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Rethinking our Workspaces in the Wake of COVID-19

“Design is important because chaos is so hard.” Often quoted in the design community, this line from American satirist Jules Feiffer has never felt so relevant. We are living in a time of great uncertainty and we are all feeling overwhelmed and anxious. But this is only temporary. Eventually we will begin to reoccupy our shared spaces and start getting back to work and school, even visit museums and movie theatres.

As we move forward, the world is going to need the design community to help everyone feel safe and assured – particularly in our workspaces. “This isn’t going to last forever, but it will change the way we experience our built environment, in both the short and long term” says Inger Bartlett, founder of Toronto interiors studio Bartlett & Associates. “We need to be here to help our clients find effective ways to manage new expectations within their existing interiors. We also need to treat this as an opportunity to explore, innovate, and deliver even more adaptable workspace for the future.”

So what does the post-COVID 19 office look like?

Do we replace the ubiquitous water cooler with a hand-washing station? Will we gather (six feet apart) around the sanitiser dispenser to compare notes on the weekend? Perhaps. There are definitely changes on the horizon, but the good news is that we already have some highly favourable frameworks in place. Inger has long specialised in the design of workspace and is confident that the open office remains here to stay. “The recent trend towards Agile Workspace Design has left many of our clients with incredibly flexible open offices,” she explains. “These spaces are already built to adapt to constantly changing needs, to put people at ease and let them work in a way they feel comfortable.”

Providing Flexibility with Agile Workspaces

For example, the modular open breakouts and Town Hall gathering spaces that are essential elements in agile space will provide the flexibility to maintain physical distancing and still bring groups of employees together. And that interaction is something people will crave after weeks in isolation. In fact, an increased desire to connect and collaborate is one of the silver linings to be found in this crisis. Sharing this challenge is reminding us that we are strongest when we work together!

Mill St Offices

Edelman

Bartlett & Associates designed Agile Workspace for Edelman and Mill Street, both of which complement open office areas with small meeting rooms. Though these rooms will be ideal for accommodating virtual meetings, which we can expect to continue when we return to work.

Though we won’t be packing our existing meeting rooms to the same densities as before, they still have an important role to play. Workforces will emerge from isolation with improved technological capabilities. A higher level of comfort with using digital communication tools will mean these spaces are used as much for virtual meetings as face-to-face. They may also be used to accommodate small teams, as we look to distribute workforces.

Volaris

McCann

League

Breakout zones, such as the high-backed booths featured at McCann, the modular lounges at League and the cozy armchairs at Volaris, offer the option to maintain distance in small meetings. Alternatively, these can become temporary workstations when redistributing people in an open office.

New Ways of Zoning and Interacting

Free-desking or hotelling is likely to fall out of favour. As most clients emerge from this situation with new capabilities for remote work, the Bartlett team predicts this will lead to more rotating work-from-home systems, rather than more workstations, and new ways of zoning space. “Keeping teams that collaborate frequently together in a designated space is one preventative measure to limit the number of unnecessary interactions and potential spread of viruses,” Inger suggests. Should clients wish to define areas for these teams, B|A is ready to offer solutions to reallocate space, reorganise work groups, or introduce design tools such as partitions to modify interactions. We can develop design concepts that support individual corporate protocols for keeping workplaces safe. And by implementing visible changes we can help employees feel confident that their wellbeing is being protected.

While existing flex spaces will help us maintain some degree of distancing for as long as necessary, for the longer view six-foot-wide-by-36-inch-deep workstations could become a new standard for the open office; those dimensions would allow six feet of space between seated employees. Extendable partitions could also come into play for future preparedness: When issues rise, so does the screen.

Sage

McCann

Spacious lunchrooms, lounges, and Town Halls will also provide the flexibility to meet in groups and enable social interaction while still maintaining physical distancing.

Additional Health & Security Measures

Some of the biggest changes will be at the landlord level. Enhanced HVAC and air purification systems will be of interest and sanitation protocols will be of more concern to tenants. Entering an office tower could become a process akin to passing through airport security: some buildings will implement screening protocols that include temperature scans and ID checks. In order to prevent these processes from becoming too invasive, intimidating or time-consuming, designers will need to create dedicated spaces that are comfortable, inviting, attractive, and efficient.

