When we partner with brands to design a space, our decisions are far from arbitrary. Each element placed within a space has intention and purpose behind it. The decisions made are based on research and the science of human engagement. One of our first jobs as designers is to really know our clients. What is the primary goal of their business, what is their mission or philosophy, and who is their target consumer? By immersing ourselves in our client’s approach, we can start to tap into their core values. We use that information as the basis on which to build our design concepts.
So how do we go about tackling a space?
Understand the Space and Brand
We start each relationship with a deep dive into understanding the wants and needs of a space. By walking the existing space and understanding the initial goals and challenges a given location may present, we set the foundation for the design. Then, we conduct a cultural assessment where we encourage all individuals utilizing the space to contribute their thoughts and preferences through a mobile survey. This survey gives us a firm understanding of the existing culture. It also shows how the space is utilized today and how individuals hope to engage with the new space in the future. We look at this as the psychology behind the space.
Every element, from the layout to paint color to furniture and light fixtures can amplify the brand. No single person should govern those decisions – instead organizations should identify areas of opportunity. You should learn how employees are interacting with the brand today to uncover opportunities to improve their future experiences. We do this through both cultural assessments and executive interviews. We conduct one-on-one meetings with the executive team and key departments. This allows us to understand the big picture of the company as well as the nuances and needs of each department.
Map the Opportunities
From here we begin to architect the space. We generate a CAD drawing that illustrates the proposed space plan. From here we can show the traffic patterns, key points of intersection and breakout spaces. We then overlay a layer onto this showcasing key branding opportunities and wayfinding locations. It is here where the idea starts to become a reality and the functional attributes begin to take shape. We walk the client through the proposed solution, modifying while we go to ensure their vision is being brought to life.
Field Measure the Physical Space
Now it’s time to truly get into the details. A good set of field measurements provides the foundation of any design project for us. Without an accurate understanding of the existing conditions, how can we best work to highlight the best features and improve the rest? For us that includes taking more pictures than you think you may need during a field measurement.
Then we jump into the final phases of design where we bring to life the space through furniture, finishes and graphics. It is here where thoughtful branding can infuse a space with more meaning, warmly welcome guests, and spark employee engagement, pride and productivity. When employees are immersed in an environment that’s clearly, and favorably, unique to their company, they feel a deeper sense of pride in being part of the team.