“Theyre finding inspiration in everyday life,” said Gilbert. “Thats just the people that they are. And the more you can be exposed to and the more experiences you can have, the more things you can see, its good for everybody but especially a creative.”
A design career
Growing up in Huntington Woods, she remembers designing elaborate houses with a friend, houses so outside the box that they could never be built in real life.
“My friend down the street and I use to spend hours creating these insane fantasy houses,” she said. “There were pits and pools and waterfalls.”
But as a student at Michigan State University, it was actually architectural engineering she planned to pursue. She wanted to transfer from MSU to the University of Michigan, but she took one interior design class in East Lansing and she was hooked. She graduated in 1990.
“I took an interior design class my freshman year and fell in love with it,” she said. “The rest is history.”
After marrying and having children, she stepped back from her career for more than a decade and a half. But when her youngest was in preschool, she “started to dip my toe back into it.”
She founded a startup called Doodle Home, a business-to-business software platform that specialized in home and interior design. Seeing her husband’s firms and how they operated, Gilbert realized how “antiquated” interior design was.
“Looking at Dan and everything he was doing with the mortgage company — that was when he was bringing it all online, looking at it from that lens and saying, ‘How can we simplify the design process through integration and technology?'” said Gilbert.
In 2015, Doodle Home was acquired by Dering Hall, an online portal giving designers, architects and consumers access to high-end home furnishings and services. The same year, Gilbert also started Amber Engine, a Detroit-based home furnishings services and solutions technology company.
Design with a purpose
But its at Pophouse that Gilbert has really helped play a role in reshaping workplace design. When the firm launched in 2013, Gilbert had been working with the Quicken Loans’ facilities department, which shaped the look of the company’s downtown offices. Afterward, they decided to create a design studio to work with other clients who liked the aesthetic of Quicken’s offices.
Six years later, the firm has completed 2,311 projects for the Rock Family of companies, which includes Quicken Loans and Bedrock. Now, as it branches out into hospitality and retail design, Gilbert says it’s about creating “thoughtfully assembled places.” Thats a slogan on Pophouses website.
“Designing for a purpose is really why we get out of bed in the morning and why we love what we do,” she said. “Were just more purposeful and intentional in the projects that we do. They have to be more holistic and have an opportunity for us to transform the space. We believe that transformational spaces can impact peoples lives.”
“Jennifer knows that purposeful design goes beyond selecting the right furniture and finishes. It is how the space functions for the user that is the most important,” Janus said in an email. “With the mission of positively impacting people through design, Jennifer encourages the design team to develop and implement strong design http://www.loansolution.com/installment-loans-wa/ narratives that drive the execution of every aspect of a project.”
Outside of her design work and Cranbrook, Gilbert and her husband have also made finding a cure for Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) a top priority. NF1 is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerve pathways anywhere in the body. It affects 3 million people worldwide, including the Gilberts son, Nick, .