Design to improve
indoor air quality.
The world’s only living wall
biofilter that actively cleanses
air, by removing pollutants,
and reduces energy costs to
pay for itself.
with cleaner air
Free Standing, Hybrid and Fully Integrated Installations
University of Windsor
sound-absorbing materials and sound-containing products in order to make the
open office environment less distracting and more productive for employees.
This trend is illustrated in NELSON’s work with the Minneapolis administrative
hub of intellectual property and litigation firm Fish & Richardson. As their open
office design required increased density within several departments, our project
team anticipated the need for increased sound absorption to offset the potential
increased disturbance. We worked with the manufacturer Filtz-Felt to create vertical
sound barriers that not only provide increased acoustical control, but also provide
an energized visual aesthetic and a perceived visual barrier from the many busy
paths of travel.
As personal and professional lives continue to overlap, the lack of private spaces
in open office environments can cause some workers undue stress. It’s hard to
shake the feeling that someone may be watching, making workers who once had
the freedom to make a personal call or pay a bill online during work hours feel
increased anxiety. While that is likely not the case in most organizations, the loss of
autonomy, inability to hold private meetings, and lack of options to simply get work
done in a quiet area is another common complaint of the open office concept. To
remedy this, designers worked to integrate more private spaces throughout offices
for personal use in 2015.
Brand identity continues to become intertwined with corporate culture, making
a company’s reception area, where many lasting impressions on guests and
outsiders are made, increasingly important. We see the traditional model (large
expanses of unused space with only a reception desk and a seating area) as not
highly practical when square footage is at a premium. Designers were challenged
in 2015 to reintegrate the reception area into the workspace so that greeting
guests and offering employees additional choices for interaction were both
considered and prioritized.
Refinement of the workplace will no doubt continue to evolve, and I am constantly
eager to see how we tackle the challenge to better design the built environment
in order to support all the ways we live, work, and play. To stay current on what’s
now and what’s next, IIDA membership provides valuable touchpoints in our ever-evolving industry. Now and in the future, I want to tap into the knowledge and
expertise of our 15,000+ members as I navigate new trends in the commercial
interior design industry in 2016 and beyond.
If you’re not already a member, I invite you to join before the end of the year;
the $75 application fee will be waived for new members. If you are a member,
don’t miss your chance to refer a friend (you could win a $250 American Express
card). For details, visit www.iida.org.
Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday, and a productive new year full of
Scott Heirlinger, IIDA, LEED AP is the president of the IIDA Board of Directors. As
design director and co-principal of NELSON’s Minneapolis office, he serves as
an expert in corporate design with 21 years of experience. He is responsible for
all aspects of the design process including programming, space planning, design
development, construction documentation, and project management.