Skip to main content

Space Matters

Designers can make your space look great, but can workplace issues be resolved through design?  The focus on how people respond to and interact with their surroundings is know as Environmental Psychology, and it’s one of my favorite research subjects. I enjoyed taking this course so much that I later returned as an instructor. I found it infinitely rewarding watching my students begin to understand how a designed environment affects people. Teaching them the stuff that makes designers out of decorators; how to design purposeful spaces for learning, healing, gathering, or working.

Technically, each of these functions could take place in the same vanilla box. But the spatial considerations for a yoga studio vary greatly from those of a coffee shop. If you remove the table and chairs from a restaurant and replace it with cubicles - could it serve as an office? Perhaps, but it would suffer functionally, with a good amount of the space dominated by a now irrelevant commercial kitchen and other unnecessary elements. In turn, your staff and work product would suffer.

Photo: John Fountain

A well-designed space should project and serve its intended purpose. Successful brands have tuned towards this mentality, using their spaces to create an experience and elicit specific responses from employees and customers. These cutting edge companies stay at the forefront of their fields by designing spaces that promote positive, productive employees, and interactive environments for their customers.

Employers can fall short when they view a workspace as solely a space in which to work. In this case, we ask what their goal is for their employees: Do you want workers? Or do you want productive, focused individuals, capable of providing an amazing customer experience? One of the often overlooked considerations of a workspace is employee comfort. Do they have adequate lighting, acoustic privacy, and access to other resources needed to be efficient? Is there enough storage or do unsightly stacks of paperwork clutter every visible work surface?

Before
After | Photo: Mike Hall

You may have recognized the obvious solutions to these common issues, but even designers can fall victim to disorganization and discomfort. While I am generally organized and most of my files and projects have a home, today the clutter creature was intruding on my focus. It was distracting, and I couldn’t afford to put it off any longer, so I took some time to spruce up my desk before getting down to business. Not only did it take way less time than anticipated, but it helped me to actually stay focused when I started working.

Photo: Miguel Emanuelli

Never underestimate the effect a well-designed workspace can have on your ability to focus and your productivity. Not to mention ... your employees and your sanity will thank you!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Paint with a Purpose

Paint and color are one of the least expensive and most impactful ways to customize your space. Color is not simply used to dress up a room. Color is used to shape energy and sway emotions. It can reflect a person’s personality, express individuality, and can a shift a person’s mood. Color can be what helps set your space apart, and make people remember you. And in a world where everyone seems to just want to fit in, we encourage you to stand out!

As designers, we take a thoughtful and precise approach to color choices and it’s all about achieving the desired effect. Did you know that the right colors can actually change the look and feel of your space? Did you know that color can actually change the way you feel? This is not some new agey hype, experts have been studying ‘Color Theory’ since the early 1400s. Color and the way it is applied, are principles considered by Interior Designers, Graphics Designers, Marketing Teams, Product Designers, and Fashion alike.

There is a wealth o…

Spotlight: Main & Six Brewery

Main and Six Brewing Company is one of the most welcomed additions to Main Street, in Historic Springfield. It has the style, ambience and upscale nature rarely found in craft brewery taprooms and that was the vision from the start. Co-Owners Cindy Lasky & her son, Dennis Espinosa, (Head Brewer) encountered hurdles from the Zoning Department when they first announced their intentions. But they were certain this place was ‘the one.’ Soon after filing for an exemption, citizens of Springfield rallied and attended the hearings. Neighbors shared their enthusiasm for this type of establishment and cited examples of how breweries sparked transformation in many communities struggling to revitalize. It was huge win for Main and Six, and a victory for Springfield. However, this was just the beginning of all the hard work to be done.


This quaint mid-century block building once housed a dental office, and was later a retail stationery store. Dennis and Cindy scooped up this little gem with…