Inside BOX: collective ambition.

The power of collective ambition and commitment to the art of design defines our purpose. Everywhere you look today – from buildings and landscapes to commercial products and public services, from web sites to print products – design has taken on a new meaning.  Design is not about decoration; it is a critical component of how we communicate, collaborate, work, rest and play.

The values below are the foundation of our practice:

Design matters. We believe in creating the built environment that transforms the human condition. It can sooth the soul, inspire to work harder, become more efficient, create positive change and provide valuable insights

Collectively. We like to have fun and encourage communication. We play to each other’s strengths and exchange ideas. We educate, mentor and grow as a company

Constant exploration. This is how we find challenges and refine solutions

Invent and innovate. We reach beyond what is expected

Working together. We push the boundaries of design, leading by example and building trust to advance the social purpose of our company

As a result of our collective ambition, we discover new ways to incorporate design using a progressive approach. We transform spaces into dynamic and efficient environments. We deliver designs that encompass the latest technologies. We provide leadership and exceptional return on investment.

We best inspire by being inspired.

To define our practice, we looked at the most successful and respected companies in the world and tried to understand what made them great. We wanted to create a list of words that symbolized BOX Studios. We found that the word collaboration reached across industries and cultures to pin down one indispensable component of lasting success.  Organizations built on collaboration encourage a free exchange of ideas and constructive criticism, teamwork and camaraderie, contributing generously to common goals and sharing rewards.

Over the years, BOX has continued to evolve, and while exploring our inspirations, we added other words to the list. These words define concepts that help us grow and move us closer to who we want to be. This is how we define our core values and determine what we want BOX Studios to represent. None of these words are ground-breaking, but when we embody them all simultaneously, we are capable of doing great things. The list is always changing and expanding, but here are some of the core concepts ...

 

GENEROSITY

When we talk about generosity we talk about genuine generosity of spirit, the idea that we want to derive true pleasure from doing nice things for others – not for financial gain, or some sort of karma bump, but just because the act itself makes our days better. We give of ourselves, our time, our resources, our talents, and our expertise. We strive to be genuinely generous to our families, our neighbors and our community, to our clients, colleagues and collaborators, to the charities and organizations we support, and to the world around us.

EXCELLENCE

We define excellence as being the culmination of thousands of details executed precisely. We find inspiration in trying to get as close to perfection as possible. We believe that excellence comes from accountability and responsibility, and that in order to excel and grow, it is our job to hold one another to the highest standards possible.

PASSION

Nothing is more motivating than passion. True passion is what compels people to strive for excellence and constantly improve and learn. We make sure that people on our team are passionate about what we do. Each one of us truly loves the creativity, the intellectual and technical stimulation, the different levels of social interaction, the improvement in our clients’ lives that we help achieve, the good we do for the environment, and so many other rewards that our chosen profession brings. And happily to share what makes us tick.

EDUCATION

We continually strive to make BOX Studios a graduate school of continued education, building a culture of perpetual learning and improvement. If all of us learn from one another and teach one another, we will be able to grow exponentially. We offer paid internships to promising students and mentor talented new designers, while we in turn enjoy the fresh approaches they bring to us. We always help each other to hone our craft.

COLLABORATION

In our creative and complex environment, collaboration allows us to make a project’s outcome better than each individual contribution. We enjoy and encourage a free exchange of ideas, and our ability to apply varied individual perspectives and strength to a challenge improves and refines the ultimate outcome. It elevates each of us and propels our growth as a company and as individuals. 

At BOX, collaboration goes beyond or own company. We believe it is the synergy between all the parties involved in each project that makes a project a success.  We recognize and appreciate each one’s contribution and strive to align BOX Studios with others who offer the highest level of expertise, professionalism and integrity. In our business, strong collaborative relationships between real estate professionals, project managers, design professionals, engineers, building contractors, furniture dealers, manufacturing representatives and lighting vendors, allow all of them to team together and deliver the best value to the CLIENT.  What we do is like running a marathon, with our entire team running together. Some days this can slow us down, but if everyone truly believes in the spirit of the endeavor, this team mentality helps us design and expedite our projects much more efficiently.

