International Flair

Julieta, whose background is in architecture, is one of the newest members of our design team. She hit the door running when she first came to Dillon Works, and now that she’s come up for air, we took the opportunity to ask a few questions. Here’s her response:

How did you end up in Seattle?
My husband and I moved to Seattle because we wanted to live in a city that was culturally diverse, ecologically conscious, with a temperate climate and lots of outdoor activities. After an exhaustive comparison of major cities in the US, Seattle won!

What were you doing before you started working at Dillon Works?
Before I started working at Dillon Works, my husband and I were living and working in Honduras. We own a design-build firm in Honduras, mix|design, and are still juggling projects in Honduras while working in Seattle. Our largest project there at the moment is the Cultural Center for the city of San Pedro Sula. It will include the first public library in the city as well as a the first Botanical Gardens, an auditorium, food court, bureau of tourism, Honduran craft stores, and cultural spaces for artists, teachers, and musicians to rent.

What’s the best part about your job?
The best part of working at Dillon Works is that clients demand a high level of creativity for their unique spaces, many times with short time schedules, and I find these challenges very rewarding. The gamut of projects and scales is/are? different from an architectural stand point, however, I find that the skills I learned when I was a student and builder at the Rural Studio as well as the design-build projects with mix|design transfer well to the kinds of projects that are designed and built at Dillon Works. Another great thing about working here is that projects at Dillon Works utilize different fabrication methods, details and ways to develop projects that are directly related with users’ experience, these are aspects of design that have always been an interest of mine and I now get to explore.

Is there anything in particular that surprises you about Dillon Works?
Most surprising thing about Dillon Works: There is a Pterodactyl flying over the reception desk! ;)

You keep flying too, Julieta! We’re glad you came to Seattle, and love having your global perspective as part of our design team!

Internal Workings

It’s always fun to see what kind of impression we make on new Dillon Workers. Here’s a little Q&A with Riley, our Design Intern:

Why are you here?
I’m home for the summer from college where I’m currently studying illustration. I knew I needed a summer job and I wanted to get my foot in the door of an industry geared towards what I want my career to some day be instead of working at another restaurant which I have done my share of. My dad had told me a lot about Dillon Works and it seemed like a really great place to be.

What is your background?
I was born and raised in Seattle, WA. Technically I live in Pasadena, CA now where I’m attending Art Center College of Design getting my BFA in Illustration Design, but I’m home for the summer.

What do you hope to get out of working here?
I hope to gather the basic experience of what it is really like to work in a fast paced design industry like Dillon Works.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen in the few days you’ve been here?
I think, aside from all the projects, the way that each department is so collaborative with each other, its a pretty cool thing to see in action.

What’s the most intimidating thing you’ve seen in the few days you’ve been here?
I’m not so sure intimidating is the word I would use, but maybe the most overwhelming thing I’ve seen is simply how this company is able to fabricate practically anything. That’s a pretty outstanding accomplishment and a lot to live up to and prepare for when starting to work with Dillon Works, but it’s definitely a positive thing.

How’s the Weather

Seattle-based REI asked us to paint a mural for the exterior of their flagship store and they it to match, as closely as possible, artwork they provided.
Easy, breezy, right? Well it is if your paint shop has many years of combined experience with all manner of finishes, from faux to flashy.

 Here’s a photo-shopped image the Client asked us to replicate:


….and here’s what we delivered:








How did we do? You tell us.

Reindeer Games

Part of Dillon Works’ annual Holiday Pot Luck tradition involves a party game in which one or more topics are written on a conference room whiteboard first thing in the morning.   Throughout the course of the day, Dillon Workers respond anonymously in writing and cast their votes for the best responses.  The winners receive Fabulous Cash Prizes, but we all have a blast learning about our co-workers exploits, foibles and predicaments.  Here’s a sampling of this years Q & A with the winning responses in BOLD:


