Friday Five with Paul Gardner

Paul Gardner is the VP of Engineering and Quality at Reynolds Polymer Technology, the world’s leader in fully integrated, highly engineered acrylic solutions. Inspired by religious architecture and the Red Rock country in Utah, Gardner designs, engineers, and manufactures some of the world’s most stunning large-scale exhibits, displays, experiences, and amenities across the globe in the pool and spa, architectural, furniture and aquarium sectors. He has helped imagine the impossible for more than 1,900 ground-breaking projects in 57 countries for household brands such as Hard Rock Hotels, Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, CNN, Disney, NASA, and Apple. Gardner led the manufacturing and installation of the acrylic window set in the world’s largest underwater restaurant located in Norway and is currently heading up the design and engineering of the Embassy Sky Pool in London, the world’s first-ever acrylic swimming pool spanning two buildings 10 stories in the sky. This week he shares a few of his favorites in Friday Five.

Photo by Paul Gardner

1. Five daughters
Perfect for the Friday Five, my five daughters are one of my biggest inspirations. Not many men are fortunate to raise five incredible and unique daughters. In their own ways they show me constant examples of tenacity, dedication, energy, and smiles. Not much can beat a smile from one of them.

Photo of Kolner Dom nachts, Salt Lake Temple by Dom Nachts

2. Religious architecture
Religious architecture throughout the world has such unique characteristics and design elements. From Salt Lake City to Germany, churches, temples, and cathedrals have been constructed to captivate patrons and passersby for centuries. The reaching spires, the story behind the efforts to create them, the thoughts of the eternal nature of life that they inspire – they all combine to direct my thoughts heavenward.

Photo of Colorado National Monument via Wikimedia

3. Red Rock country
Growing up in Utah, my family annually took trips to Canyonlands National Park to hike and 4-wheel. Now, as an adult, I have the Colorado National Monument in my backyard. The beauty of nature is unrivaled, with the colors, arches, and textures of the Monument combining to stimulate the senses. There is a bicycle path cut through the rocks and canyons, provides stunning views of Monument and Grand Valley. Cycling up and down the Monument on a summer night is incredible!

Photo by Paul Gardner

4. Rush
My wife, Meredith, has endured my long-term affinity for the Canada-based rock trio – Rush. Their musical talents over the decades has provided many memories mingled with their music. In 2014, they celebrated the 40th anniversary of their debut-album, Rush, with a concert tour R40 and we were lucky enough to experience what is most likely their last major tour and attended a show. A loud playing of “Red Barchetta” on a Friday afternoon is a must!

Photo by Paul Gardner

5. A good book
With everything moving at such a fast-pace and the digital nature of things, finding time to sit down and read the old-fashioned way with a book in hand is relaxing and inspiring. My book collection is very diverse, but literature is one of my muses and allows me to gather motivation and stimulation from some of the most influential instances and writers of all time.There is something about being able to turn a page while feeding the mind and soul.

Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.