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VOL.7 NO.2 JUN - SEP 2014 SGD13 (Incl. GST) BND13 AUD13.95 HKD80 THB295 PHP295 IDR70000 MYR15/18 (W.M/E.M)

DESIGNED WITH PURPOSE FREEDOM THROUGH SPACES | IN LIVING COLOUR | BASIC NECESSITIES HOOP DREAMS | IN THE SPIRIT OF DEMOCRACY | WORKPLACE REVOLUTION


PUBLISHER’S LETTER

Dig Deeper T

he thought behind how a space is designed can sometimes be akin to an adventure. As work patterns take unexpected twists, designers took it upon themselves to push the envelope, and dug deeper to uncover unpolished treasures. Facts and figures are also surfacing as a result of numerous researches and surveys to further fuel this exploration.

We take inspiration from the Milan Furniture Fair by constantly being in the know, from a global perspective.

Just as we flip the pages of this issue, we can’t help but welcome these revelations with open arms. Designed to Innovate saw leading architectural design Space Matrix tackling the various forces that’re influencing workplaces these days. We get first dips into how their creative crusaders explain what goes on behind-the-scenes for the projects they undertake. Client needs are diverse, yes, we all know this. But some fundamental components remain steadfastly rooted in workplace transformation i.e. cost, people and technology. They’ve also taken the liberty to lay down their thoughts on the much-debated topic of going ‘Green’. We’ll exercise restraint for now and leave it to you to read on. Every year, design leaders wait with bated breath for the much-anticipated annual Milan Furniture Fair. Easily one of the largest trade fair of its kind, experts look to this event for various purposes. Be it to be inspired, to see or be seen, there’s always something intriguing and topic-worthy. There’ll always be something new, fresh, innovative or even mind-blowing. We take inspiration from this event by constantly being in the know, from a global perspective. That’s our quest for the Entrée section. Bite-size excitements served nofrills. We’ll welcome contributions from all over the world and share it with our readers in this continent. I urge for constant sharing and please send it through to us at ideas@officeconcept.asia. Let’s all work in tandem to create a constant stream of treasures so generations might enjoy uncovering them.

Kenneth Khu kenneth@officeconcept.asia

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Kensho by Kastel


CONTENT

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE THE UNSUNG HEROES

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ENTRÉE

22 24 28 32 40 44 48 58 64 68 78

DESIGNED TO INNOVATE UNCONVENTIONAL SPACES DESIGNED TO UNITE COLLABORATION WORKPLACE STRATEGY DESIGNED FOR BRAND BUILDING LEAN FEATURE DESIGNED TO ENERGISE BRINGING IN THE OUTDOORS GOING GREEN MODERN TWIST ON CLASSICAL CUES

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LEADERSHIP VIEWPOINTS

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OFFICE CONCEPT

V7N2| JUN - SEP 2014

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44

58

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86 90

SEIZING THE REINS ON SUSTAINABILITY PASSIONATE LEADERS IN THEIR RESPECTIVE FIELDS

114 116 120 126 130

FITTING INTERIORS FREEDOM THROUGH SPACES IN LIVING COLOUR EASY CHAIR OFF THE WALL BASIC NECESSITIES A STOOL THAT STRIVES FOR CORRECT POSTURE AND COLLABORATION HOOP DREAMS IN THE SPIRT OF DEMOCRACY WORKPLACE REVOLUTION BRINGING THE OUTDOORS IN A. & H. MEYER’S LOUNGE ACT

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THE SOCIAL CIRCLE REVOLVING PODIUM

100 102 104 106 108 110 112

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CONTENT & TEAM Haven Pods by Zenith, Allermuir

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SEIZING THE REINS ON SUSTAINABILITY by Interface, Daniel Blois

PASSIONATE LEADERS IN THEIR RESPECTIVE FIELDS by Space Matrix, Gautam Tewari

CONTENT MANAGING EDITOR Kenneth Khu EDITOR Pang Yin Ying ASSISTANT EDITOR Mandy Chin CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Adele Chong CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Dorothy Lung ART DIRECTOR Eric Phoon SENIOR DESIGNER Sandy Liew

Schlaufenstuhl by Girsberger

A. & H. MEYER PARTNERS & FRIENDS PARTY by A. & H. Meyer, Peter Lenhardt

EMAILS ADVERTISING advertising@officeconcept.asia EDITORIAL editorial@officeconcept.asia CONTRIBUTION ideas@officeconcept.asia SUBSCRIPTION subscribe@officeconcept.asia WEBSITE www.officeconcept.asia

COMPANY PUBLISHER Kenneth Khu BUSINESS MANAGER Edmond Lee BUSINESS EXECUTIVE Kelvin Ong

MAGAZINE OFFICE CONCEPT is published three times a year and is circulated throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Opinions expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily endorsed by the publisher.