INNOVATION
One of the most obviously inspiring aspects of our profession is its creativity. We find it very rewarding to use our job as a creative outlet. We agree that innovation works best when it is firmly rooted in knowledge and experience. It is when we keep pushing the proverbial envelope further and further each day that we grow the most, both personally and professionally. BOX Studios is a company with a positive attitude. We constantly challenge ourselves and each other to keep moving forward, improving, endlessly reinventing ourselves and keeping our design approach fresh and exciting.

RESPONSIBILITY
We are responsible for our clients’ satisfaction and for achieving each project’s functional, aesthetic and financial goals. We are responsible for conducting ourselves with professionalism, integrity and honesty and acting in our clients’ best interest. We are responsible for our stewardship of the environment, and employ LEED Accredited Professionals at both Denver and Chicago offices.

Our roots run far and wide.

Jim Graczyk, Ferdinand Dimailig and Dan Kraiss met 20 years ago.   At the time, all three were employed by a Chicago-based national interior design firm, with offices and projects spanning from New York to California and just about every place in between.   As a partner charged with opening a Denver office for the firm, Jim Graczyk spent several years managing a myriad of projects for US West, AT&T, Media One and Avaya in the Denver region, and fell in love with the Rocky Mountains.  So when in the year 2000 the firm decided to consolidate its branches and bring him back to Chicago, Jim saw this as an opportunity to stay in Denver and act on his vision of creating his own company. The new agile company, named BOX Studios, would deliver every bit of the expertise and professionalism that bigger firms offered, while building strong relationships of trust and understanding with each client. 

At the same time, in Chicago, Ferdinand Dimailig and Dan Kraiss were having similar thoughts.  The result was that in 2001, they formed a design collaborative.  Their successful practice also developed a diverse portfolio of project types and soon the three principals’ philosophy of collaboration and outward vision led to a business alliance. In 2007, the synergy of design and business approaches created BOX Studios Denver/Chicago. 

Today, BOX Studios’ portfolio includes award winning and critically acclaimed projects in Corporate, Base-Building, Renovation, Educational, Multi-Family Housing, Healthcare, Government, Mixed Use, Retail, Light Industrial, Technology and Hospitality/Restaurant sectors.

Meet our leadership team.

Our leadership team provides everyday business strategy for BOX Studios to sustain, grow and be profitable in the marketplace. We focus on the functional design that brings to life a client’s culture. We personify the creativity that makes the firm successful and that becomes a competitive advantage. On the other hand, we are focused on attention to implementation, completion and, importantly, a return on investment for our client.  This is what makes BOX Studios an industry leader. Our creative business requires not only ingenuity but also focus and discipline of firm leadership to innovate new solutions.

James Graczyk (1959-2016)

As the founding Principal of BOX Studios, Jim Graczyk had set the firm’s collective design direction, business vision and guided the firm’s talented staff to achieving the design quality and innovation for which BOX Studios is known. His relentless drive . . .
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Ferdinand Dimailig

Ferdinand Dimailig brings more than 25 years of architecture and interior design experience. His varied architectural and interior design knowledge has enhanced his diverse background in business, design and technical aspects of the profession.
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Daniel Kraiss

After years of practice with some of the top national firms, Dan Kraiss now focuses on applying his design expertise and business acumen to making sure that BOX Studios excels in corporate interior design as well as base-building rehabilitation . . .
More »

Rochelle Clarke

Rochelle Clarke joined BOX Studios in early 2017, bringing with her over 20 years of commercial interior design experience. Working with clients both as part of major global architecture firms and in her own independent practice, she has been able to earn earn . . .
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Crissy Duncan

Crissy has more than 20 years of experience as a commercial interior designer, is an executive level professional at BOX Studios and is one of our most senior Project Managers. She is an expert in pre-lease services and provides design team leadership on . . .
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Campbell Lloyd

Campbell has more than 20 years of experience as a commercial interior designer and 12 as an architectural professional. Campbell’s responsibilities at BOX Studios include project implementation as defined in the planning phase, development of conceptual design . . .
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Jenna Rivera (Lev)

Jenna Rivera has over a decade of experience in the commercial interior design industry and is a long-time member of the BOX Studios “family.” Her diverse portfolio includes corporate, hospitality, medical office, fitness facility and multi-family projects . . .
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Carlos Rivera

Carlos Rivera brings nearly three decades of experience to the BOX Studios Chicago team. Carlos' broad professional contributions have been in the areas of national corporate, commercial, restaurant, health and wellness, retail, government . . .
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Margie Mellenbruch

