Dda PROFILE

Big thinking. About even the smallest detail.

The cliche goes: it’s all in the details, and it’s true - great plans are made or broken in the details. That’s why we sweat them as much as we do. At Dda, we understand that big ideas are made up of innumerable smaller ones.

That visionary design has multiple perspectives. And that to bring visions to life, you have to account for every last minute element. It’s why you can always spot a Dda design — it stands out — and it does so because of attention to detail. For over 20 years, that’s how we’ve been doing it.

Ground up, top down, extension, revision, or complete custom build, everyone’s talent is on deck attending to every single part of every project we tackle, starting with the most important one — you. In the end, every design we create is the result of a group effort – one you’re going to be absolutely central to.

MARVIN DeJONG

Principal B.Arch, AT

Real by nature. Authentic by design. I think my parents found my predilection for deconstructing things disconcerting. I was always pulling stuff apart. but the thing is, I wasn't being destructive -- I just wanted to know how things were made. More importantly, I wanted to know how to put them back together again. As they were intended. As they were designed. I guess it's why I love vintage cars. I know what goes into making them. I know the effort. The skill. The quality. And I draw inspiration from it. I feel the same about architecture. I love old buildings. I love their "bones." Solid. Intelligent. Built to last. With a subtle artistry that doesn't truly reveal itself until you look underneath the surface. I've never forgotten that design isn't just how something looks; design is how it's built, and perhaps most importantly, how it fee;s as a result of how it's built. It's a passion that truly runs deep. I can't see ever doing it any other way.

BROCK MACK

Sr. Designer, AT, B.Arch, Sci, LEED AP

Frazetta + Ford = Genius The year 1978 represents the high-water mark of North American popular art. In that year, two cultures clashed, recognized a mutuality, and ultimately merged to produce what is arguably the greatest expression of transportation art ever devised: The Boogie Van. Fargos, GMCs, Fords… If it had a slab side, it was art. Muscles, swords, chainmail, cleavage, and in a post Star Wars world, laser guns, spaceships and planetscapes – all were on display on these moving billboards for creativity and coolness. I’m a big fan of Boogie Vans. I love the campiness, the low-brow-ness, but mostly, I love the fact that two completely unconnected elements somehow found a reason to coexist. They pushed new boundaries. Created a whole new design ethic, and a design vernacular to go along with it. It’s what I try to do architecturally. In fact, every design I create will incorporate seemingly disparate elements.  Nostalgic + modern. Fine art + contemporary structure. There’s magic in these combinations. It’s just a matter of weaving a spell effectively enough to unlock it.

APRIL DeJONG

Principal, Business Lead BA

All in. All out. All the time. It seems strange to say, but I grew up in a small business. My dad had a furniture store next to our house, so the business phone was at home, customers knocked even on a Sunday, and there was always something happening, or needing to be done. I always knew you had to make hay when the sun was shining, and that customers are your bread and butter, bottom line. I was raised with that ethic. What I learned along the way is that potential is everywhere -- you just have to be able to see it. After that, it's a matter of creating a plan, making it happen, giving it a kick every now and again to keep it going and applying a bit of spit and polish once it's done. In other words, once i'm on a project, i'm all in, all out, all the time. So get ready, and hang on 'cause I move pretty fast.

MARK HAINE

Architectural Technologist AT

Great design comes from a passion to be innovative I live an active life and am involved in many sports where quick reactions are key. It’s a pretty simple stimulus-response model, and in the context of sports, very effective. Design can work the same way – it’s easy to come up with a response to a design challenge. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right. In design, this simple model needs to evolve. After all, design doesn’t turn out well if it’s done by reaction. That’s not to say reaction isn’t there – it is – but reaction represents the first layer in design. Think of it as a footing. Invariably, that footing is built upon in order to give rise to a more solid vision. By working up – layer by layer, you bring the final design idea into focus. This is how truly innovative ideas flourish. This is where truly breakthrough architecture lives. That’s how I work – layer upon layer of ideas, designs, approaches and inspirations, until the final product is indistinguishable from the ideal. Even at home, this design ethic is my truth. It’s why you’ll find me working meticulously through each project from start to finish, learning all the new skills required to complete each task. That’s the process. That’s the commitment. I never back down from it. I never compromise on it.

CYNDI SLOBODIAN

Architectural Technologist AT

Renaissance woman My official title at DeJong is “Architectural Technologist”. That means I’m responsible for the technical precision of our designs and our design presentations. It also means I’m an absolute wizard (witch?) with CAD. In real life however, I live for, no wait… I live ON social media, I live FOR music, and I live WITH my K9 roommate. If I’m not obsessing over how a given DeJong Design is going to work and (hence) feel, you’ll find me obsessing over the newest tracks from my favorite artists or my latest black and white shotlist. Photography is my hobby, no wait… Hobby is a dirty word. Photography is how I express myself creatively; an expression and an affirmation of life. But then, all creativity should be, right?

CRAIG FRASER

Sr. Architectural Technologist AT

Originality is a talent.
Nothing is cooler than a thought, a concept, an ethic, and yes, a design, turned sideways. Do that, and the outcome is invariably genius. Not because it’s different, not because it’s unique, but because it’s original. I believe uniqueness - especially in architecture - is not special in of itself. That’s because uniqueness is easy - anyone can design something unique. What’s difficult is creating great design that uniquely captures and delivers according to an individual’s style and taste - on their terms. With originality. That requires talent. Real talent. At Dda, I’m privileged to work with a team that oozes talent across the board, from start to finish, no matter what the project. For us, talent isn’t about just a skill-set either. Talent is a philosophy — one we strive to apply in everything we do to ensure the result we know we can create. And as reckless as we can be in our pursuit of designs that are original, personally I’m never comfortable until there’s nothing left to chance on a project. Talent, time and skill get you to that point. And it never fails to pay off.

YVAN NADEAU

Sr. Designer B.SC. Arch, AT

Good ideas sound better with a French accent
Beauty, to me, is a matter of proportion. It’s simple: when something is in balance, not only can see it; you can feel it. There’s an inner satisfaction, a small voice that breathes a sigh of relief and elicits a smile. I try and create that satisfied sigh and bring out that smile in every living space I design. Symmetry, balance, flow, proportion – this is where simple living spaces become sanctuaries of fulfillment. No distention. No top-heaviness. No non-sequiturs. Just simple, logical proportion. That’s how living spaces are made. That’s how living is affirmed. When I’m not designing or improving a living space with proportion in mind, you’ll find me improving myself at the gym, cooking an epic but balanced meal, or making sure my two puppies aren’t wreaking havoc on the equilibrium I’ve created in my own space.

RHONDA DeJONG

Architectural Technologist AT

Challenge deeply. Connect profoundly.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson I love that quote. It’s such an affirmation. A reminder, and a rally cry – that to create is to challenge. I like to think that’s where I live creatively. I love to challenge convention. Break the mold. Forge that new path. I think that’s why I love to travel as much as I do. My muse is the new – new sights, sounds, languages, people, experiences. I inform all my design work with what my experiences of the new can impart. Visually, you’ll see it in how shape and flow speak to one-another. But more viscerally, you’ll experience it in how my designs will make you feel. If I’ve done my job right, it will connect us in ways neither one of us anticipates. A totally new, totally different and totally amazing way to understand who we are individually, by virtue of a feeling we create mutually.
How awesome is that?

1217 10th Avenue SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 0W6
CANADA

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