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Faces of Shift with Matt Robertson of Clutch Design Studio

Coworking Space Denver

The opening of our Shift Littleton location is right around the corner! This addition to the Shift Workspaces Brand would not have been possible without the help and expertise of Matt Robertson and his amazing team at Clutch. Clutch Design Studios is the design and architecture company that has helped turn our dream of Shift Littleton into a reality. We recently had the chance to speak with Matt to learn more about him and his company.

What drew you to becoming an architect and starting Clutch Design Studio?
Initially, I wanted to be an Artist, and was accepted into the Fine Arts Program at Miami of Ohio. Over the summer before my freshman year, I gained an interest in architecture and got put on a waiting list. A couple weeks into my first semester, somebody realized they “couldn’t do the math” and I was in. After working for a couple large firms in Cincinnati and Denver, I decided to set out on my own. I think the initial draw was primarily a desire for artistic control. But it’s the Client relationships and team atmosphere in our Studio that keeps me energized now.

What has been your most memorable project that have you completed thus far?
They’re all memorable in their own way. Many projects take three years plus to complete, there are a lot of memories built over that length of time. Often, it’s the short ones that provide the strongest “flashbacks.” We designed a brewery in Castle Rock for Wild Blue Yonder that I think of often. It was our first brewery, and our Clients first foray into the world of hospitality. Sharing that adventure and anxiety with the Client brought us very close. The success of that project, both architecturally for us, and financially for our Client, will always hold a special place in my heart.

Who or what do you look to for inspiration?
Well, that is the million-dollar question. We all want to be inspired, and everyone loves a story. It depends on the project, but the most successful ones are always inspired by a narrative that we craft and use as a guidepost for all design decisions. Where, and when, we find that inspiration is the magic of design. Sometimes it comes quick, and you know the moment it hits you. Other times it may be a methodical cataloguing of existing project constraints that leads you down a path, and the narrative is formed along the way.

Why were you excited to work with Shift Workspaces?
We have known Grant for some time, our first office was just a couple blocks from Shift Bannock in the Golden Triangle. The time spent there revealed a camaraderie and shared passion for Design, we knew it was a good fit.

What were some challenges working on this project with Shift?
Spaces like this with a high amount of design are always challenging. There’s a large amount of decisions to be made, information to be documented, and timelines to be tracked. Ten months go by in the blink of an eye, and there’s always mad rush at the end. This project includes 26 different wall coverings – many of them custom, 12 unique floor/wall tiles, and 10 separate wood/carpet products… that’s not normal. Beyond the selection of surface finishes, every piece within the space is distinctively curated. Some are ordered from overseas vendors; others are found objects from oddity shops and creepy antique storage rooms. Commissioned art pieces from multiple artists need coordination and direction. But the biggest challenge is getting all these colors, textures, and forms to work in support of the overall narrative, a common voice.

Favorite design pieces from Shift Workspaces Littleton?
The hidden library conference room contains many of my favorites. The wall covering and art/furniture selection is dynamic and energized, and the space is soft and comfortable.

What’s next for Clutch Design Studio?
Various projects of all types and sizes. A contemporary estate on a 10-acre horse property, a Performing Arts Center for a private school, a retail/service shop on South Broadway, and a multi-family in Cap Hill are currently on the boards. We’re looking for the right Client, not the right project. A Client that at their core wants to create something incredible, that’s where we’re most successful.

If you would like to learn more about Clutch Design Studio, you can visit their website. You can also connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Houzz, and Instagram.

Maggie Smith

About the Author

Maggie Smith

Maggie, a resident of Colorado since 2008, is an expert in the field of performing arts and musical theater. Also skilled in real estate, nonprofit organizations, event planning, customer service and advertising. Maggie is the General Manager at our Littleton location.