Fusion + Fashion 2015 immersed the crowd in a brilliant display of cleverness, craft and creative ingenuity. As techno bass reverberated and filled the Muse Event Center, models walked the runway and video footage rolled to show each design team’s inspiration and design/construction process. The theme challenged each team to “find their muse” and create a garment that captured their source of inspiration. Some entrants looked to music & design for inspiration, while others took on a more abstract thought process and turned to nature (and a topic we so love here at Crush Collective- Biomimicry), as there muse. The energy and excitement was truly captivating!  

All the model's gathered on stage as the fashion show came to a close.

All the model's gathered on stage as the fashion show came to a close.

Fusion + Fashion is put on by IIDA Northland and celebrated 10 years of local designers, artisans and craftsmen creating garments out of non-traditional and building materials from our field. As promised in our blog post Fusion + Fashion: Looking Back here are some fantastic pictures from the 2015 Fusion + Fashion event!

Click through the slideshow below! 

As always the event was exactly what we needed. It reminded us to step way outside the creative process we become so complacent in, within our own field. It also served as a tiny reminder to continue to develop spaces in a nonconventional manner. But most importantly it helped us take a mental vacation into unfamiliar waters in order to bring back a fresh perspective to our Monday morning.

If you'd like to attend or participate in this year's event look out for the announcement of the concept around late summer 2016 on the IIDA website. The Crush Collective team is very excited to participate in this year's Fusion + Fashion Board and help contribute to the concept that will drive the 2016 designs!

Where do you go for your source of creative inspiration? Share your MUSE in the comments below! (click the title at the top of this post and scroll down if the comment section is not visible)

Implementing Trauma-Informed Design

Photo credit: Cristian Bernal  nousual.com

Photo credit: Cristian Bernal nousual.com


ASID MN has launched a new Community Service committee and we are very excited to be a part of their first project! The committee is headed up by the great Jackie Millea of Shelter Architecture. With a mission of connecting with the local community to make impactful changes, ASID MN will facilitate activities ranging from one-day outreach programs to full-scale design projects. 

For the first initiative, ASID MN is partnering with People Serving People (PSP), a local non-profit which is the largest and most comprehensive family-focused shelter in Minnesota. PSP provides emergency housing and seeks to empower homeless families as they overcome barriers to stability and return to self-sufficiency. Located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, PSP has 99 emergency housing units and provides many innovative support programs to the families who reside there.

The scope of the project is to redesign two of PSP’s Education & Enrichment classrooms. The Education & Enrichment program works with children ranging from K-5th grade. Volunteers work in small groups and one-on-one with the children for a variety of activities including icebreaker activities, group discussions, paired reading with volunteers, art projects, Cub Scouts, board games, STEM activities, and homework completion.

A volunteer works with one of the children in the Education & Enrichment classroom. Photo credit: Lisa Ross

A volunteer works with one of the children in the Education & Enrichment classroom. Photo credit: Lisa Ross

The task set forth for the ASID committee and volunteers is to redesign the spaces to increase program capacity and create a more welcoming and nurturing learning environment that will be accessible for all guests. All this will focus to achieve an end goal of better supporting children experiencing homelessness. 

Trauma-informed care principles will be incorporated into the design to better serve its inhabitants and increase wellness. The experiences leading up to, and the actual event of losing one’s home are often very traumatic for both children and adults. 

Trauma-informed care is a medical approach that emphasizes four main points (taken from SAMHSA’s website): 

1.    “Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery;
2.    Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff and others involved with the system;
3.    Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and
4.    Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.”

It is the calling of a designer to continually evolve how we design spaces to better serve those who occupy them. The term “trauma-informed design” is beginning to gain momentum as architects and interior designers work to integrate the principles of trauma-informed care into their practices. To learn more about how others are implementing this new approach read these articles by Next City and Left Coast.

We are privileged to work with ASID MN’s Community Service committee to create an environment that will help children recover from the effects of homelessness while enriching their lives. The idea will be to create a space that doesn't look or feel like the traditional homeless shelter classroom while meeting the functional requirements of the space. Through the use of ample quality lighting (goodbye fluorescent lights, we hope!), integration of natural elements, maintaining outdoor views and other strategies, the classroom spaces at PSP will thrive! We can’t wait to get started and see what inventive design solutions are dreamed up.