Crown Lobby, 5255 Yonge St

The artful screen that defines Bartlett & Associates’ Crown Lobby project could help designate the elevator bay as a secure area. Entering an office tower such as this may become a process akin to passing through an airport. Flexible amenity space could be re-positioned as security zones, where temperature and ID checks occur before visitors and employees can access upper floors.

Utilising Hands-free Technology

New touch-free, voice-activated technologies could quickly replace current systems, particularly in reception areas–where we have already started to see digital systems take over–and in elevators. That’s not to say we anticipate losing the tactility of our spaces. An interior designer’s knowledge and understanding of finishes will be invaluable in creating safer workspaces that remain warm and inviting. Another positive outcome of this crisis is the innovation it is sure to inspire –we can expect new products, new materials and designers need to push for those and contribute to their development.

Selection of Materials and Surfaces

In the meantime, we must implement more seamless surfaces, antimicrobial fixtures and coatings, washable fabrics, and other finishes that are easy to maintain and durable enough to stand up to frequent sanitisation. “There are a lot of transferrable lessons to learn from healthcare design right now, in terms of surfaces, textiles and even furniture,” Inger says. “And that’s not a bad thing. Our offices are not going to end up looking like sterile hospitals. This situation presents a unique opportunity for different sectors to work together to find the best solutions. We are going to come out of this with stronger, more resilient communities and more beautiful projects.”

About the Author

Bartlett & Associates is dedicated to innovation and excellence in interior design, incorporating creative design solutions across hospitality, workplace, retail, institutional and speciality projects.

If you’d like to become SBID Accredited, click here to find out more. 

Founder of Chicago-based design practice marquardt+, Tom Marquardt kicks off the SBID SpeakEasy series of digital discussions with an m+ consulting team video conference; bringing his team of professionals across the design industry together to address the present and future state of design and business during the pandemic.

SpeakEasy with marquardt+

Episode Four |  Adapting Our Designs |  View all

Having addressed the issue of Adapting Our Practice and Adapting Our Industry in previous episodes, this episode will discuss how the industry will be adapting designs. More specifically, what our homes and workplaces ten years from now may look like – and what types of rooms society will put more emphasis on.

Mark Nestler, president, Nestler Strategies comments on how we may find interior design principles ‘going back to 90s’ with a drive for clear and minimalist interiors as we seek to create the perception that public spaces are clean and healthy; placing importance on how healthcare design will impact on corporate design, and the key considerations which will start to filter across the sectors.

Discover expert views on how coronavirus is imposing on the design industry with Reva Revis, architecture & design industry publicist, Reva Revis Consulting; Mark Nestler, president, Nestler Strategies; Vince Gammino, design and project management director, Vince Gammino Design; Jennifer J. Fondrevay, founder & chief humanity officer, Day1 Ready; Kaitlyn Daniluk, interior design student, Columbia College of Chicago and James Wild, principal & founder, Gridwerk Architecture.

SBID launched the new SpeakEasy series of online tools and communications to help keep our community connected; inviting the industry to join live talks, tune in to our digital discussions about the design industry or discover professional insights with a new series of podcast episodes.

If you are interested in taking part in our programme of online events and digital discussions, or would like to get involved with SBID in another way – we’d love to hear from you.

Email [email protected] to find out more.

Founder of Chicago-based design practice marquardt+, Tom Marquardt kicks off the SBID SpeakEasy series of digital discussions with an m+ consulting team video conference; bringing his team of professionals across the design industry together to address the present and future state of design and business during the pandemic.

SpeakEasy with marquardt+

Episode Three |  Adapting Our Industry |  View all

Featuring expert perspectives from professionals on the m+ consulting team, Reva Revis, architecture & design industry publicist, Reva Revis Consulting; Mark Nestler, president, Nestler Strategies; Vince Gammino, design and project management director, Vince Gammino Design; Jennifer J. Fondrevay, founder & chief humanity officer, Day1 Ready; Kaitlyn Daniluk, interior design student, Columbia College of Chicago and James Wild, principal & founder, Gridwerk Architecture.