Margie Mellenbruch has been monitoring BOX Studios’ financial health since the firm’s inception. As the Director of Financial Management and Human Resources in the Denver office, she works with the firm's leadership to develop and implement . . .
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James T. Graczyk (1959-2016)

Founding Principal

As the founding Principal of BOX Studios, Jim Graczyk had set the firm’s collective design direction, business vision and guided the firm’s talented staff to achieving the design quality and innovation for which BOX Studios is known. His relentless drive, exceptional gift for design, deep understanding of his craft, and relentless optimism will be missed by everyone who had the privilege to know him and work with him.

Over his 30+ years of wide ranging professional experience, Jim’s focus was on interiors and real estate strategy. He loved the special quality of design, the thrill of putting together the jigsaw puzzle of space that would provide the most effective and efficient use of the client’s resources, that would make people’s lives better, and serve to inspire them. According to Jim, “Interiors make the greatest impact on the organization. Through workplace strategy and design, we express our client’s identity, culture and image. We project the client’s unique brand, as well as positively impact the workers’ productivity, comfort, and commitment to the organization. It’s important that our approach is always evolving, always fresh.” Jim was a dedicated mentor to his staff, who now carry on his legacy.

Before moving to Denver in 2000 and creating BOX Studios, Jim Graczyk served in leadership roles for the Chicago based Architectural & Design firms of Perkins & Will (The Environments Group), Gary Lee Associates (ISD), Epstein, and SPACE. His career took him to the top of the design world, as he spearheaded real estate strategy development and workspace design for many high-profile national and international clients, including AT&T, Media One, US West, Aetna, Ameritech, Lucent Technologies, and SBC Communications. Under Jim’s guidance, BOX Studios’ list of portfolio clients grew to include Carlson Wagonlit Travel, TriZetto Group, Brown & Caldwell, Agrium and Newmont Mining.

Jim Graczyk attended the College of Architecture at Ball State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Design.

Jim was thrilled to see the same relentless drive, ingenuity and curiosity in his children. His greatest hope was that they are as happy in their future professions as he had been in his.

Ferdinand Dimailig, AIA

Principal

Ferdinand Dimailig brings more than 25 years of architecture and interior design experience. His varied architectural and interior design knowledge has enhanced his diverse background in business, design and technical aspects of the profession. Ferdinand’s continued success is attributed to his business integrity, professional client relationships and continued project involvement. His diverse project experiences have included many aspects of out-of-ground architecture and interior design.

Dimailig believes that designer’s role is to create dynamic, efficient and affordable environments for the clients’ programmatic requirements and provide design solutions that ignite function, unity, energy and life. An avid sports fan and amateur participant, Ferdinand is a fierce competitor, who works hard each day to prove himself to the client, business and profession. A self-professed design magazine junkie, he always tries to be on top of new ideas and technologies, current treads, design techniques and business knowledge.

As a faculty member at The Illinois Institute of Art, Ferdinand enjoys imparting his knowledge and encouragement on new generations of designers. He believes in educating others on good design, and enjoys lecturing on various topics in design and architecture to diverse groups, from industry peers and potential business clients, to lay public. He is actively involved in volunteer mentoring programs, both formal and informal.

“As a business leader and educator, I feel it is my responsibility to lead and guide the next generation of designers, especially the future leaders of our firm. Outside of the office, I also love sharing my knowledge and experiences in this dynamically rewarding profession," says Ferdinand. “Most importantly, even through the stress, the long hours and creative blocks, I really love what I do!" Ferdinand credits his wife and children with keeping him grounded and connected.

Ferdinand Dimailig attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Design. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and Graham Foundation.

Dan Kraiss, LEED AP

Principal

After years of practice with some of the top national firms, Dan Kraiss now focuses on applying his design expertise and business acumen to making sure that BOX Studios excels in corporate interior design as well as base-building rehabilitation, new construction, health care, hospitality, fitness centers, and high-end retail sectors. As a working Principal, he contributes to the firm’s collaborative philosophy and outward vision. Kraiss considers stewardship of the environment and preservation of resources a matter of utmost importance and leads BOX Studios’ efforts in this essential area.

