The Wystwynd Story

Our name implies a respect for the forces of nature and the beauty of the natural world. It came from a moment of inspiration early in the life journey of Ric Mixon, founder of WystWynd Designs. He had set out westward on an adventure to see America during a time of great optimism, the Bicentennial.

It was a quest that motivated Ric to accelerate his academic career, graduating from architecture school six quarters ahead of schedule so that he could drive across the country in time to celebrate the ultimate freedom – the Bicentennial. With his fresh diploma and dreams in hand, he set out for the West Coast, with the top rolled down on his 1967 TR4. The journey was marked with its own mishaps along the way, as life sometimes is, but that old TRS made it all the way to Dallas before the first breakdown.

Driving through Arizona, Ric pulled off the road and found a place to just take in the striking beauty of the Mojave Desert. It was there, in a dramatic setting so different from his home, that inspired WystWynd. He contemplated how the elements combined as forces of nature…the interaction of sun and air, earth and water, the currents and winds. He wistfully pondered nature and his own journey and plans for the future, perhaps even dreaming of a sailboat that would be named WystWynd. He returned home to Tennessee to begin his career.

Soon after returning home, he joined Community Tectonics where he developed the models for what would become the enduring symbol of Knoxville, the Sunsphere of the 1982 World’s Fair. In 1983, he founded WystWynd Designs, and it has since become a journey filled with many destinations — the homes, businesses, and -3dreams of his clients along the way. Hundreds of projects and designs have passed but the inspiration lives on. The power and beauty of the natural environment and the built environment have marked the career journey of Ric Mixon. That ongoing journey still contains one sunset moment, as seen from a 1967 TR4 parked in the sand of the Mojave Desert.

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean