The Future of Event Design – How a Space Feels Transcends How it Looks

This blog post is a part of Blogging Competition organized by CGTrader.

Who, what, why, when and where – the critical questions we are programmed to ask when searching for answers. Much like the real world the same is true in the world of designing events. ‘What would you like the room to look like? When are your guests in the space? Where in the hotel will you be hosting the reception?’

These questions may not bring originality or personality to the event, and yes, they will still produce a successful event; but events shouldn’t be treated as a mass-produced product. Certainly, these are all legitimate questions to ask, but as events evolve and as the market grows more and more competitive we, as designers, have to ask more, dig deeper and really search to find what will make the client’s event singular, distinct and personal. There is something to be said about the design of an event – it is art. Event design can be just as creative and expressive as fine art. Great event design is a conversation.

For me, I’ve found that the best way to have a client describe their wishes is to use their words, adjectives, specifically. The future of design is less about what does it look like and more about ‘how does it make my guests feel?’

Comfortable, cozy, intimate, and inviting – just a few examples of some words my client may feed me. With that I have quite a large idea of what this event should look like all from these (4) short words. How? Because events are designed around so many principles and elements of design and how we choose to define, accent or use them is what will evoke the feelings we are trying to achieve.

Space – Space is quite obviously the area of the room, but I have the power to define the boundaries and state the limits in any given space to evoke a specific feeling. My client wants intimate, I immediately know I may need to “bend the rules” of space and manipulate these measurements.

Color – This one is usually very obvious, and most people may instantly develop a color palette for their event. The truth of the matter is that color is extremely complex and experimentation with this can be fun but certainly requires confidence. Challenge the norm. With color, I can instantly change the perception of any object’s shape, size, or location in the space throughout the event.

Texture – I’m not going to suggest my modern white leather furniture for this event. Plain and simple. That is not going to suggest any feelings of comfort for my client or for their guests. But a richly soft velvet sofa will invite guests to gather and absorb all of its coziness. When applicable layer textiles for softness – area rugs, additional throw blankets, pillows, etc. all infuse color, pattern and texture and these specifics of what they are made of, their size, their color, etc. will help translate the feeling that we want to accomplish.

There are so many other elements – pattern, balance, repetition, proportion, scale, etc. I really could go on, but if we challenge our minds to consider all of these facets and how they can provoke an emotional experience, we can go beyond just a visual experience for our clients. It is important to understand the design tools at our disposal and how to apply them. Event design will become a language that now reflects the uniqueness of any of our clients. It tells a story about them and about us.

-Mandy Autry, Senior Event Designer

Here are just two examples of pieces pulled to assist in conveying some of the feelings a client may request. How would you describe these looks? Do these mood boards present you with any specific emotions or feelings?

Posted in blog Mandy

No Comments

Washington Business Journal’s Book of Lists Unveiling Party

ART (n.noun)
The conscious use of the imagination in the production of objects intended to be contemplated or appreciated as beautiful, as in the arrangement of forms, sounds, or words.

The quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

When considering the definition of ‘art’, it seems perfectly and abundantly clear to me that every event we produce as designers should be considered art. It also appeared to be quite a fitting theme for this year’s Washington Business Journal’s Book of Lists Unveiling Party at the National Building Museum. Whether you consider art as visual, sculptural, visceral, theatrical, poetic, or lyrical, the overall concept for the evening was designed to focus on celebrating the beauty of the imagination by creating an environment with visual appeal and creative, artistic energy.

Blessed with the opportunity to collaborate with Ridgewell’s Catering and the Washington Business Journal, the decision was made to split the three courts of the National Building Museum into three separate, artistic environments. The goal was to create a fully submersive experience for the guests and each court would adapt different facets of art and its various characteristics.

As guests entered the West Court, they were fully immersed in an outdoor, pristine sculpture garden. The area was fully dressed in rich emerald green and luxurious taupe. Boxwood cubes with custom routed wood garden covers were made and statuesque ballerinas graced their platforms. For Syzygy, we had the pleasure of greeting guests at our new Waterfall and River Rock Bar – and yes, it really does have a real-life waterfall feature in the front of both the bar and back bar! This area was organic. It was natural and sculptural, and in my opinion, a very simple display of the calm and uncomplicated facets of art.

Upon arriving in the Center Court, guests were meant to be transported to the interior of a sleek and contemporary art museum. A classic white and black color palette was the base of the design for this section, however throughout the room were vibrant pops of neon and energetic colors. This area also included a special display, “Gallery 85”, a custom graffiti art exhibit for Ridgewell’s Catering, which featured vibrant handcrafted pieces, made in fact, by a staff member from their company. This area was sophisticated, mainstream and a great depiction of the freshness of art in our modern world.

The last court, East Court, was dedicated to a completely different environment – an eclectic coffeeshop. With this new atmosphere came a whole new energy for the space – an effortless and relaxed bohemian spirit. This area’s color palette was uncomplicated and fun – a combination of mixed metals, stained wood, and rich jewel tones all created a chic lounge for the hip crowd of guests, and what I hoped, a lasting final impression for the evening’s artistic production.

-Mandy Wasielczyk, Event Designer

No Comments

From the Desk of Mandy Wasielczyk

As an event designer, I am blessed with the opportunity to work and collaborate with extremely talented and immensely creative clients. It’s certainly one of the facets of my career that I enjoy the most. In the current event industry, there is certainly no shortage of exponentially passionate individuals either which makes our work here at Syzygy Events so rewarding!

I couldn’t have been more excited when Blythe Swift of Ridgewell’s Catering, a dear client of mine, reached out in regards to the design and décor for her client’s upcoming fall event at Tudor Place.  I was beaming with excitement as she shared her vision and inspiration photos for the day: an elegant fall picnic with a touch of fun with the infusion of a tailgating theme.


The fall season we are so beautifully surrounded by became such a huge inspiration for the overall look. And tailgating? One might argue that there are not many things that are more American and autumnal than the presence of football right now! The end product was beyond what I ever imagined it to be.

Classic, rustic pieces were the backbone of the design.

We featured aged wine barrels as cabaret tables and a beautiful bar in the tent. Natural-stained Adirondack chairs and benches with richly fabricated pillows created an intimate seating area for adults while herringbone wool blankets topped with an abundance of various textured pillows created more relaxed spots to hang out and oversee the custom-crafted corn hole game on the manicured lawn. Everything was balanced in a rich autumnal color palette with creamy neutrals, matte golds, brunt oranges, and deep rusts.

While capturing the elegance of a fall picnic posed an easy feat, incorporating the playfulness of the tailgating component proved to be a little more challenging. I am a strong believer in always creating a statement piece for your event, something that sets it apart from every other experience for the guests. I truly think the collaboration and creation of our football-inspired buffet table did just that. It was the focal piece of the tent – erected on top of our walnut-stained wood slatted bar, the woodshop and production team truly created an eye-catching top that featured an astro turf top, white stenciled hash marks and yard markers, and even a set of goal posts! What a backdrop to display the food!

In the end, it truly was a beautiful fall picnic and definitely a celebration of autumn (I just wish I could have stayed for a mimosa and s’mores treat!). Another fantastic collaboration for Syzygy Events! Cheers and happy fall!

– Mandy Wasielczyk

No Comments