From talking Humans and Business to Adapting Our Practice, this episode in the 4-part Zoomtable series continues the discussion about the design community during Covid-19 and how the interior design industry, as a social and multi-disciplinary profession, will be impacted.

Reva Revis, architecture & design industry publicist, Reva Revis Consulting comments on the important role international events play each year in helping design professionals connect when it comes to networking, building new industry connections and moving forward as an industry. How is this driving new and existing digital alternatives in efforts to maintain that crucial dimension of connectivity within the industry?

SBID launched the new SpeakEasy series of online conversations to help keep our community connected; inviting the industry to join in live online talks, tune in to our digital discussions about the design industry or discover professional insights with a new series of podcast episodes.

If you are interested in taking part in our programme of online events and digital discussions, or would like to get involved with SBID in another way – we’d love to hear from you.

Email [email protected] to find out more.

Project of the Week

This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features the complete transformation of the lobby area of a 30-year-old office tower. Once a series of dark, awkward spaces lacking in a clear axis or flow of movement, the lobby is now a bright and airy volume defined by a graphic screen that emphasizes 30-foot-high ceilings. Toronto designers Bartlett & Associates were commissioned to reimagine the space as a welcoming amenity that would attract a stable of noteworthy new tenants. The design team took an architectural approach to the project; removing a disused storage space made way for a public café, while the custom-designed screen was added to anchor the front desk and delineate the elevator bay. The striking black sculptural screen plays off against a dazzling white wall with a surface of subtle peaks and architectural texture.

Practice: Bartlett & Associates

Project: Crown Lobby – 5255 Yonge Street

Location: Toronto, Canada

What was the client’s brief? 

The mandate from our client, Crown Realty, was to reposition a dated office tower’s lobby for the 21st century. The building is right on Toronto’s north Yonge Street, a prime location that offered the potential to create a significant destination. Crown wanted a space that would inject new vitality into this rather tired building and position it as a desirable location for a more vibrant class of tenant. Our design transformed the lobby from an uninspiring entrance to an energetic amenity that makes a compelling impression on visitors – including prospective leaseholders.

What inspired the interior design of the project? 

It’s the challenges of a project that typically inspire the best ideas and in this case we were dealing with a modest budget and an awkward space that was completely covered – all the floors, all the walls – in a very dated and dull granite. Tearing it out was cost-prohibitive, so the new surfaces were something we put a lot of thought into. Nature is also a constant source of inspiration for us and adding biophilic elements is something we try to do with all of our projects. As we spend more and more time in our urban office buildings, immersed in digital worlds, it feels increasingly important to make those connections to nature wherever possible. This is often achieved through very subtle interventions, but with this project the scale of the space presented an ideal opportunity to do something big – something a bit more direct, really impactful. So of course that was the screen, and beyond that we used a lot of wood- and stone-look low-profile surfacing that was applied right over the granite to avoid spending a lot of time and money on demolition and to avoid creating a lot of waste.

What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?

Resolving the awkwardness of the space while keeping the budget in check was huge. Originally the effect of the high ceilings was all but obliterated by this bulkhead wall that sort of cinched the walls inwards about a third of the way up. It loomed over the elevator bay, feeling very heavy with its stone cladding, and made that space feel a bit ominous. And then the corridor running off the east wall was this dark, narrow tunnel – it was all very uninviting. In the end we tore out a single short, angled wall to open up the corridor and make space for a public café. Then the screen was an amazing solution that both masks that bulkhead and transforms the elevator bay into a cozy little annex. Walking behind the screen to access the lifts offers this sense of discovery, which is a much nicer way to start your work day than trudging through a dark hall. Overall it feels like a cohesive sequence of usable space now, rather than a patchwork of hallways that were strictly for moving through, not for stopping or spending time in.

What was your team’s highlight of the project?