CONTACT MEDIA EDGE PUBLICATIONS 1001 Block D Tiara Kelana, Jalan SS7/19 Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. T: +603 7887 4525

COPYRIGHT NOTICE All rights, including copyright, in the content of this publication are owned by Media Edge Publications, Malaysia. You are not permitted to copy, broadcast, download, store in any medium, transmit, show or play in public, adapt or change any in any way the content of this publication for any other purpose whatsoever without the prior written permission of Media Edge Publications, Malaysia.

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PHOTO CREDITS COVER: SPACE MATRIX SECTION OPENER: DESIGNED TO INNOVATE SPACE MATRIX LEADERSHIP VIEWPOINTS INTERFACE FITTNG INTERIORS KASTEL THE SOCIAL CIRCLE A. & H. MEYER & INTERFACE

[ magazine ] | print + online


ENTRÉE

BUCKET OF JOY Kastel has served up a flamboyant range of polycarbonate stackable chairs, the Krizia, to much excitement. Its round bucket seat is available in fun colours i.e. white, clear, mocca, black and red. These contemporary seating pieces are multipurpose and easily offer a cheery addition to a variety of spaces such as meeting rooms, waiting or brainstorm areas. The Krizia’s shell can also be customised with upholstered seat pads in more than 100 different colours. www.kastel.it

HIGH-PRESSURED BEAUTY The Tonina’s uniqueness lies in its innovative manufacturing process known as the Biomimetic method. Its core material is injected at high pressure into a steel mould to allow for an outer ‘skin’ so smooth it almost appears to be lacquered and an inner structure that boasts exceptional strength. Inspired by natural, fluid shapes, Italian design duo Claudio Dondoli and Marco Pocci successfully created a contemporary seating option that is highly durable and flexible for both indoor and outdoor spaces. www.zenithinteriors.com.au

SUNNY SPORT For designer Konstantin Grcic, his idea behind the Waver was to deliberately depart from conventional armchair typology. Though its technical construction is simple, the Waver offers the very same comfortable seating generally associated with classic upholstered furniture. The vibrant colours of the fabric and the clearly emphasised connecting and functional elements give the Waver its sporty look and feel. www.spacefurniture.com

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ENTRテ右

CLASSIC REPOS-ITIONING The classic lounge chair is being reinterpreted at a new level with the Grand Repos and its younger brother, Repos. With their generous padding and adjustable seating positions, these swivel lounge chairs fulfil all demands with respect to comfort and relaxation. Having partnered with Vitra for 25 years, Antonio Citterio has yet again successfully combined timeless elegance with unsurpassed comfort in the Repos. www.spacefurniture.com

MAGIC LOOP Somewhat a jazzy fusion of a stool and chair, the Schlaufenstuhl by Girsberger is the culmination of a youthful adventure. Simple yet contemporary in the outlook, the chair comprises a closed fabric loop which is fitted on top of a sophisticated wire frame. Designed by Speziell, its exchangeable two-tone fabric contains a thin layer of padding which makes it highly comfortable and easy to handle. www.girsberger.com

COME IN HANDY The 8250 Volpino table series feature handy-sized, lightweight, practical, and flexible options for various spaces. Designed with matching design aesthetics to complement the 8250 Volpino armchairs in waiting configurations, the adorable coffee tables feature a round high pressure laminates (HPL) full core material table top with a solid steel sled based that is available in three finishes i.e. bright chrome, satin chrome and powder coated. www.kusch.com

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ENTRÉE

LIGHT FRAGMENTS It’s evident upon first glance that the Andromeda Lamp by Italian designer Paolo Ulian for Zava Luce was created with the wow factor in mind. Composed of shifting polygonal-shaped pieces that appear to come together and pull apart all at once, this dynamic hanging fixture is not for the faint of heart. Casting artful scatterings of light and shadows that bring to mind playful organic forms, this piece truly lives up to its intergalactic moniker. www.zavaluce.it

FOLD AND BEHOLD

Although foldaways can at times turn out to be more trouble than ease, the Plico, a versatile multipurpose table fashioned by KOMPLOT Design for Howe, is the real deal. The pragmatic structure signals functionality, portability and easy handling while its minimalist design makes it versatile enough to adapt to existing interiors. The perfect choice for mealtimes, meetings, training sessions or conference scenarios, you can’t go wrong with this stackable, space-saver. www.howe.com

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SHAPE SHIFTER Drawing from geometric patterns found in Islamic art, this striking selection of 3D-printed vases by Studio Integrate takes mass-customised techniques to a whole other level. While the unusual vessels begin as identical forms – a series of symmetrical multi-sided polygons - they eventually give way to over 400 variations as a result of complex fabrication methods that incorporate combining and duplicating aspects of the primary structure. A dramatic fusion of container and sculpture, the GeMo adds a futuristic touch to any space. www.studiointegrate.com

SLEEK MYSTIQUE COLOR BLOCKING The embodiment of pragmatic Swiss design, Girsberger’s sleek Diagonal Executive Chair mixes old-school elegance with modern accents. Its smartly conceived structure hinges on strong, clean lines that play up the chair’s simplicity while directing one’s eye to its distinguished-looking upholstery. The pleasing contrast between the gleaming aluminum parts and soft chocolate-hued leather gives rise to a particularly enticing visual, culminating in a charming design made for both looking and sitting.

Fresh off the drawing board of Scandinavian designer Morten Nikolajsen, Howe’s Manhattan Sofa oozes equal parts sophistication and play. Colorful geometric segments made for mix-and-match arrangements allow for a plethora of interior possibilities. Combined with varying back heights, pentagonal modules come together to a stunning skyline silhouette. The removable upholstery for the seating module comes as a godsend for those with vying for more versatility, making the sofa ideal for lounging or casual group work sessions. www.howe.com

www.girsberger.com

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www.teknion.com


DESIGNED TO INNOVATE

The design is sleek, modern and uplifting, helping Cisco attract and retain the next-generation workforce.

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PHOTO: E-cafe

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UNCONVENTIONAL SPACES Cisco

Singapore | 120,000 SF | Design & Build

RIGHT: E-cafe

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SINGAPORE

CISCO

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TOP LEFT: Reception BOTTOM LEFT: Collaboration area BOTTOM RIGHT: E-cafe

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SINGAPORE

CISCO

In a bold decision to consolidate three of their existing offices in Singapore into one location, Cisco moved away from the central business district and into a 120,000-square-foot space near Changi Airport. Cisco sought to create a world-class office environment that eased the transition for its employees. With the help of Space Matrix, they designed an agile office that integrated technology seamlessly into the workspace. To cater to Cisco’s 100-percent mobile workforce, the design needed to provide employees with a sense of belonging, as most were accustomed to traditional assigned seating in their previous locations. Cisco turned to Space Matrix to create a concept around its Connected Workplace philosophy, while also keeping in mind Cisco’s global space policy, which allows employees of all seniority to sit anywhere within their neighbourhood. This eliminates a feeling of hierarchy, as senior executives no longer have assigned offices; instead, they utilise audio privacy rooms and quiet rooms for telephone calls, video conferences and confidential meetings. An eCafé was built on each floor to provide additional workspace, encourage engagement, and foster social interaction. Cheerful hues of orange, blue, green and yellow help users identify which floor they are on and also give the office a beautiful aesthetic. As part of the innovative design, lift lobbies mimic an MRT (subway) carriage with doors opening from both sides. As employees enter each level, they are greeted with a Cisco interactive ‘Virtual Hello’ screen, which describes the features of that floor of the building. The user can virtually assess the occupancy of the workstations and also book meeting rooms. The design is sleek, modern and uplifting, helping Cisco attract and retain the next-generation workforce. This office is truly a unique expression of Cisco’s global standards and is already serving as a benchmark for other locations around the world.

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PHOTO: Reception and collaboration area

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BANGKOK, THAILAND

TOYOTA LEASING

DESIGNED TO UNITE Toyota Leasing

Bangkok | 37,000 SF | Design & Build

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LEFT: Reception RIGHT: Workstations

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BANGKOK, THAILAND

TOYOTA LEASING

The Japanese philosophy of Kaizen or “change for the best” is at the heart of Toyota’s 37,000-squarefoot leasing office in Bangkok. This truly is an office that combines the company’s work ethos with its design guidelines. The brief to Space Matrix was to integrate Toyota’s branding — from the reception to the back operation areas — and create a workspace that would serve as a benchmark for their other 12 offices and retail locations across the region. Despite the challenge of using only three brand colours, Space Matrix brought to life the company’s promise of “Together Toyota” across the three floors that accommodate 450 employees. Designers drew inspiration from the distinctive ellipse shape of Toyota’s logo and applied the motif to wall finishes, floor patterns, privacy films and ceiling design. God is definitely in the details in this office, as even the door handle panels and workstation designs reflect the subtle application of curvilinear elements. To maximise efficiency and productivity, Space Matrix incorporated workstations that lend themselves to variations in seating and storage, while worktop finishes help to differentiate the hierarchy within the organization. The open-plan layout — with its clean and simple lines and plenty of natural light — promotes an energetic work environment. This friendly and approachable look, appropriate for a service-oriented business, can be translated easily to Toyota’s other retail outlets.

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COLLABORATION Collaboration. It’s what everyone is talking about these days. It’s what every organization wants to foster in their workspace foster in their workspace and what Space Matrix strives to create in every project.

“Collaboration spaces in the work environment are often under-utilized”

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SPACE MATRIX

COLLABORATION

“Working together to create value while sharing virtual and physical space.” Evan Rosen, in his book

“Collaboration” may even be one of your company’s core values. But what does the word really mean? And how can you facilitate it?

The Culture of Collaboration

At its best collaboration can be a powerful tool for innovation, yet its meaning has been diluted by many to describe any type of interaction between two or more people. If it is more than that you seek, if it’s your desire to get individuals in your organization to work toward the achievement of shared goals, then the physical spaces should be created with an understanding of the ‘behavior of collaboration’ that is specific to you. Ironically, in many offices we have studied, spaces devoted to collaboration in the work environment are often under-utilized. Most commonly, these are distinct areas set aside for group work away from the primary workspaces.

