18 Years at PDR
“Empathy is one of the most important things we need to consider as designers."
Jackie Wheat is a principal and director of design at PDR. Through conceptual design and design development, her focus is on creating an overall experience that makes a positive impact on her clients, and supports their vision and purpose as an organization.
"I really listen to clients about what their vision is and what kind of impact they want to have on their business. You have to put yourself in their shoes for the design to be successful.”
Jackie encourages clients to think of design as more than just colors and textures, and as a way to attract and retain employees. That process sometimes includes taking clients to visit other transformational projects and expose them to possibilities they might not have considered.
“You don’t want to do things that are going to make you stuck in your own ways, so it’s important to propose the what-ifs and really get them to think about the future of their organization and what may change about the future of their work. We try to put experiences in front of them to help them make decisions they’re comfortable with.”
At the start of a project, she also uses 3D technology as a way for her clients to really understand what their new space will look like and how it might change the way they work. Since there’s a high rate of change in technology and design trends today, Jackie focuses on making spaces look timeless.
“We really have to think about a hierarchy of what has permanence to it and what needs to be flexible and change over time. We want to make quality decisions on the client’s behalf that are thoughtful and support their vision. Using technology and allowing them to see their space in 3D is another way for us to do this.”
At PDR, the design philosophy is all about purpose and responsibility.
“All of our projects look very, very different. There’s no PDR brand when it comes to our design. It’s all high-quality design. It’s very thoughtful and purposeful, but it has to support the client’s vision. I think this is what makes PDR so different.”
Jackie believes that design greatly shapes and changes the human experience. It also plays a big role in her clients’ daily lives.
“Our projects affect the employees of an organization. In some cases it can affect thousands of people, so when you start to think about the human experience and what your work does for clients on a daily basis, it’s pretty powerful and it’s incredibly rewarding.”
Jackie graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design and a minor in Architecture. She is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification and is a Registered Interior Designer in the state of Texas. She’s also a LEED accredited professional.