The screen is definitely the highlight for us – it won an award for the project before the space was even finished and it was also reimagined as an installation piece for the Design TO festival, which is part of Toronto’s Design Week in January. It’s obviously a stunning feature that is also functional, but there is a bit of hidden genius going on there as well: Not only does it hide that awkward bulkhead, but it’s actually supported by a mounting system originally installed for the granite cladding. Most of the granite was left intact and simply covered with low-profile materials, but by removing a bit of stone from the bulkhead, we were able to avoid creating customized brackets to hold the screen. That was a big cost-saver and just one of those eureka moments that you want to have on every project.

Questions answered by Inger Bartlett, lead designer and president, Bartlett & Associates.

We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Office design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire

If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a contemporary loft apartment situated above the famous Soho Theatre, click here to see more.

Founder of Chicago-based design practice marquardt+, Tom Marquardt kicks off the SBID SpeakEasy series of digital discussions with an m+ consulting team video conference; bringing his team of professionals across the design industry together to address the present and future state of design and business during the pandemic.

SpeakEasy with marquardt+

Episode Two  |  Adapting Our Practice  |  View all

The m+ consulting team of experts features Reva Revis, architecture & design industry publicist, Reva Revis Consulting; Mark Nestler, president, Nestler Strategies; Vince Gammino, design and project management director, Vince Gammino Design; Jennifer J. Fondrevay, founder & chief humanity officer, Day1 Ready; Kaitlyn Daniluk, interior design student, Columbia College of Chicago and James Wild, principal & founder, Gridwerk Architecture.

This episode continues the conversation about how the ongoing pandemic is imposing on the design industry and how we should be adapting our business communications to the current condition that is affecting the world.

Tom Marquardt shares some of the ways his practice has been exploring collaborative video communications to best capture the essence of face to face for project development in a new, social distancing society. With this increased reliance on the digital environment and emphasis on the need for technology to innovate and evolve, Jennifer Fondrevay, founder & chief humanity officer, Day1 Ready comments on the importance of actually being face to face and the need for us to realise the benefits so we can “recreate that as much as possible in order to get the feedback and dialogue we need to make something better.”

SBID launched the new SpeakEasy series of online conversations to help keep our community connected; inviting the industry to join in live online talks, tune in to our digital discussions about the design industry or discover professional insights with a series of podcast episodes.

If you are interested in taking part in our programme of online events and digital discussions, or would like to get involved with SBID in another way – we’d love to hear from you.

Email [email protected] to find out more.

SBID launches the new SpeakEasy series of online conversations to help keep our community connected; inviting the industry to join in live online talks, tune in to our digital discussions about the design industry or discover professional insights with a new series of podcast episodes.

SpeakEasy with marquardt+

Episode One  |  Humans and Business  |  View all

President of SBID and founder of Chicago-based design practice marquardt+, Tom Marquardt kicks off the SpeakEasy series of digital discussions with an m+ consulting team video conference; bringing his team of professionals across the design industry together to address the present and future state of design and business during the pandemic.

Discussing how the ongoing pandemic is imposing on the design industry, some of the immediate implications of this and how that starts to impact on the human value of companies, the m+ consulting team Zoomtable discussion features expert views from Reva Revis, architecture & design industry publicist, Reva Revis Consulting; Mark Nestler, president, Nestler Strategies; Vince Gammino, design and project management director, Vince Gammino Design; Jennifer J. Fondrevay, founder & chief humanity officer, Day1 Ready; Kaitlyn Daniluk, interior design student, Columbia College of Chicago and James Wild, principal & founder, Gridwerk Architecture.

Jennifer Fondrevay, founder & chief humanity officer, Day1 Ready comments on the importance of empathy and compassion and understanding what people bring to a business, “What my hope is that will happen in the future, is the human piece of business will come to the forefront … In many industries, we’re just so driven by the revenue and the growth aspect that the people pieces have been forgotten.” From seeing a more human-centric approach to business in the future to how this will this drive our need for social connectivity.