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FORCES INFLUENCING YOUR WORKPLACE TODAY Companies are under pressure to operate profitably and to maintain a competitive edge. In most organizations, the physical space is viewed as an expense item and has been targeted for cost savings.

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SPACE MATRIX

COLLABORATION

According to data compiled in a recent CoreNet Global Survey, the average space per person has shrunk from 225 square feet to 150 square feet. And it is predicted to fall further to 100 square feet in the next few years. Based on Space Matrix’s recent work in India, some industries are already allocating less than 100 square feet per person. We are headed toward what some are calling a property paradox: As space for individual work is on the decline, areas for collaboration are actually increasing.

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THE NEED FOR BALANCE

Here are four things we have learnt:

Your workplace should reflect your organization’s unique goals and the needs of your employees. The solution is not to do away with your collaboration zones but to understand the types of activities that drive people to use them. Collaboration was essential for BPTP in its new corporate office in Gurgaon. Since the company was consolidating from multiple locations, there was a critical need for spaces that would encourage employees to interact and feel part of one organization.

LEFT: Atrium RIGHT: Town Hall

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SPACE MATRIX

COLLABORATION

Focused work is a primary driver of effectiveness and efficiency, and yet collaboration remains key to the development and spread of ideas in pursuit of innovation, which is necessary to stay ahead in a competitive economy. “We required areas for production work and ideation; the team is always brainstorming,” according to Jeffery Blais, Creative Director at Sapient Nitro. Through innovative space planning, 40% of the floor area was devoted to collaborative spaces in their new Singapore location. “The environment inspires people to get up and walk around, sit on the balcony, interact with one another, and write on the walls. This space allows the staff to work more effectively — individually and as a team.”

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Collaboration is a behavior that can occur in any space. Creating a culture of teamwork and interaction is as important as allocating distinct physical spaces for collaborative work. After acquiring Scott Wilson, the first task for URS management was to infuse their new office with a culture of collaboration and transparency. This took the form of opening up the primary work zones through the use of lower partitions and cubicles instead of cabins.

Balanced workplaces that support both individual work and collaborative work can contribute to significant improvements in performance and productivity. The Singapore headquarters of Cisco was designed to have a perfect blend of quiet spaces for focused work, collaborative spaces for working in teams, and game areas where employees can take a break. The design is sleek, modern and uplifting, helping Cisco attract and retain the nextgeneration workforce.

TOP LEFT: URS BOTTOM LEFT: Activity Zone

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SPACE MATRIX

COLLABORATION

SUMMARY In today’s world, gathering and leveraging diagnostic and behavioral data on what drives performance at the employee and organizational level is no longer a luxury. Identifying and designing for behaviors that drive success is an opportunity to gain competitive advantage. A study of your existing environment can shed light on how people actually work on a daily basis and how spaces can be better utilized. Your workers tell us they are increasingly distracted, dissatisfied with noise levels, and disturbed by others when trying to focus. Employees who feel that they have an environment that fosters collaboration AND focused work view their companies as more innovative, more effective, and more satisfying to work for.

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DOES YOUR WORKPLACE HAVE A STRATEGY?

As a leading workplace design firm in the Asia-Pacific region, no one knows this better than the strategic consulting experts at Space Matrix. Drawing on their extensive knowledge of global office solutions while ensuring the appropriate mix of cultural nuances, Space Matrix experts adopt a holistic approach when it comes to devising bespoke workplace and property strategies. Focused on delivering maximum value to clients, Space Matrix develops strategies based on the key components of workplace transformation: cost, people, and technology.

COST

TECHNOLOGY

Looking to shift offices? Planning to integrate new technologies for your organisation? Need to accommodate your growing workforce? There are challenges galore when it comes to designing a new office. Having a sound workplace strategy should be the first step.

PEOPLE

ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE

The process at Space Matrix begins with a thorough understanding of a client’s needs, using the following methodologies: • One-to-one interviews with key personnel • G  roup workshops and brainstorming sessions • G  roup workshops on specific topics i.e. technology, facilities management, brand placement, etc. • Shadowing – a day in the life of ABC

Managing the client’s staff expectations is a key consideration throughout the entire consultation process. Setting clear parameters with the project delivery team during the objectives phase of the project, prior to engaging with the wider organisation, is critical in setting the framework for future interactions.

• User-type profiling • S pace / time utilization studies – sensor recording at desks • S pace allocation studies – people, support, storage and filing • Online surveys • Sector benchmarking data

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SPACE MATRIX

WORKPLACE STRATEGY

Project Objectives

Organisational Review

Project Vision

Workplace Transformation Cost People Technology

Property Analysis

Integrated Workplace and Property Strategy

Project Delivery Holistic Approach to Workplace Strategy and Project Delivery

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All major workplace projects are set against a programme of change management, which typically includes these three key areas: • Organisational Working closely with key stakeholders including HR, Space Matrix supports the delivery of the change vision for the future workforce. • Technological Change management communications must demonstrate how flexible and supportive the new space will be for future technologies. Space Matrix collaborates with technology experts to demonstrate the future-proofing of the design in this regard, via the use of virtual and physical project rooms. • Physical As Space Matrix is often appointed the lead design consultant, the project team ensures that site progress communication, right up to handover and move-in, is an integral part of the process.

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SPACE MATRIX

WORKPLACE STRATEGY

Benefits of developing a robust workplace strategy include: • Getting the best possible return on investment • Keeping project costs low by limiting time delays, rework and wastage • Designing spaces that enhance productivity and encourage collaboration • Planning ahead for technological change • Providing a wealth of detail for comparing options • Making complex property decisions • Kick-starting programmes in an informed manner

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PHOTO: Collaboration Area

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SINGAPORE

FORRESTER

DESIGNED FOR BRAND BUILDING Forrester

Singapore | 7,300 SF | Design & Build

Collaboration spaces were created and identified by green carpet tiles.

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Having collaborated in the past on an office in India, Forrester and Space Matrix took the relationship to a new level with the design and build of their new workspace in Singapore. A global research and advisory firm in the IT sector, Forrester was keen to create an office that encapsulated their brand guidelines while, at the same time, appealing to the Singapore market by projecting a distinct and unique identity. Space Matrix responded to these objectives by creating a 7,300-square-foot office that is sophisticated and modern yet warm, colourful and comfortable.

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LEFT: Pantry and game area RIGHT: Workstations


SINGAPORE

FORRESTER

The designers were inspired by the word ‘forest’ and used this to play with colour and texture throughout the office. Shades of grey and green hexagonal tiles create movement and identify spaces, while trees inspired the use of timber and organic geometric lines on the walls. The pantry has a bright-red feature wall comprised of geometric fabric panels, while a white curtain separates the game area from the lounge. This gives the space flexibility and allows natural light to filter through. Employees can relax by playing table tennis or strumming on a guitar during much needed breaks. Using the existing pantry ceiling, suspended light fixtures were integrated as a unique design detail and also saved the company money, as no replacement ceiling was needed. Collaboration spaces were created and identified by green carpet tiles. Employees enjoy stunning views of Chinatown and have been motivated, engaged and happy in their new space.

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GOING LEAN CUTS WASTE, BUT HOW DO YOU DO IT? A workplace survey conducted in 2013 by Space Matrix found that rework and delay are the top two issues accounting for 33 percent of total problems relating to wastage in a project. Meanwhile, design changes and a mismatch with customer needs contribute to another 25 percent of waste inefficiencies. Space Matrix took these findings on board and has begun incorporating Lean design and delivery processes in its workplace projects to help clients eliminate these areas of waste.

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SPACE MATRIX

LEAN FEATURE

Know Your Lean Facts

What is Lean? • Lean has its roots in a management philosophy developed by Toyota Production System to eliminate waste. • Lean Design and Construction is a managementbased approach to project delivery — a new way to design and build facilities. • Applied to project design and delivery, Lean changes the way work is done throughout the delivery process. • Lean starts with the objectives of maximizing value and minimising waste, and it extends to specific techniques applied in a new project delivery process. Why go Lean? • To reduce costs • To enhance the quality of the built product • For faster delivery of projects • For an improved bottom line What is needed? • Organisational culture focused on driving Lean methodologies • Specialised ways of planning, organizing and controlling projects • Trained designers, partners, vendors and suppliers

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The Lean Blueprint 1 Lay the Cultural Foundation of Lean • Ensure alignment within design team, partners, vendors and suppliers. 2 Adopt Continuous Improvement • Techniques like Pareto, 5S, Kaizen (provide a better control on quality) 3 Implement Standardised Project Delivery • Share information frequently via daily make-ready and stand-up meetings • Practice micro-planning that involves information flows from all stakeholders • Use of “Last Planner System” where the last person responsible for project delivery plans rather than a senior member and tracks the progress. 4 Target Value Design •Customised workplace areas for design, drawing, client interactions •Use Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools to control quality

Dump The Waste • Rework • Delay • Mismatch in client needs • Material damage

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5 Train Vendors and Partners •Develop network of trusted vendors and partners to deliver quality •Train vendors and partners to save on re-work costs 6 Secure Efficient Supply Chain •Centralised and efficient procurement system •Avail of best materials at best rates 7 Build Lean, Build Value • Save project costs, save time costs, drive benefits to client’s bottom line


SPACE MATRIX

LEAN FEATURE

7. BUILD LEAN, BUILD VALUE

3. Implement Standardised Project Delivery

4. Target Value Design

5. Train Vendors & Partners

6. Secure Efficient Supply Chain

2. Adopt Continuous Improvement

1. Lay the cultural Foundation of Lean

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LEAN METHODOLOGY BENEFITS CLIENT’S BOTTOM LINE: A CASE STUDY Typical Project Duration (+25,000 SF)

~ 20

Microsemi Project Duration

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SPACE MATRIX

LEAN FEATURE

Time is money. Delays along with wastage have a direct impact on project costs, negatively impacting the bottom line of construction projects. With a focus on reducing delays, delivering value and driving customer satisfaction, Space Matrix is one of the few design consultancies in the Asia-Pacific region that has adopted Lean methodologies in its design-and-build workplace projects. Space Matrix implemented Lean techniques in the design and construction of a 45,000-square-foot office for Microsemi, a project in Hyderabad, India. The result: savings of over 43 percent in terms of project time and hence overall handover.

Cl o

se

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(~ 10

w ee

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WEEKS

~ 30

Microsemi Goes 43% Faster With Lean

The result: savings of over 43 percent in terms of project time and hence overall handover.

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DO YOU KNOW THE TOP WASTES TO TARGET? 2013 Space Matrix Workplace Executive Survey:

Top level Executive Respondents %

• Rework and delay are the top two issues, accounting for one third of all problems related to waste. • Damaged material and mismatch with customer needs contribute to another 20% of waste inefficiencies.

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SPACE MATRIX

LEAN FEATURE

Take a Quiz: Is It Time To Go Lean? If you answer, “Yes” to any of these questions, it is time to Go Lean and improve your bottom line. 1. Are your projects delayed due to rework and poor quality of construction? 2. Are you wasting time and money due to vendor issues? 3. Do you find your project drawings are not what you had specified?

If you answer “No” to any of the following, it is time to Go Lean and improve your design and delivery process. 1. Do your projects have a dedicated “Scrum Manager”? 2. Do your project teams have “Make-Ready Meetings”? 3. Do your project teams have “Daily Stand-Up Calls”?

Not familiar with some of these terms? Here’s a quick glossary: Scrum Manager A dedicated Lean expert who leads on-site meetings, facilitates the identification of constraints, and develops plans to move forward Daily Make-Ready Meeting Daily 15-minute meetings to check readiness and progress of constraint removal Daily Stand-Up Calls 15-minute meetings to discuss status of project progress

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THE CULTURE OF LEAN AT SPACE MATRIX Lean Techniques Mirror the Values of Space Matrix • Lean methods help create value for our clients, our business partners and our company. • Lean processes promote collaboration and teamwork. • Lean techniques drive sharing of knowledge and innovation.

Lean Thinking is Spreading at Space Matrix • Space Matrix Lean experts are conducting bi-annual Lean training sessions for project designers and cost consultants. • Two senior designers are currently undergoing external industry Lean Black Belt Six Sigma certification. • Two additional Space Matrix designers will be certified every year.

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SPACE MATRIX

LEAN FEATURE

“Lean is about elimination of waste and maximizing value. Waste is not necessarily material-based. A lot of waste is process-based, which results in time-based (and eventually cost-based) waste. Also; Lean is 90 percent culture and 10 percent science. So, the most important aspect of adopting Lean practices is to bring about a cultural shift in the way of working. People have to embrace the culture of exposing and addressing problems early rather than hiding problems and creating quality and delivery based issues later.� Gautam Tewari Director of Global Projects at Space Matrix

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PHOTO: Workhub

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SINGAPORE

SPENCER OGDEN

DESIGNED TO ENERGISE Spencer Ogden

Singapore | 3,500 SF | Design & Build

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LEFT: Place caption to right position MIDDLE: Place caption to right position RIGHT: Place caption to right position TOP LEFT: Meeting Room BOTTOM LEFT: Conference Room RIGHT: Workstations

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SINGAPORE

SPENCER OGDEN

Designers of this creative 3,500-square-foot Spencer Ogden office in Singapore reinvented the traditional corporate space by marrying playful hues with both colonial and local décor. In order for employees at the energy recruitment firm to be at their productive best, design director Bonita Spencer-Percival imagined a space that would “inject fun into a very hardworking environment”. Finding the perfect partner in Space Matrix, her vision became a reality in just five months. Quirky and unique pieces and spaces make the office a work of art that includes: a 1950s retro-style American diner kitchen; a giant knights’ table alongside basketball hoops, maps and blackboards; a statue of a Mongolian warrior; items sourced from local antique and vintage shops; and pieces selected from Bonita and her husband’s former country home in England. Not to be missed is the portrait of the Queen of England sporting a pair of funky shades!

Carpeted with green synthetic turf, the outdoor feel is a definite statement against uninspired corporate environments, while shared round tables signify equality over hierarchy. Flooding the office with natural light, floor-to-ceiling windows offer a stunning view of Singapore, and employees on a break can de-stress by playing basketball or putting a few golf balls. The collaboration with Space Matrix has been “a real meeting of minds”, says Bonita. The end result mirrors the creative and distinctive style of Spencer Ogden’s offices in London and Aberdeen and has garnered much international recognition and publicity for the firm.

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DESIGNED TO CONNECT

The use of glass plays a significant role in promoting connectivity, communication and collaboration between levels and blocks 62


PHOTO: Reception

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BRINGING IN THE OUTDOORS Broadridge Corporate Campus India | 200,000 SF | Design & Build

PHOTO: Breakout area

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INDIA

BROADRIDGE

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INDIA

BROADRIDGE

When a previous lease expired, Broadridge, based in Hyderabad, India, decided to expand their horizons and create a 200,000square-foot corporate campus that would enable employees to learn, grow and thrive to their maximum potential. Broadridge is a top provider of operations outsourcing and technology-based solutions to financial institutions. Collaboration and communication between Broadridge employees in a secure environment is critical in delivering efficient and innovative services to clients. By conducting extensive on-site research, Space Matrix realized that the original site, comprised of six separate blocks, required a major design overhaul to make the campus cohesive and fluid. Distinct zones were formed for collaboration, and each floor was given a clear theme and colour scheme corresponding to different seasons. To address valid security concerns in such a large area, the Space Matrix design team devised a plan for all common services to be on the ground floor and all access control systems in the three main lift lobbies.

The campus has seen an incredible transformation and is built on a unique ‘inside- outside’ approach to bring a little of the exterior landscape into the interior spaces. Courtyards and open spaces have been converted to collaboration zones and breakout spaces. The use of glass plays a significant role in promoting connectivity, communication and collaboration between levels and blocks. Artistic murals adorn the ceilings, and bright light and colour punctuate the area. According to Broadridge’s chief operating officer, “While each associate plays an important role in the company, true success at Broadridge comes from the ability to come together as a team”, which is what their new office campus allows them to do beautifully.

TOP LEFT: Reception courtyard BOTTOM LEFT: Cafe MIDDLE: Workstations RIGHT: Reception area

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GOING GREEN

may save the world, but what’s in it for you?

Retain your employees A better and healthier work environment leads to happier, more productive and loyal people.

Improve your image A company with heart instills confidence in customers, investors and employees, boosting its brand.

Sure, businesses guzzle energy in the form of lighting, heating, air conditioning, computers, and even staff commutes. But why should that change? And why should you change?

There are several practical reasons for going green: Save money Lower utility costs and operating expenses add up to substantial savings.

Be ready The future will bring morestringent laws and practices around energy usage and emissions. Proactively planning today will help you prepare for tomorrow.

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But what is most important is that the design of your workplace impacts employee productivity, well-being and, ultimately, the profitability of your company.


SPACE MATRIX

GOING GREEN

Here’s how some companies have benefited from going green:

Lower operating costs Herman Miller as a company is an environmental advocate and needed to ensure their new facility in Bangalore, India, was compliant with their worldwide green standards. By strategically focusing on optimizing their return on investment, they were able to achieve 30% energy savings in lighting costs, 30% energy savings in HVAC costs, and a 48% reduction in water usage.

30% Energy savings in lighting costs

30% Energy savings in HVAC costs

48% Reduction in water usage

TOP RIGHT: Reception walkway with display wall BOTTOM RIGHT: Workstations

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Increased employee productivity The ‘Suzlon One Earth’ Campus, in Pune, India, is one of the highest LEED Platinum rated offices in the world. The entire campus was planned keeping in mind the end user’s comfort. The design ensured maximum inflow of natural light. All workstations were provided with occupancy control task lighting, which also helped save energy costs by 20%. The HVAC system was equipped with sensors and modulating dampers to allow additional fresh air when the CO² levels rise above the certified levels, ensuring healthy indoor air quality at all times.

Maximum Inflow of natural light

20% Energy savings in lighting costs

Fresh Air Intake when C0² levels rise

TOP LEFT: Workstations BOTTOM LEFT: Informal discussion area TOP RIGHT: Breakout Area BOTTOM RIGHT: Workstations

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SPACE MATRIX

GOING GREEN

Maximum North light in, thermal comfort

Cascading Effect on optimizing the building’s cooling loads

Future – proofed assets For its office in Bangalore, India, a leading software giant had the vision to be green compliant; but they had selected a building (prior to our appointment) that was not ideally sited with respect to the region’s climate. The design team reoriented the building, rotating it 180 degrees, to allow maximum north light in, which had a cascading effect on optimizing the building’s cooling loads, thermal comfort of the employees and penetration of usable daylight. By tackling these issues right at the onset, the client avoided making costly alterations to the space at a later stage.

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Marketing opportunities For Vestas, a leading producer of high-tech wind power solutions, it is imperative that they walk the talk to instill confidence in their stakeholders. Their Singapore office, therefore, was designed to become the city’s first to receive the prestigious LEED Platinum certification. It is also the third most sustainable facility on the planet, allowing Vestas to showcase their leadership in an industry that offers sustainable and cost-efficient solutions to the world’s energy needs. City’s First Recipient of the prestigious LEED Platinum certification

Third Most Sustainable facility on the planet

TOP LEFT: Reception BOTTOM LEFT: Private office & open workstations area

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SPACE MATRIX

GOING GREEN

DOES GOING GREEN COST MORE?

If you only consider initial costs, there is, in fact, a premium for designing with sustainability in mind. That initial investment premium varies from 3% to 20%, depending on what level of certification for commercial interiors (CI) you wish to attain. The good news is that the operational cost savings of going green are often between 8–9% per year, and the payback period for most green features can be as little as 1.5–3 years.

Green Buildings benefit all stakeholders:

DEVELOPER

OWNER

TENANT

Why would I want to build this green building?