  • Don’t stick out too far; the lawnmower is just around the corner
  • How  you gonna do it if you really don’t wanna dance?  Get your back up off the wall!
  • Take big steps, your shoes will last longer
  • Don’t go crazy
  • There are three sides to every story
  • Write on the board to the right _before drinking lots of BK’s egg nog
  • Never turn down a free meal
  • Do your best, that’s all you can do (mum on sitting exams)
  • Be thankful
  • Don’t expectorate to if expect to rate
  • Put human relationships above all other priorities
  • Just shut up and listen
  • If you need help from someone, make it as easy as you can for them
  • Read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie 1935. (Boss requested for career guidance)
  • Enjoy your kids while they’re young because they grow up too fast
  • Work hard a become a leader; be lazy a become a slave.  Proverbs 12:24
  • It’s not how we get into trouble, it’s how we get out of it
  • If you’re unhappy with your life – volunteer. Helping others puts your troubles into perspective
  • Fail fast and fail often
  • When they say, “Do not feed the bears”, DO NOT feed the bears
  • Pain in inevitable; misery is optional
  • Try not to have a boring life
  • If you don’t have looks or smarts, you’d better work on your personality!!
  • Accelerate halfway through the turn
  • When hiking and being attacked by wild animals, you only have to run faster than the person you’re hiking with
  • Moisten needle before insertion
  • Put your worries in your back pocket, ’cause it all comes out in the wash


  • I sent away for an application to clown college
  • I can make both Meth and Moonshine
  • At 17, I hitchhiked from Albuquerque, NM to Sopchoppy, FL
  • I can’t feel the bottoms of my feet
  • I am an ordained minister
  • I once stood in line at Studio 54 dressed as Darth Vader
  • I was a bedwetter
  • I had a pig for a pet
  • I sang in a choir
  • I was an altar boy
  • I have lived within five miles of the house where I was born for 90% of my life
  • I was written up in a medical journal for having my lazy eye fixed with medication (not surgery)
  • I own a surgical rib spreader
  • I like beer
  • I did training with the 2nd Ranger Battalion in the back woods of Louisiana while wearing women’s perfume
  • My life is apparently very boring
  • I’m allergic to dogs
  • I’ve had lunch with Lady Gaga
  • I was robbed at knifepoint
  • I got berated by Diana Ross
  • I really don’t know what I’m doing
  • I once assaulted a postal worker
  • I can trace back my family genealogy at least 29 generations
  • I turned down a modeling job to work at Dillon Works


  • Restek (- Computer Support)
  • 4th hand on a shrimp boat
  • Scraping paint off school buses
  • Hoeing sugar beets
  • Lawn mower & tractor showroom prep
  • Wiping old people’s bottoms & shaving the old ladies at a nursing home
  • Changing dampers inside a 40 ton coal mill
  • Painting seat numbers on arena bleaches – row after row…
  • Cleaning horse stalls every day before going to high school
  • Working at the car wash through winter
  • My work life is apparently very boring
  • Worked at the shipyards in Ballard, (7) 16-hour shifts.  My company put me up in the Thunderbird Motel on Aurora for two months. I couldn’t sleep at night because the “lady” working next door was very busy
  • Super microscopic speck finder
  • Project Manager at Universal Studios (’nuff said)
  • I worked for an owner who would yell at all his people on a daily basis and tell them they were incompetent morons
  • Having to walk streets filled with mobs of drunken frat boys in old town Pasadena  while dressed as a leprechaun on St. Patrick’s Day.  Me: “Top of the mornin’ to ya”.  Them: “f@#k off!”
  • Sitting in a ‘library quiet’ shop with a magnifying glass and tweezers cleaning/repairing precision tools
  • Picking up F.O.D (Foreign Objects Debris)on a runway in -12 degree weather
  • Owning and running a stupid Class H Bar and Restaurant


Sweet Dreams…

There’s no greater ego boost than seeing your work make the cover of a prominent trade publication. The September 2013 issue of  VMSD magazine (Visual Merchandising & Store Design) features a fabulous animated candy chandelier, among many other fixtures that we fabricated for Kid’s Cavern – an over-the-top children’s department store at New Yaohan in Macau. 

Who needs vegetables?