Collaborative Office Environments

I’ve finally finished my retail design but I’m going to wait to post anything on it since it is a competition and the deadline isn’t until the end of this October.

I’ve gotten a new project, which is a Steelcase design competition. This will be the third corporate office environment I have designed and up until now I really wasn’t excited about it.

This morning, however, I happened to stumble across Astra Zeneca’s collaborative corporate office in Bangkok and their office happened to get me really excited about designing office interiors. Astra Zeneca is a  “global research-based biopharmaceutical company” and their office in Bangkok is a collaborative environment. Usually the types of corporate offices adopting open plans and a collaborative work environments are creative agencies or places that do more creative work, like architecture firms, design firms, advertising agencies, and you get the picture. You wouldn’t think a biopharmaceutical company would adopt an open plan/collaborative work environment but they did and I think it works really well for them. How many of you would like to work in an office designed like this?

 

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Corporate office design always just seems repetitive and boring to me. Even the design of creative agencies is boring to me probably because I feel like I’ve seen the same stuff over and over. And there’s really nothing new here either except for the fact that the branding and the architecture is unique to the project, but that’s just it – it made me realize that corporate design isn’t just about being repetitive so you can fit as many people as you can into one office space. It’s about how do you break out of that rut and create a facilitating work environment that will impact employee’s lives every day. You do it through architecture and design. It’s not enough to just pick furniture and call it done. You have to cut into the ceiling, cut into the walls, and that’s when the design starts creating an energy that transfers to the work of the employees. When you’re able to do that in your design, that’s when open plan/collaborative office environments really start to serve their purpose.

Creative Ceilings

It’s been a while since I’ve posted last, but I’ve been busy busy busy. I’ve been working on my Sephora retail project all morning and I’ve decided to take a break before my eyeballs fall out of my head. I’ve been trying to figure out my ceiling and I’ve come across some interesting inspiration photos that I hope inspire you as well. Here you go!

 

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Retail Me Not

This blog post is geared more towards commercial retail design. The reason being is because I started school and got my first project which is retail. I never thought I would be interested in retail design because there is so much that goes into it but after searching around a bit today, I think I am going to really enjoy it. I am very much interested in the psychology of color, marketing, and the organization of a store in order to get people to buy.  Here are my favorites that I found.

 

Moré / Cando Design Lab

 

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Moré is a retail shop that specializes in selling handmade shoes and handbags from the best european brands. What I like about this store the most is the focal point. It is eye catching, and even if you didn’t want to buy anything, it makes you want to at least step foot inside to see what it’s all about. I’m not completely sure but it looks to me like their design concept is derived from a single thread – hence the fiber optics hanging from the ceiling.

 

Dri Dri at Saint Martins Lanes Hotel / Elips Design 

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What I like about this design the most are the graphics. I love the graphic gelato elements on the exterior glass of the store. I think they are colorful and fun but not overwhelming like color can sometimes be to some people. The glass also gives a “refreshing” look to the space which adds to the fact that it is a gelato shop. I also love the white and yellow striped platform you walk on to enter the space. It’s ethereal and makes you want to follow it to see where it goes… almost like following the yellow brick road and brings you right back to the cashier.

 

Daniela Corte

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Throughout my research I’ve found that more curvilinear elements and natural looking things will entice a person into a store rather than too many straight lines or sharp edges. This store is designed in a very linear fashion but the edges on everything are rounded and soft. It’s also designed in white to make the merchandise stand out with a bit of wood in it to give a more natural feel to the space. You can really see what you’re looking at in here. In some stores like Anthropolgie I feel like you get lost in those stores because everything looks the exact same and blends together. I also love the clothes pins in the ceiling. They add a ton of character and dimension to something that is otherwise very straightforward and linear.

What do you guys think?

Flea Market Design

A lot of people are mistaken that great design has to be expensive. If you’re really on a tight budget and you’re still trying to figure out what to do with a room in your house, flea market design might be an option. I like flea market design because it adds an old world charm to a space, and it also uses a lot of texture. You can get just about anything at a flea market, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, then you could try estate sales or the thrift shop. In some cities goodwill even has outlet stores and those are good places to look for interesting items as well. You can always find old trunks or suitcases that you could turn into a bedside table, old light fixtures that could be polished up, etc. There are tons of DIY’s for this kind of handy crafty thing on google if you’re unsure of how to go about doing this. Here are some of my favorite examples of flea market design below.

 

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What do you guys think of this style? What have you done with flea market design?

 

 

Rustic Interior Design

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Over the summer, people have been obsessed with bright colors. People are walking around in neon colored shorts, shoes, jeans, etc. I think this fall a lot of that is going to take a huge turn. Over the last year industrial design styles have been creeping their way into the scene more and more. I wouldn’t say they are on the forefront of trendy, since right now bright colors and aztec seem to be the way to go, but it’s definitely getting there and I think this fall it’s going to be a big thing. People are obsessing over these moody masculine rustic spaces with a lot of raw texture. And why wouldn’t they? These types of spaces create a lot of raw natural beauty.

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Color Blocking Trend For Interiors

Color blocking has been a new trend lately. I’ve seen it mostly in fashion, especially right now in August, but I think the trend is quickly moving to interiors and architecture. Many people might be scared of color blocking, especially in their home because a lot of people get anxiety over picking out paint colors.  Color blocking is usually always a strong relationship of contrasting colors, but if done the right way, it can really look amazing. Here are some of my favorites that use color blocking and I encourage people to try it out. It’s only paint — you can paint over it if you don’t like it. 🙂

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Right now the trend is to use bright saturated colors, but if that’s too much for you, color blocking can be done in other ways too. I tried to provide more conservative examples below.

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