Mark Nestler, president, Nestler Strategies shares his views on remote working as “Those trends of remote, hotelling, hot-desking are going to accelerate – people are going to see that remote working is working very nicely and is very efficient – but I’m not going to say by any suggestion that it’s eliminating the need for personal one on one or group conferences”. He explains his thoughts on how these trends, alongside the wide-ranging implications of Covid-19, may impact on commercial space and real estate.

Click here to discover more about SBID’s SpeakEasy digital discussions.

If you are interested in taking part in our programme of online events and digital discussions, or would like to get involved with SBID in another way – we’d love to hear from you.

Email [email protected] to find out more.

This March is all about employee appreciation! As work environments are one of the biggest factors companies are addressing to make sure their workplaces are designed with wellbeing in mind to help keep staff happy and healthy at work, we’re sharing a selection of our favourite projects from the SBID Awards 2019 with inspirational office designs!

Office Design

5MM Design – Holborn Office

SBID Awards 2019
SBID Awards 2019

The design concept for the project focuses on combining industrial-chic style elements with a cosy ‘Soho House’ residential vibe and contemporary workspace, with an added tech-y feel. 5mm Design introduced the concept of zoning to the space, and each zone was named after a continent and assigned a colour. The design theme is translated into the space through furniture upholstery fabric, pop culture and illustration wall art that reflect the continent; the use of different plant species in each zone; and the naming of meeting rooms after artists from that particular continent. The zoning concept, combined with the introduction of breakout areas, and the collaborative shared work island act as the firm’s engine room. This is a fresh workspace that improves productivity through design and encourages different teams to interact and socialise together.

Harmony World Consultant & Design – China Overseas Unione

SBID Awards 2019 - Harmony World Consultant Design
SBID Awards 2019 - Harmony World Consultant Design

An art déco decorative style combines with the cultural customs of old Shanghai and contemporary features to create a modern and stylish urban space. With blue and orange colours merging into the geometry of the flooring tiles, the space is charged with a stately, luxurious feel. The organic, fan-shaped and radiating elements of art déco are combined with walnut, black and gold marble, monochrome wood and other materials in the furniture to compliment the aesthetic. This creates a look that perfectly suits the preferences and taste of the urban elite.

Rockwell Group – Warner Music Group

SBID Awards 2019 - Rockwell Group
SBID Awards 2019 - Rockwell Group

Rockwell Group’s design concept for Warner Music Group’s new headquarters celebrates the record company’s history, its vast catalogue of work, music making, and performance. Bright, contemporary, and concise workspaces span across the five-storey main building and an adjoining two-storey annexe. The contrast of old and new, hard and soft, and warm and cool materials creates a dynamic, future-forward home base for WMG’s 800 employees.

Squire & Partners – The Ministry

SBID Awards 2019 - Squire & Partners
SBID Awards 2019 - Squire & Partners

Squire & Partners designed this first social workspace and private members’ club by Ministry of Sound as the antithesis to a nightclub environment. Housed in a former Victorian printworks in London, light-filled flexible workspaces for 850 people are as suited to morning coffee and lunch meetings as evening networking and social events. A concept of ‘premium raw’ was established, with stripped-back raw elements of the existing building contrasted with a layer of premium finish including refined furniture, artwork and lighting. The bold aesthetic delivers a distinctive and desirable offer for different sized organisations and pushes the boundaries of current workplace culture. Combining the creative and social aspects of a members’ club with dynamic workspace for those in music, film, arts, fashion and technology sectors, the aim was not just to offer a place to do business, but to provide an environment for a convivial and creative way of life.

Uncommon – Uncommon Fulham

SBID Awards 2019
SBID Awards 2019

Uncommon is a flexible workspace provider, whose spaces are carefully designed to make its members work smarter, not harder. Using innovative design inspired by activity-based working (ABW), carefully curated ergonomic furniture, biophilia and sensory elements, Uncommon aims to deliver a holistic and mindful experience. With four unique spaces across London, Uncommon draws inspiration from Italian and Scandinavian design, with rich textures and tonal colours handpicked to help stimulate productivity, promote wellness and evoke creativity in its members. Located within an exclusive gated development, Uncommon Fulham offers 26,000 square foot of flexible workspace arranged over four floors; perfect for entrepreneurs and freelancers, start-ups and long-established businesses. Uncommon Fulham is adorned with a warm and muted colour palette, enhanced with hand-selected ergonomic furniture from Italy and over 500 living plants including a striking 3.3-metre Ficus nitida tree.

