Teri Kwant has joined Minneapolis-based RSP Architects as the firm’s new director of Dreambox. The well-known Minnesota artist and designer will help shape the firm’s experiential design approach for its worldwide clientele.
According to Kwant, RSP Dreambox, a consultancy within RSP, is a decidedly different business model. Not a traditional design or branding agency, per se, Dreambox helps clients create differentiating image programs, identity systems, space designs, etc. through non-traditional, yet goal-driven strategies.
“Branding originally was about burning one’s mark onto the back of a cow,” she said. “Today, in an ‘experience economy,’ that’s not enough. Rather, we have an effective experiential approach that is more about customer need and less about ego. Through foundational research and other scientifically-grounded strategies, we get to the heart of the customer’s user experience. By peeling back the layers, we come to truly understand their situation, needs, and influences. Then we map out a design strategy that will help our clients connect on a much higher level with their customers. Another name for it is Emotional Structural Engineering.”
Previously, Kwant headed her own agency, Talley Design, where she created exhibit and environmental graphics, corporate identities and signage systems for such clients as the Target Corporation, the Humphrey Institute and The Wilder Foundation. Prior to that, she was the creative director for Experience Engineering in Minneapolis. There, she counseled local and national clients, including colleges and private and public Fortune 500 organizations, to create total experience systems. She also served as the lead designer for the Science Museum of Minnesota, as well as a contract designer for the Minnesota Children’s Museum and a professional lecturer for the University of Minnesota and College of Visual Design.
Additionally, Kwant is an artist specializing in creating interactive public art pieces. She has an extensive history of public and private art commissions and grants with such works as the 20-foot main floor fireplace at the Minneapolis Public Library; the Water Story Street Panels for the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation’s Landmark Plaza Public Art; and the Greenway/Mississippi River Gateway public art benches, sculpture and fencing for the City of Minneapolis. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Alma College in Alma, Michigan, and a Master’s of Fine Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design.
Kwant said she will draw upon her varied experiences in her new leadership role at RSP. “I am extremely excited to have this opportunity to collaborate with such a talented group of people,” Kwant said. “I look forward to discovering what the future holds for RSP, Dreambox and our clients.”
RSP President David Norback said, “Teri has already made such great contributions to RSP. I have no doubt that she will help propel both RSP and Dreambox to new heights. Teri’s knowledge, experience, and passion for design are great resources for the firm and our clients. I can’t wait to see what leaps from her fertile mind next.”
About RSP Architects
RSP Architects was established 30 years ago and now has approximately 300 employees in its offices in Minneapolis and Rochester, Minnesota; Phoenix, Arizona; San Diego, California, and Tianjin, China. Its headquarters is in the historic Grain Belt Brewhouse, an award-winning renovation and adaptive reuse project in Minneapolis.
RSP maintains a diverse practice with architectural expertise in corporate, healthcare, education, hospitality, institutional, manufacturing and research, retail, and government projects in the U.S. and internationally. In addition, RSP’s i-SPACE is a proprietary service that offers unique insights into a firm’s real estate assets, while RSP Dreambox takes a non-traditional approach to design, strategy, innovation and multimedia architectural services.
RSP clients include Ameriprise Financial, American Express Company, Arizona State University, Comerica, Inc., GMAC ResCap, Boston Scientific, Madison Marquette, the Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Tianjin Haihe Development Commission, Travelers, Target Corporation, UnitedHealth Group, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the University of Minnesota, and Wells Fargo & Company.