Kraiss is especially inspired by the BOX Studios’ growing portfolio of technology and internet based companies. “We have taken these companies, most notably Groupon, from low-budget start-ups through explosive growth periods, to respected publicly traded companies,” says Kraiss. “They challenge us to provide more efficient, unique and progressive designs. To keep up with some of these companies’ phenomenal growth rates, we have to constantly reinvent the way we conceptualize and deliver designs and produce construction documents,” he reflects.

Dan believes in BOX Studios’ drive to use design as a tool to advocate progress toward better working conditions and flexibility to adapt to change. “As the digital transformation continues to spread through various business sectors, BOX Studios will be ready with innovative solutions at the forefront of office design for tech-savvy companies.”

Dan Kraiss attended Northern Illinois University, receiving a Bachelor in Fine Arts, Interior Architecture degree. He is a member of the United States Building Green Council (USBC), a registered LEED Accredited Professional, and member of the Chicago Loop Alliance.

Rochelle Clarke

Executive Director

Rochelle Clarke joined BOX Studios in early 2017, bringing with her over 20 years of commercial interior design experience. Working with clients both as part of major global architecture firms and in her own independent practice, she has been able to earn her clients’ trust and consistently deliver superior results, leading to repeat client and referral work, and many long-term relationships.

Rochelle has achieved this level of success by listening carefully to her clients’ needs and then rigorously adhering to their program, schedule, and budget. She also takes great care to maintain strong lines of communication with the client’s team by building into each project several opportunities to review design direction related to the client’s needs, ensuring “checks and balances” as each project proceeds.

Rochelle has been involved in Christmas in April, Habitat for Humanity and WeCare – Boys and Girls Clubs.

“I love interior architecture; it’s what I do. Pairing my talents and experience with an award-winning interior architecture firm, such as BOX Studios, is a natural fit as well as an exciting endeavor. It’s tremendously inspiring to work with like-minded individuals where the creative energy is flowing. To be in a leadership position at a firm that supports and empowers the team to provide the highest quality of design service is simply exhilarating,” says Rochelle.

Crissy Duncan

Executive Director/Senior Project Manager

Crissy is an executive level professional at BOX Studios and is one of our most senior Project Managers. She is an expert in pre-lease services and provides design team leadership on a variety of BOX’s major projects, Crissy acts as the senior client point-of- contact and manages overall administrative responsibilities. She guides projects to meet established quantitative and qualitative parameters. She also ensures that consistent, reliable communication is maintained with all stakeholders throughout the project.

Crissy has more than 20 years of experience as a commercial interior designer, and received her Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Colorado State University.

Campbell Lloyd

Lead Designer/Senior Project Manager

Campbell’s responsibilities at BOX Studios include project implementation as defined in the planning phase, development of conceptual design, and the design development of entire projects in alignment with the clients’ image, budget, and functional criteria. This includes all architectural studies, planning, treatments and details. She is also responsible for the selection and specification of colors and materials, finishes, and furnishings.

Campbell has more than 20 years of experience as a commercial interior designer and 12 as an architectural professional. She received her Masters of Architecture from the University of Colorado, Denver.

Jenna Rivera

Design Director

Jenna Rivera has over a decade of experience in the commercial interior design industry and is a long-time member of the BOX Studios "family". Her diverse portfolio includes corporate, hospitality, medical office, fitness facility and multi-family projects.

As Design Director for BOX Studios Chicago, Jenna takes pride in her role as a seasoned designer and mentor and takes on every project with enthusiasm and confidence. While believing that passion, patience and professionalism are a few main ingredients for success, Jenna's team-player mentality has earned her respect from peers and clients alike. She appreciates every step of the design process, from the initial stages of client consultation, programming and space planning, to design development, branding, bid and permit, and construction administration.

"I love problem-solving. Each project, and design in general, can often be a puzzle of sorts. I enjoy taking on the challenge of finding a creative solution tailored to each specific client".

Jenna's experience is further diversified with her contribution to the company's marketing and business development efforts. She is also a founding member of REV Chicago, a not-for-profit organization whose goal is to bring together people from all facets of local real estate community to play volleyball, network and raise money for various charities.

Jenna Rivera graduated from the Illinois Institute of Art Chicago with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design.

Carlos Rivera

Technical Director

Carlos Rivera brings nearly three decades of experience to the BOX Studios Chicago team. Carlos' broad professional contributions have been in the areas of national corporate, commercial, restaurant, health and wellness, retail, government, residential and base-building/tenant development projects.