From the tiny cubicles and bland colour schemes of the early 2000s to the ping-pong tables and sleeping pods of modern times, the interior design of offices has evolved dramatically in the past 20 years. At the beginning of a new year, and the start of a new decade, the focus of office interior design is shifting once again. Office interior design is now becoming more and more centred around the wellbeing of staff members.

Interior Design And Employee Wellbeing

Work is one of the biggest causes of stress in adults. In fact, national statistics from 2019 state that 602,000 people suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2018/19 and 12.8 million workdays were lost due to the same reasons.

The rise of work-related stress and the emphasis on the importance of mental health has caused many businesses to re-evaluate the way in which they support their staff. Many businesses are aiming to actively improve the health and wellbeing of their employees.

Although improving the wellbeing of staff through interior design is not a new concept, it is becoming a very popular one. The working environment has a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of employees. A quality workspace that’s designed with health and wellbeing in mind can boost moods, increase productivity, reduce stress levels and nurture a positive atmosphere.

Office interior design by Rockwell Group
SBID Awards 2019 Finalist for Office Design by Rockwell Group

Natural Lighting Is Essential

Sunlight is good for our health. Our body needs Vitamin D, sunlight and a supply of fresh air daily to release endorphins and serotonin – the chemicals that boost our mood and give us energy.

However, for office workers, spending eight hours a day indoors is often unavoidable, which is why it is important to expose your office to as much natural daylight as possible.
When designing your office space, consider adding skylights or floor to ceiling windows. When considering the interior design, keep large furniture away from the windows as to not block out any light. Avoid dim lighting as this can strain eyes and try to avoid glare.

Consider The Flow Of The Office

Many businesses think they have to choose between two types of offices; an open-plan office or an office with enclosed spaces for privacy. When in reality, a combination of both will be more effective for staff wellbeing.

An open-plan layout encourages the movement of employees, which is great for increasing activity levels. In addition, an open-plan office will also encourage communication and teamwork. Adding smaller, private pods will be beneficial for those employees who prefer privacy and quiet when working. When improving the wellbeing of staff through interior design, you should also include a creative space for brainstorming and team meetings.

Top Tip: Whichever office layout you choose, remember to include space for water coolers. Having easy access to cold water is great for the health and wellbeing of employees.

Office interior design by Paragon Interface
SBID Awards 2019 Finalist for Office Design by Paragon Interface

Bring The Outdoors In

Studies show the wellness of employees who work in an environment enhanced with natural features is 15% higher than those who do not. Add natural elements to your office by having a variety of indoor plants or a living wall. Plants clean the air and are known to reduce stress levels, boost creativity and increase productivity. Perhaps you could even include an indoor flower garden. Another way to add natural elements to your office space is by choosing surfaces made from natural materials, such as wood and stone.

Choose The Right Colours

Different colours create different moods. Soft tones, such as a brown and terracotta are known to evoke feelings of warmth and relaxation, which is why they’re often found in bedrooms. Whereas bright colours, such as blues and oranges are known to energise and yellows are great for promoting creativity.

When improving employee wellbeing through interior design, you should carefully select the colours. Colours that stimulate productivity and creativity should be used in the office area and meeting rooms. Softer shades that evoke calming feelings should be used in break rooms and relaxation areas.

Areas Of Relaxation

To improve employee wellness and reduce stress levels, you should provide your employees with somewhere to relax. Unlike other break rooms, these areas of relaxation should be designed with peace and quiet in mind. Your employees should be able to meditate, read or simply relax away from the bustle of the office.

About the Author

Michael Lawrence is CEO at YourWellspace, a health and wellbeing tech start-up who focus on data-driven wellbeing for teams and workplaces.