Here at Crush Collective we love blending design and community service to create spaces that are not only beautiful but have restorative impacts on wellness. Taking the trauma-informed approach and applying it to the design process will be an amazing experience and has so much potential. We’ll keep you posted as the design progresses on!

Interested in volunteering to with PSP? They have many opportunities available, check out their website for more information! 

If you are involved in the Interior Design industry and are not yet an ASID member, click here to get started! We’d love to see you be a part of this exciting opportunity!

xoxo, Crush Collective 

what's in a name part 1: tiny blue plastic wallet

People ask all the time, why Crush Collective?

Honestly, I've never been able to fully formulate how our name was conceived, until recently. Which I find is a good thing, because when I'm truly fascinated or enamored by someone or something, I usually can't quite put it into words and I am definitely a girl, who at times, has far to many descriptors for just about everything. But a couple of years back, I was moving (yet again), as all of us lovely renters do and I came across a tiny, blue, plastic wallet.

I immediately recognized it, it was my first wallet, the one I carried in my first purse, in the first grade. I didn't really think that much of it as I had found it previously in other moves and neatly packed it away in a box labeled 'keepsakes', time and time again. I decided this time to look inside. I found a couple of school pictures, the tiny ones you and your friends would write on the back of and exchange (I have now learned from my ten-year-old son that is not as commonplace or as cool as it once was). I found some loose change and small bracelets and earrings placed in the see-through pocket of the wallet and a movie stub tucked inside where a driver's license would have gone. I pulled the movie theatre pass out of its place and my heart sunk low, like a penny in a jar of molasses.

There behind it, remained the ever so tiny notes I had hidden from my mother. They were letters from a boy named Matt, the first boy I had ever had a crush on. They said things like, "will you kiss me on the playground?" and "do you like me?" No, seriously, they did. In that very moment, all of those feelings came rushing back to me, the nervousness, the excitement, the curiosity of things I did not yet know or understand.

And finally, I knew it.

I loved art and I loved design, the way I longed for that feeling....not love, not friendship, not deep and meaningful connection, but simply a Crush. Kind of like the moment before you do something you probably know you're not supposed to or even the way you feel when you imagine doing something totally out of character. 

It's scary, but in a really good way. It's what we look for so much in our lives, in our jobs, in our relationships, in our marriages. The excitement, the unknowing, it drives us, it keeps us going. It digs us out of a complacent tide of being comfortable in a life we cannot fully control.

In the same manner I have always believed something controversial should be in every room we design and that rebellion and creativity are tied hand in hand. Crush represents a balance and longing for that innocence and at the same time that restless, disorderly nature.

That small place between incorruptibility and innocence lost. It's as large of a gap as that sweet spot between two and three glasses of wine and just as bittersweet.

That tingle, those butterflies, that adolescent curiosity....man I'm glad I found that tiny, blue, plastic wallet.

xoxo, Crush Collective

ASID Awards Gala: Giving Thanks

Every year interior designers along with architects, builders, artisans and other closely related allies of our field gather to celebrate the year's most outstanding work. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the Minnesota Chapter of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers). ASID works on both a chapter and national level to "demonstrate and celebrate the power of design to positively change people’s lives" (asid.org). 

We are overwhelmingly honored to announce the Crush Collective Team has received multiple awards for our recent projects! We were so very honored to take home a Merit Award for Kitchen less than 300sf, 1st Place Kitchen over 300sf AND Best in Show! 



See the before shots here.





See the before shots here.


As the new guys in town, in what is an incredibly hard business to break into, we can't help but feel a bit emotional today. Thank you to all of our supporters; Friends for lending an ear to our rants over the differences between a million different white paint samples and the correct volumetric presence of light fixtures, Mentors (like Jackie Millea of Shelter Architecture) for answering our endless list of business questions and always giving us the most helpful advice when we are feeling a bit helpless, Family for believing that two girls could run and operate an entire business on their own, while welcoming both of their second children and second jobs into the mix, Husbands for taking on the role of mass amounts of laundry, dishes and screaming kids. There's NO way we would have made it this far, in just three short years, with out all of your love, tough love, support, advice and encouragement. We would also like to extend our gratitude to ASID MN for supporting our design industry, providing us with many great resources, challenging us to advance the field of interior design and of course, for hosting the Awards Gala each year to celebrate what great design Minnesota has to offer! 



From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!

xoxo, Crush Collective

P.S. The winning projects will be on display at International Market Square, so stop by and check out all of the incredible talent our state has to offer! You can also check them out online here.