Carlos' role as Technical Director at BOX Studios Chicago has him overseeing technical efforts along with construction supervision, budget reviews and project consultant coordination. Carlos is exceptional at managing the relationship with contractors and consultants while managing the construction process.

"I believe in keeping the team informed during all phases of the project, no matter the size of the project or the role they might play. It helps with communication and team-building. I've found that people will step up when knowing they are a part of the bigger picture."

Carlos is a natural mentor and works with the entire internal BOX team on technical issues, code analysis and the permitting process. Carlos believes that a strong culture of mentorship is one of the big keys to BOX's success.

Margie Mellenbruch

Director - Finance and Human Resources

Margie Mellenbruch has been monitoring BOX Studios’ financial health since the firm’s inception. As the Director of Financial Management and Human Resources in the Denver office, she works with the firm's leadership to develop and implement operational strategies that strengthen the core of our practice. Margie handles all things financial, from client billing and expenses to payroll and employee benefits. She helps BOX Studios to realize its profit objectives and maintain long-term financial stability. Margie integrates financial management and administration tasks in a manner that not only benefits the firm overall, but also impacts individual projects in a helpful way. “I consider myself blessed to be able to work with such talented and creative people, who never seem to be annoyed with my nag-mails (as I call them), making sure that they complete all of those mundane tasks, such as time sheets and expense reports, to name a few. I find it extremely rewarding to be able to contribute to the success of their endeavors,“ she says. A Colorado native, Margie tells everyone that she has never found any place else she’d rather live. An avid reader, she enjoys spending quality time with friends and family and working on “the cabin” that she and her husband have recently acquired.

New Leaders to Bring Fresh Outlook for 2017

BOX Studios is pleased to announce additions to our executive team that pledge to continue our commitment to excellence in design and client service.

Crissy Duncan has been promoted to Executive Director of our Denver office. She has more than two decades of design experience. Since joining Box Studios in 2015, she has focused on two of our largest ongoing projects. Our clients prize Crissy for her hard work, responsiveness to the clients’ needs, and talent for ensuring each project reinforces the client’s brand identity. “I want to make sure that each project is a great success and an inspiring manifestation of the client’s identity, but I also pay attention to making the process a positive experience for the client and the entire team,” says Crissy. “I love the truly collaborative, supportive and creative atmosphere at BOX. It’s a very special place to work.”

Crissy can be reached at crissy@bxstudios.com.

Rochelle Clarke joins Box Studios Denver as an Executive Director. She also has more than two decades of design experience and will focus on serving current clients and developing new business. Rochelle excels at design and at developing and maintaining client relationships. She is excited to join a like-minded team of professionals and is looking forward to helping to grow BOX in 2017. “I love interior architecture; it’s what I do. Pairing my talents and experience with an award-winning interior architecture firm, such as BOX Studios, is a natural fit as well as an exciting endeavor. It’s tremendously inspiring to work with like-minded individuals where the creative energy is flowing. To be in a leadership position at a firm that supports and empowers the team to provide the highest quality of design service is simply exhilarating,” says Rochelle.

Rochelle can be reached atrochelle@bxstudios.com.

Mark Desky
VP, Special Projects
Groupon

"We have been working with Box Studios since Groupon launched in 2008, and the Box team has been integral to the design and function of our workspaces as we have expanded our global footprint to 48 countries. We can always count on approaches from Box that are on budget, on brand and meet the demands of our growing workforce."

Christina Zourzoukis
Project Manager
TQ3 Navigant International

"I'm still on site in San Antonio and at 11:00am on this beautiful Monday morning and I was just approached by a travel agent that has stopped by to unpack his new desk. He commented on how "contemporary" and "state of the art everything in this building" was. He then said, "my department was just talking about how we are so lucky that our company would do something like this for us" and "now we can't wear jeans anymore, we're gonna dress up every day!"

Gregory Bonsignore
Executive Vice President
Jones Lang LaSalle

"While other firms may appear to have similar qualifications, the Principals at BOX have clear exposure and expertise in executing and collaborating across multiple platforms. One of the key differentiators is their ability to collaborate with consulting groups through their knowledge of planning, workplace strategy and portfolio realignment."