This article was written by Michael Lawrence, CEO at YourWellspace.

Sponsors of the SBID International Design Awards for the Office Design category reveals how they help to create happy, healthy, high performing working and learning environments with their range of smart, contract furniture solutions for office, workplace and healthcare spaces. Jonathan Hindle, Group Managing Director E.M.E.A of KI tells us more…

What are the origins of your brand?

KI (Krueger International, Inc.) is headquartered in Wisconsin, USA; was founded in 1941, and has been a contract furniture manufacturer ever since. Fully employee-owned, KI has grown to become one of the world’s largest, most respected furniture manufacturing groups. KI’s EMEA headquarters and showroom in Central London is supported by an established network of manufacturing facilities and distribution partners across the UK, Europe and the Middle East committed to providing customers with smart solutions for Workplace, Education and Healthcare Sectors.

How do you work with interior designers?

KI engages with interior designers and specifiers both directly and through a global network of showrooms and resellers. It has offered a unique Market of One manufacturing philosophy for many years and supports specifiers with the opportunity to design and build the furniture the want quickly and cost effectively through its Infinity programme. There are many online tools to assist designers such as See it Spec It, CAD and Revit Symbols, Image Libraries and Finishes options libraries to assist with Specification and Planning.

SBID Awards Sponsor KI Europe interior image with modular shelving
SBID Awards Sponsor KI Europe interior image with modular shelving

What value does your sector add to the interior design industry?

We provide a valuable furniture engineering design and manufacturing resource for workplace, education and healthcare interiors. KI’s furniture helps the world’s leading organisations create happy, healthy, high performing working and learning environments. We strive to improves productivity through the design and manufacture of furniture solutions which both optimise floor plans and stimulate users. We also know how diverse furniture requirements can be, so by working to understand what our client’s need, we can deliver the ideal solution.

How does your offering enhance an interior designer’s projects?

As above. Not only do our products represent cutting edge solutions to furniture requirements in workplace, education and healthcare environments, KI brings together good design, advanced engineering and sustainable resources to produce products that are durable, flexible and offer excellent value.

KI products can help designers meet client needs by improving productivity of the end-user through the design and manufacture of furniture solutions which both stimulate and provide efficiencies; meeting the demands of evolving workplaces. Customers throughout the world come to KI, not just for high-quality contract furniture but for the knowledge to make the right choices. Working with KI gives you access to our wealth of experience and innovation, so we can help you select the perfect furniture for the desired application.

SBID Awards Sponsor KI Europe interior image with modular shelving

What are the latest trends you’ve noticed in your client’s requests?

KI Europe has recently introduced the 800 Series Shelving System, designed to offer a flexible platform for designers to divide space in open plan offices with shelving systems providing a domestic aesthetic. We have introduced a new seating range utilising the latest injection moulding techniques to provide flexible comfort and a lightweight aesthetic called Grafton, a new injection moulded dining chair called Hatton an enhancement to the market leading education seating range Postura+ providing fully recycled plastic options and a new generation Sit/Stand Collection of desking and benching called Work 2.1 to meet the evolving requirements for enhanced wellness across major organisations.

Why did you want to become a sponsor for the SBID Awards?

We wanted to engage with the SBID in order to better promote KI’s capabilities and desire to work with the world leading design practices which the SBID attract.

Sponsorship for the SBID International Design Awards 2020 is now open.

To find out more about becoming an SBID Awards sponsor next year click here or email [email protected]

Workplace gurus have in recent years enjoyed looking through the generational lens to help predict behaviours and changes effecting corporate interior design. The impact that millennial’s have made upon the workplace for example, assisting organisations move from hierarchies to networks, has been significant. Attention is now being paid to the current school and university population – Gen Z or iGen (internet generation) born after 2000 and the suggestion is that technology impacts on design could continue to be profound.

SBID Education Council expert, Jim Taylour, Head of Design and Wellbeing at Orangebox sheds light on how workplaces and educational institutions should be adapting to suit this new wave of technology-fuelled behaviours.

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