the project.
Our design process is iterative. To achieve a project’s goals we listen, we collaborate, we research, we learn, we educate, we design, we budget, we test and review. We perform each of these steps with rigor and with great expertise and we do it many times until we reach the final design solution. We deploy this method efficiently on each of our projects with great success.
Approach to Client Service
The ability to deliver a project on time and on budget, while exceeding the expectations of our clients is paramount to the ethos of JDD, Ltd. Among our proudest achievements is that we have a proven record of achieving precisely these goals on all of our projects to date.
The making of architecture is a slow and often difficult process and demands strong collaboration between the architect and client grounded in mutual trust and respect. Our most important task in order to serve our clients well has always been to earn and maintain this trust and respect through our actions and abilities.
We believe that good clients make good architecture, and that successful projects are a collaborative effort. We view open, honest and constructive communication with our clients as one of the most essential components to a successful project and work hard to establish and maintain this communication throughout the entire project.
We are an award-winning design firm with superior technical and management skills. Architecture is a holistic endeavor which demands a comprehensive understanding of the design, construction and management process in order to be successful. We provide all of these services to our clients with an exceptional degree of talent and expertise.
DEDICATION AND ACCESSIBILITY
We pride ourselves on providing meaningful, productive, personal and dedicated service to all of our clients. We believe in our clients and their goals and dedicate enormous effort to the tasks they entrust to us, often well beyond the scope of our prescribed services. Our relatively small size allows for unparalleled accessibility to our firm. James Dayton is personally involved in every project in our office and the senior design staff is intimately involved in each of their projects from beginning to end.
James Dayton Design has a proud history of delivering value to its clients in a number of ways:
Many of our projects involve fundraising. We participate in intimate ways with fundraising, from providing models, images and other collateral to presenting design ideas to potential donors. We have been a part of many successful capital campaigns, and enjoy the process of helping to develop the necessary tools for a successful campaign.
ECONOMY OF MATERIALS
The aesthetic of James Dayton Design is rooted in the Santa Monica School. One of the hallmarks of that school of thought is the use of economical materials. We explore the use of appropriate and affordable materials for the construction of our work and can deliver a building that often exceeds the potential of its budget.
James Dayton Design is an award winning design firm. The exploration of form, material and space is essential to the creation of a meaningful and inspirational environment; it should be reflected in the architecture of the building.
We consider design to be a holistic endeavor. In order to design a complete environment, James Dayton Design is able to provide all ancillary design services for the project, including interior design, space planning, graphic design and signage. We consider these services part of our overall design approach and do not charge additional fees to our clients.