JACKSON, WY \u2014 When Nona Yehia and Peg Gilday begin a project, they first try to break it down to its most basic element: the essence.\r\n\r\nTheir architecture is about much more than what color paint to use, or even what materials to build with. Before they can know any of that, they first have to know how the space they\u2019re creating is supposed to make their client feel. And that, they said, is what design can do.\r\n\r\n\u201cOur tagline is \u2018design in everything,\u201d Yehia said. \u201cBoth Peggy and I live and breathe design. It\u2019s evolved in the way we\u2019ve practiced, but it\u2019s always driven by design.\u201d\r\n\r\nDesign is so engrained in the business, it\u2019s part of the name. Yehia and Gilday joined forces to create GYDE (Gilday-Yehia Design) Architects three years ago. Their backgrounds are similar \u2014 both are New York-educated, moved to Jackson for the mountains, and have practiced here for years. But they also fill in each other\u2019s gaps, Gilday said. \u201cNona\u2019s probably more of a visionary, and I\u2019m more pragmatic.\u201d Gilday bolsters Yehia\u2019s big ideas, and Yehia leans on Gilday\u2019s business chops.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s fitting that their name and their business were born from collaboration because collaboration is also what drives their success. Design is a process. A process must have room to evolve. Evolution requires communication.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nA case study: a client approached them to design a home. The client had a range of imagery and inspiration, but more importantly, she wanted to focus on the emotional feelings she desired to experience in each part of her home. \u201cSo we read into the attributes of that. How do we take how she feels and put it into architecture?\u201d At every step, they asked the client what, exactly, she liked about specific things. What feeling was she trying to evoke? Together, they found the essence of their client\u2019s home.\r\n\r\n\u201cThat\u2019s what we pride ourselves in. Collaboration requires a lot of clear communication. We try to give [each project] something it otherwise wouldn\u2019t have had,\u201d Gilday said. \u201cWe try to bring it to a level that is unexpected and even exciting.\u201d\r\n\r\nGilday and Yehia\u2019s favorite projects are the ones that break tradition \u2014 ones people might not even think are \u201ctraditionally architecture,\u201d Yehia said. The first project they worked on together was a cell phone tower, standing tall and proud next to a church like a bell tower. They designed the boulder park at the base of Snow King. Yehia is the creative mind behind Vertical Harvest, the vertical greenhouse attached to the parking garage in town.\r\n\r\nBut their more \u201ctraditional\u201d architectural work is everywhere, too, though there\u2019s hardly anything common about it. Each project has its own life and its own personality. GYDE is behind the new Persephone West and updated Belle Cose in the Aspens. They designed Roadhouse Brewing\u2019s new pub on the Town Square. They designed Basecamp in Wilson. That was an interesting one, Gilday said, because it was as much a branding project as it was an architecture project.\r\n\r\n\u201cYes, it\u2019s an architecture project, but along with it went the branding, the graphics, everything. They\u2019re not separate silos. They\u2019re intersected.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cWe wanted to honor the customers that frequented the [old] station,\u201d Yehia said, while also breathing new life into the space and making room for a more refined dining experience at Rations Eats. \u201cThere are two different programs at play.\u201d\r\n\r\nEach project is different because each client is different. Gilday and Yehia don\u2019t believe in \u201cstyle,\u201d per se. They believe in character. And just as every business and every person has a character, so too should the building that houses it.\r\n\r\nSo every project begins with an essence. That essence can evolve and it can grow, but it is their guiding light. It makes the process more \u201chonest,\u201d Yehia said. More connected.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou either love it or you don\u2019t,\u201d Gilday said about her work. \u201cBut what I love is that it strikes some emotion.\u201d As long as it has done that, GYDE architects have done their jobs.