Chicago Office Welcomes Design Principal Tom Marquardt

(October 20, 2015) - Tom Marquardt, SBID, IIDA, is passionate about using design thinking as a tool to create detailed solutions that offer uncompromising relevance, clarity and resonance. He will have ample opportunity to explore that passion in his new role working alongside Chicago Design Principal Tom Lee.

A veteran in the industry with 29 years of experience, Tom comes to us after leading his own successful interdisciplinary design and branded environments studio in Chicago, which he founded in 1988. Prior to that, he worked for two firms designing corporate and commercial interior projects ranging from office test fit plans to high-end showrooms. In fact, having worked on projects spanning the corporate, commercial, retail, educational, residential, institutional and nonprofit sectors, there are few project types that he hasn't worked on. But that doesn't mean that he is resistant to new ideas. Tom sees his new role as a major evolution of his career. 

"I look forward to collaborating with the amazing talent and know-how at HDR to help make great things happen," he says. "High-level imaginative design thinking and creative brainstorming that also engage the development process and detailed execution of projects are paramount to developing innovative solutions and to creating a reputation for design." 

"Tom is an interior designer, but he is much more than that," says Joe Cliggott, managing principal of the Chicago architecture practice. "He is visionary."

Tom strongly believes in the integration of disciplines and a client-driven design approach, which sometimes means denying trends and looking outside of architecture for inspiration. And, he believes that first impressions count. "I immediately found HDR and the people to be very accessible, direct and sincerely real," he says. "This is very important to me."

He considers his top skills to be critical thinking and analysis, creative brainstorming, flexibility and leadership through mentoring. When he's not working, Tom maintains his 2004 Volkswagen Golf R32 and the car's own Facebook page. Called "BabyShoe Life" because of his car's resemblance to a classic high-top baby's shoe, the page features pictures, stories and humor about similar cars from all over the world. 

Tom is an IIDA Annual Student Design Charrette co-founder and judge, and he is also an adjunct professor at the Harrington College of Design in Chicago. He has won several interior design awards, and he has been featured in publications including Interior Design, Interiors & Sources and Contract magazine.