Drawing Dept

Drawing Dept

3217 Madison Rd
Cincinnati, OH 45209
directions

(513) 272-8099

Design Professionals

  • Rob Busch

    Rob Busch

  • Tess Hilgefort

    Tess Hilgefort

About Rob Busch

Rob Busch is the founding partner of Drawing Dept, a burgeoning, diverse architecture and design firm. Growing up in Cincinnati and graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a B Arch, Rob has completed a plethora of projects ranging from furniture and high-end single-family residences, to restaurants and bars. Drawing Dept has received over 30 design awards and is published regularly. In his spare time, Rob has managed to run several marathons and is a regular guest critic at the University of Cincinnati. Regardless, he never leaves the house without a healthy breakfast of Lucky Charms or Count Chocula...or both. Rob lives in Cincinnati with his wife Susan and his four children.
"Marley Residence"

Regional Award Winner

KDC 2013-14

Q&A with Rob Busch

Where do you find design inspiration?

I generally find inspiration  at the intersection  of client vision, the site, the structure and a construction  ethic. I believe that  most  clients  need less creativity  and more  advocacy. We refer  to  this  simply as 'listening' - a  lost art  in our profession.

How do you approach the design process?

We subscribe to  an iterative  design process. We drop  the  designer  ego and pretense  in  favor  of  a  collaborative process that  ensures that  the client  is heard. We involve  multiple designers to ensure the project  is being viewed through  multiple  lenses. We often  start the process with few parameters and, working closely with our clients, distill ideas into a single, resolute premise.

How does your aesthetic stand out amongst other designers/architects?

I believe that 'creativity' is a relatively  abundant commodity. Our aesthetic is bolstered by our strong commitment to editing. I believe the best designs are derived from a strong distillation process that favors simplicity, clarity and rigor. I believe the overall success of a project is measured when the project is reduced to its essential components and that nothing else could be taken away.

What is the greatest value you provide your client?

Consistent advocacy and a collaborative  spirit are at the heart of the value I bring to a client. Advocacy does not infer blind compliance, but it does require  putting the client before dogma or ego.   Rarely are the best solutions found in the path  of least resistance. We are willing  to  work  tirelessly to  pursue the problems  and solutions  that  fulfill  the client's vision.

What does the Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest mean to you?

Recognition in our field can be difficult to earn, especially from  peers. It is equally challenging to promote  good work to potential clients. The Sub-Zero and Wolf Design Contest represents the pinnacle of kitchen design. As Sub-Zero and Wolf  represent  the  finest  appliances  in the  world,  affiliation with the  brand  is particularly esteemed.  It  offers  a platform  to demonstrate our abilities and see how they compare to the best from around the world.

Where do you see kitchen design going in the next 5 years?

I believe that the kitchen's central role as the 'heart of the home' will continue to expand, requiring additional spatial diversity  and flexibility.  Simultaneously, the  renewed  interest  in  food  and the  desire to  cook, fueled  in  part  by multiple  cable channels, will continue  to propagate more sophisticated clients who are being exposed to new foods, recipes, cooking methodologies and products.

About Tess Hilgefort

Tess Hilgefort is a Project Architect at Drawing Dept, an architecture and design firm in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in Architecture from Rice University. While assisting on a wide range of projects within the office, her current focus is residential remodeling and custom single family homes. She has completed several award-winning projects ranging from a small bathroom remodel to a 5,000+ square-foot custom home.
"Marley Residence"

Regional Award Winner

KDC 2013-14

Q&A with Tess Hilgefort

How do you approach the design process?

Design is an iterative process of creating, revising and editing. In the beginning, it’s about generating as many ideas as possible in order to define the scope of the project. Once a clear design concept is established, it is refined through a series of iterations that focus on the technical aspects of a project. These include material selections, mechanical and structural responses and specific programmatic needs.

How does your aesthetic stand out amongst other designers/architects?

I try to create spaces that are ‘quiet’ rather than ‘loud.’ Finding the right balance between foreground and background elements relies heavily on editing. This means allowing one or two bold elements to grab your focus, then creating a series of details (and choosing materials) that complement and support the overall design concept. To me,  a ‘loud’ space has too many ideas competing in a singular space.

What is the greatest value you provide your client?

Experience. The building process is complicated and for many of our clients, it’s their first foray into the construction process. While designing your home is exciting, it can also be overwhelming. It’s my responsibility to guide them along the way, but also to create an individualized solution. Our clients want to feel like they’ve created their home and not replicated something they saw in a magazine.

What is your biggest challenge as a designer/architect?

Managing relationships and expectations. There are a variety of people involved in even the smallest project. It’s a challenge to keep a project running smoothly, on time and on budget. For a successful project, the importance of good communication and teamwork cannot be overstated.

What are some of the current design trends?

Open plans and large, operable glass openings remain high on the wish list of most clients, but I’ve also seen a greater interest in accent LED lighting and specialized cabinet hardware.

Where do you see kitchen design going in the next 5 years?

I think kitchen design will continue to shift focus towards entertaining over living; flexible spaces that can work on a day to day basis, but can also be a dramatic space for special events.