He co-founded, with Grant Kanik, WheelerKanik, a London-based, client-
focused design firm specializing in workplace design, often for start-ups, advertising
agencies, PR firms, and fashion brands. “The projects are smaller, but our impact
is much greater,” says Wheeler. “We become an integral part of these companies.”
Wheeler enjoys having a direct hand in the design and managing all aspects of the
process. He hopes to grow—but only to a point. “We’ll always be small to mid-sized,”
He also has been a leader in the field of interior design, serving as president of
ASID from 1994-95, as a trustee of the ASID Foundation, and as a Board mem-
ber (and ASID delegate) of the International Federation of Interior Architects/
Designers. “Throughout the ’90s, interior designers were becoming leaders; we
were no longer an afterthought,” he notes.
Today, because of the efforts of ASID and the work of countless designers, both well-known and behind-the-scenes personalities, the profession has
reached a level of parity, according to Wheeler. “We’re all equal parts of the
built environment team now, architects, engineers, interior designers, lighting
designers, and so on,” he says. “It didn’t use to be that way.”
Gary Wheeler designs at Tribune Company (left) and Baker Botts LLP (above).