Looney & Associates has established a new director of lifestyle position and hired Jackson Butler to fill the role. The 25-year architect and design veteran will also serve as managing director for the firm’s Honolulu office.
As part of the newly created position, Butler plans to collaborate globally with the Dallas-based firm’s leaders to develop localized lifestyle concept solutions. The creative most recently spent nearly six years with EDG Interior Architecture + Design in Novato, California, holding the post of senior associate and studio director. He’s also worked for such companies as GAP Inc., Brooks + Scarpa and Frank Gehry & Associates.
Before joining Looney & Associates in January, Butler teamed with the firm on several projects while working at EDG, such as the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott Maui in Hawaii. “I enjoyed working with Looney & Associates and had the desire to collaborate on future projects,” says Butler. “When I heard the company was searching for a managing director in Hawaii, I felt it was a great opportunity to partner directly.”
Butler’s portfolio also includes independent restaurant designs for Roy Yamaguchi and Gordon Ramsey; newbuild properties for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Ritz-Carlton Reserve; repositioning and remodeling for Marriott Intl., Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Hilton; and brand development for the Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Autograph Collection brands.
Jim Looney, founder and president at Looney & Associates, says he believes Butler is bringing “jet fuel” to the firm. “It’s very exciting for us to have him in Hawaii, managing and growing efforts there and also collaborating with our mainland offices. Jackson’s experience in design, architecture, food and beverage, and international projects will push our design capabilities in new directions, and I look forward to seeing his influence in our company,” says Looney.
Butler says focusing on lifestyle design is vital due to a growing trend in travelers seeking more genuine and immersive experiences. “Lifestyle is real. It’s local. It’s ‘becoming’ a local,” says Butler. “Travelers want to know the culture intimately. Coming to Oahu to feel ‘Hawaiian’ or to San Diego to be ‘Californian,’ for example. Our goal is to create welcoming relationships that resonate with guests and local, authentic experiences. Hosting a life they’d love to live and emulate.”
The licensed California architect, who served as a speaker at Boutique Design West (BDwest) 2017, also notes the challenge of creating personal connections in large public spaces. “How does one produce designs that manifest interpersonal connections while scaling to the larger masses?” says Butler. “Everyone brings their own unique perspectives to a place. The common denominator is, they’re all going to a destination for a reason.”