Parallel Design Group Parallel Design Group

Client Stories

Honoring History in a Clean and Modern Built Environment


Although new to the design scene, Jenny was eager to co-lead managing the design process with her partner in everything, Jennifer Briggs. Both Norris and Briggs joining the efforts of managing the design portion were uncharted territories so they needed to lean on the expertise of PDG.

At 20 total employees and 7,500 members, INCPAs has roughly 200 days a year with members in their facility. Their biggest trouble spot was to make the space look nice, but not extravagant, due to their non-for-profit status. What the company really wanted was to make the space inviting, yet understated.

It was also a thoughtful process as INCPAS worked with their broker, Matt Waggoner, of JLL as they intended to secure a space that would last for ten years – matching their needs right now; but also for the future. With technology changing at a rapid rate, INCPAS had hesitations on what kind of technology would be utilized in certain rooms over the course of the next ten years – and how that would translate to the space now.

Signing their lease in April of 2018 with a target of moving into their new space in August of that same year, gave INCPA and PDG a tight turnaround time to get the job done. Having a clean slate, white box build-out, with only their existing workstations being brought from their old space, gave our lead project designer on this project, Stephanie Burkhart, a lot of room to play and create.


Norris has been with the organization for around 7 years at the time of the project, but INCPAs dates back to over a hundred years ago! With a one-hundred year old organization you can imagine the history that needed to be showcased. The challenge was to create an organized space for the team that brought a modern feel, while honoring the past history of the organization.

Norris mentioned that in the old space, everything felt so dated. With big 1980’s furniture and beige everything, the layout was not modern and was not conducive to collaboration.

This challenge was not new to #PDG and we were eager to bring their vision to life while honoring the past and getting folks excited about the future.


In order to make the employees of INCPAS a part of the process from start to finish, the Parallel team executed our typical Workplace Study – a tool that we utilize with all of our clients to give them a glimpse into the current set up of their office space – prior to making any design recommendations and space planning changes.

Norris mentions that it was important to do the survey for the entire organization so that all of the employees could be heard and their feedback taken into account when considering new options.

In addition to making employees a part of the process through the survey, INCPAS took it one step further and asked for all hands on deck during the moving process. By creating various teams within the office, every single employee was a part of the team. “This gave them ownership and they got really excited about the move,” said Norris. “Teams that we created included: A moving team, technology team and an environmentally-friendly team (as with the new space INCPAS made a concerted effort to be more paperless). It was the right decision to underline inclusivity of this process.”


Throughout suggested space plans and then construction documents, new features were suggested throughout – such as a Member Breakroom and a Staff Breakroom; both of which were combined together and under-utilized in the prior space.

There was not much glass at the old office – but the new design featured glass doors and lots of glass throughout to make the space lighter and brighter which makes a huge difference to the space as a whole.

The Huddle Space was a new addition as well, and ended up being a staff favorite as employees catch up in this area each morning with a cup of coffee.

Another key design element were the Herman Miller desks that were purchased and used in the space. This trusted brand secured from Officeworks is a reliable product that will hold up for 10+ years – not to mention the simple and clean lines are truly timeless.


As mentioned, INCPAS was ever-mindful of growing technology and being aware of the inevitable change in technology for the future.

With the move, INCPAS switched all of their servers to the cloud, created a dual purpose wellness/phone room for employees to take phone calls and included a large classroom footprint for future learning – leaving room for technology changes not if, but when they happen.


Now, many of the employees comment on how the space is laid out so much better. They all love the new space, Jenny comments, “Everyone has been so positive about everything.”

One of the most reoccurring comments by employees is how PDG was able to mix the organization’s history in a new and clean modern space. The history wall greets members and clients upon entrance, while the original seal and first book of board minutes are also featured in the Lobby Area.

With adequate room to grow – a few workstations and an empty office, INCPAS is excited about their future.