Designing Spaces that Reflect Our Clients’ Mission

written by Alix Rios and Russell Hagg 

Wiley X is a veteran-founded, family-owned organization focused on creating the world’s best protective eyewear for those who protect our country. Through uncompromising innovation, design, and quality, they instill confidence in anyone wearing their gear, enabling them to face any situation with assurance. Wiley X’s product lines have expanded from exclusively serving the military to broad usage among first responders and professional athletes. It was imperative to the Wiley X team that the design of their new office reflect this mission and those they serve. GFF’s key design moves reinforce the brand by infusing qualities of “strength,” “protection,” and “trust” into the new space.

Join us on a walk through their new headquarters!


Upon entering the approximately 18,000 SF office space, the initial impression exudes strength and confidence, achieved through bold design elements and the incorporation of authentic materials. This combination creates a true sense of arrival and a physical manifestation of the Wiley X brand. The lobby is the first step in a purposeful path throughout the interior for visitors and employees. Design elements such as flooring material changes, dark textured accents, and the powerful use of dark contrasting metals enhance wayfinding from one space to the next, allowing visitors to experience all aspects of their innovative process. The lobby integrates a large LED screen for the display of custom content to create personal connections upon entry. An adjacent boardroom provides visiting clients with the opportunity to interact with Wylie X gear in a warm and hospitable environment.

Board Room

The next stop on our journey is the “Rally Point,” a term coined by the military to indicate a safe gathering place. This area is a fully equipped, all-hands space with AV technology, connecting the warehouse team, visitors, and office staff into a communal zone for gatherings, presentations, and casual interactions. The gabled angular steel structure was designed to symbolize protection with an abstract reference to residential roof lines to instill feelings of comfort and community. Tiered seating was introduced as a subtle way to encourage socializing and inclusiveness for all employees, both warehouse and office. The Rally Point is purposefully adjacent to the break room to offer a common dining area and central hub to be utilized as an alternative workspace throughout the day. Wiley X recognized the importance of establishing a visual connection between the warehouse and testing labs, achieved using multiple large glass roll-up doors, thereby preventing any potential cultural divide between the warehouse and office teams. The two teams work closely together to ensure that product design, marketing, material testing, and fulfillment processes are integrated in execution, eliminating any strain during the production process.

Rally Point
Open Office

As you turn the corner, you’ll experience a glimpse of the active office environment. The workplace was designed to eliminate any barriers to creativity and enhance productivity. A collage of different space types promotes creative thought processes and accommodates a variety of work styles. The main work area includes abundant access to daylight, open workstations with integrated tables for quick collaborations, and a central meeting hub that supports multiple meeting styles. Additionally, there are private meeting rooms, phone booths, and a wellness room for more focused work or respite. Wiley X takes pride in hiring veterans, and with that comes specific attention and care to creating a wellness-forward workplace. The strategies mentioned above along with purposefully expansive spaces and limited confined areas were intentional in serving those working to recover from PTSD and other side effects of the high stress work environments many employees and guests have experienced.

The grand finale is a view into their globally accredited on-site laboratory where eyewear is subjected to full-scale ballistic testing. This innovative technology is positioned prominently within the space and draws visitors and employees to gather during demonstrations. The main testing lab is clearly visible from the break room and open office through a sweep of glass to encourage participation. Seeing the testing firsthand encourages employees to celebrate the advancements they have made and engages them in the entire process, while instilling trust with end users that the product will deliver. (the laboratory has not been photographed due to client confidentiality requirements).

Break Room
View from Warehouse

Wiley X is a driven company that never lets up. The design needed to mirror this energy and vision, and it succeeded through the integrative process and visioning, forming a genuine partnership between GFF and Wiley X. Our Interior Design team fully immersed itself in their language and mission, allowing them to translate it into a three-dimensional space. Wiley X was previously located in California, so this design also had to “wow” the employees and encourage them to make the move to Texas so the company could retain their existing talent. We’ve never met a client so open to sharing their heart with us, and the resulting design process was unique for this project. We hope to encourage and help our future clients develop such a deep understanding of themselves and to express each client’s unique character and vision.

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