My guest today is Christian Giordano President of Mancini Duffy a century old architecture firm based in New York City. Christian talks about Mancini Duffy’s tech first approach to architecture and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted how they think about designing workplaces moving forward.
Christian is driven by a quest of disruption and innovation. He approaches each new undertaking—be it a design project, a business initiative, or an industry‐wide effort—with a desire to push boundaries, do it better, and solve tough challenges. Throughout his efforts, he brings a balance of more than 25 years of experience working within the building industry along with an innate ability to think progressively, often times far beyond what others in the industry are thinking or doing. It is this quest that brought him to Mancini more than five years ago.
Leveraging the firm’s 100‐year‐history spanning architecture, interiors, and planning, Christian saw a unique opportunity to recalibrate the firm’s approach— emphasizing technology to transform the way designers across disciplines work—while capitalizing on its deep New York City roots and proven technical ability delivering built work. He set ambitious goals for the firm to revolutionize the way things are done and opened the call to action to every team member— from design to finance and from operations to marketing—to see that vision come to life.
A year after joining the firm, he was appointed President and in 2017 became its majority shareholder. In all this time, he continuously pushed limits to elevate the firm by activating this vision. To redefine Mancini as a top design firm, Christian promotes his larger vision with Mancini as the catalyst of industry‐wide change. Drawing inspiration from some of the technology companies Mancini works with—like Google, Peloton, and Commvault—he brings the focus to technology that can move the world of design forward. But the technology to do this doesn’t always exist just yet. Today, under Christian’s leadership,
Mancini totals more than 90 designers across two regional offices—two‐and‐a‐half times the 35 designers in a single New York City office when he joined the firm in 2013—all circling around the vision of being a technology‐first design firm. Each person is inspired to push the boundaries of technology to deliver better design solutions, better results for the firm’s clients, and better ways of doing things for the industry. In 2018, the firm officially opened its Design Lab, the epicenter of its research and development efforts. Where it previously resided in an office which Christian gave up so it could be used for these efforts, the new Design Lab brings together designers, technologists, and clients to leverage technologies like Virtual Reality, Video Game Engines, Drones, Generative Design, Artificial Intelligence, and many others to further break barriers limiting design capabilities.
What began primarily as an internal incubator has quickly grown to change the way the design process is facilitated. Under Christian’s stewardship, the firm has completely changed the design process. Mancini immerses its clients in Virtual Reality walk‐throughs, a client walking through their future space using Virtual Reality and Mancini’s proprietary Toolbelt software which makes any virtual environment fully interactive to users. Video Game Engine‐rendered models, or even Augmented Reality virtual elements so they can envision the firm’s proposed designs in as real a way as possible.
Today, Mancini continues to be recognized as an industry‐leader, pushing more and more boundaries to the brink of reinvention, thanks to Christian’s big vision and tireless efforts. One of many recognitions for this work was the firm being named a finalist at Commercial Observer’s Inaugural Innovator Awards in the Construction & Design Tech category among technology firms and start‐ups, not among other design firms—the ultimate confirmation that Christian’s big vision and ability to see it delivered is truly changing the way things are done.
NYC: 275 Seventh Avenue, 19th Floor New York, NY 10001
NJ: 374 Millburn Avenue, Suite 101W, Millburn, NJ 07041
Links and Resources:
- WPVI Channel 6 Philadelphia
- Malibu Farm Restaurant
- Artificial Intelligence
- Virtual Reality
- Mixed Reality
- 3D Printing Micro Factory
- University of Miami
- Mars Wrigley
- Chaminade Highschool