Jacob Simons

Experience Design Director, Seattle, WA

Jacob Simons uses mindfulness to lead a balanced, impactful life.

By: Ali Hackett | Photos: Brandon Herrell

Simons is wearing the Orpheum Trouser

Jacob Simons believes the blistering pace of today’s world inhibits presence and gratitude, and he rejects the idea that a busy life equals an impactful life. “Everyone is busy, but very few seem content,” he says. Simons makes time for a full breakfast at home and uses mindfulness practices to enhance his self-awareness and set an intention for his day. “I sip coffee and write in my journal. I often reflect for only a few minutes. The simple act of writing or sketching ignites a deeper, richer part of my psyche.”

Simons lives and works in downtown Seattle, where you can find him walking through the city, working in the Sculpture Garden or taking the scenic route to his office at international architecture and design firm NBBJ. As the experience design director, Simons gives leadership in design research and strategy. “Often it is the places we go to heal, work and learn that make us feel the worst. My mission is to craft environments fit-for-purpose.” One walk through the office and you can see that vision coming to life.

A commitment to wellbeing and vitality shows up in Simons’ philanthropic work with the Ladybug House, a non-profit palliative care home for children and families. “Losing someone close heightens your awareness of mortality and reminds you of our innate hunger for family, love, dignity and community. At Ladybug House, we ‘Celebrate Every Day.’”

Simons maintains his own balance by eating a proper lunch at his local spot, Rigoletto, and meditating in his yoga studio. “Indulging in delicious food and finding quiet time is the reprieve we all need. Be good to yourself!” Whether exploring the city, reading, experimenting artistically or writing, Simons is perpetually curious and hungry for new ideas and growth. His involvement with modeling and fashion breaks up the routine and brings him inspiration. As far as style goes, Simons prefers to invest in high quality products built to last. “Planned obsolescence is disappointing. I prefer to invest in brands that exemplify quality and integrity.”

Meet Jacob Simons.

6:00 AM
Reflecting at home 

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“Busy people make me nervous. We need to practice stillness, quiet and reflection – with presence comes power.”

Simons is wearing the Orpheum Trouser

8:00 AM
Taking the scenic route 

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“The best ideas hit me when I walk away from my desk.”

10:00 AM
Strategizing for clients 

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12:30 PM
Enjoying a quiet lunch at Rigoletto 

“I’m committed to balance. Indulging in delicious food and relaxing in a beautiful, casual space without devices is the reprieve all of us need from the demands of a high-energy office.”

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3:00 PM
Back at the office

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“Our collective creativity is what makes us a great firm, and together we are crafting remarkable moments for people. We are elevating human experience through design.”

5:00 PM
Heading to Urban Yoga Spa for meditation 

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See more of Simons' work with NBBJ Design and follow him at @jrstudios