Why would I want to own this green building?

Why would I want to lease this green building?

Higher sales price Lower design and construction costs Quicker sales

Slower depreciation Increased occupancy rates Lower exit yield

Health and well-being Increased productivity

Ability to secure finance Rapid return on investment Increase market value Reduce vacancies Reduced downtime Lower operating costs Lower maintenance costs Lower refurbishment costs Corporate image and prestige value Compliance with legislation and CSR requirements Lower transaction fees

Adapted from USGBC

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How do you sort through all the green building rating systems in Asia? LEED certification is globally recognized, and most of the large multi-national corporations have corporate mandates to certify their offices worldwide. Green Mark operates out of Singapore, covering most of Southeast Asia, and holds a lot of credibility as an effective and transparent rating system regionally. The other systems — like GRIHA (India), Green Building Index (Malaysia), BEAM (Hong Kong), and Green Star (Australia) — are national rating systems and follow local building and energy codes, some of which may be mandatory for certain types of projects.

The best advice is to start with your local rating system for any compliance standards that may be mandatory.

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Global System – LEED

Regional System – Green Mark

Local System – GRHA – Green Building Index – BEAM – Green Mark – Green Start


SPACE MATRIX

GOING GREEN

DO YOU ALREADY HAVE A GREENENOUGH OFFICE? Let’s see. How many of these questions can you answer with a “yes”?

1. Is your office easily accessible by public transportation and amenities? 2. Does your company have policies on commuting, car-pooling and flexible working hours?

How did you fare? 8 –10

Green Star

5 – 7

Getting Green

0 – 4

Gotta Get Green

3. Does your office space allow for “hot-desking” and have efficiently planned IT infrastructure? 4. D  o you have efficiently designed lighting with sensors and controls? 5. Is your HVAC efficiently planned with zoning and controls? 6. Is the indoor air quality in your office healthy? 7. Is there adequate non-glare daylight? 8. Are your plumbing fixtures water-efficient? 9. Are your computers and equipment Energy– Star rated? 10. Do you have sustainable purchasing and cleaning policies?

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DESIGNED TO TRANSFORM

The new office design, in line with the bank’s global corporate guidelines, successfully blends traditional architecture with state-of-the-art modern interiors, creating a truly unique and inspiring workplace. 76


PHOTO: Balcony corridor

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MODERN TWIST ON CLASSICAL CUES Standard Chartered India | 44,000 SF | Design & Build

RIGHT: Balcony corridor

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INDIA

STANDARD CHARTERED

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TOP LEFT: Workstations BOTTOM LEFT: Breakout area RIGHT: Balcony

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INDIA

STANDARD CHARTERED

Heritage buildings line the streets of the Fort area in Mumbai, and an old-world charm fills the air. The neighbourhood is home to the corporate headquarters of Standard Chartered — one of the oldest and most successful international banks. In 2013, the bank appointed Space Matrix to refurbish the interiors of its 44,000–square-foot office that is housed in a heritage building. The biggest challenge was to retain the external classical structure while injecting a modern feel into the interiors. Extensive research was done to plan and coordinate the design and services before the work could start. Initial problems to be solved included concealing wiring and cables without damaging stone walls and avoiding puncturing or changing the façade. The design conceptualised by Space Matrix focused on bringing to life a harmonious blend of traditional and contemporary aesthetic elements — much like Standard Chartered itself, which is over 150 years old but is modern at heart.

An initial strip-down of the structure revealed a charming balcony with wrought iron railings that surrounded the office area, letting in natural light and creating an expansive vibe. This alfresco area was transformed into a café for employees to enjoy. Materials used for the restoration matched those from the original structure, such as the Victorian-style Minton tiles in the balcony corridors and the colonialinspired dark veneer in the lounge area. The interior arches, rose windows and 40-foot ceiling heights in the office area and cafeteria were also retained. At the same time, contemporary furniture with sleek surfaces and straight lines, open work spaces and a substantial use of glass provide a modern look and feel. The new office design, in line with the bank’s global corporate guidelines, successfully blends traditional architecture with state-of-the-art modern interiors, creating a truly unique and inspiring workplace.

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LEADERSHIP VIEWPOINTS As the world of design transform and transition, industry leaders are constantly challenging themselves to innovate. We go up close and personal with these leaders to uncover their plans.

INTERFACE Daniel Blois

SPACE MATRIX Archie Cruda Nijaya Intaraprasong Gautam Tewari Uday Shankar

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Daniel Blois, Asia Design Director, Interface

Morten Jorgensen Haworth, Managing Director of SEA

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SEIZING THE REINS ON SUSTAINABILITY T rained as an environmental psychologist and interior designer, Daniel Blois was poised for greater heights at Interface – a company storied for never sweeping carpet’s eco impact under the rug. Joining Interface Japan in 1992 as Creative Services Manager, he went on to become its Marketing Manager and subsequently Managing Director, later taking on the role of Design Director in Singapore in 2005. Daniel has, since August 2011, continued his work as Creative Design Director in Asia at Interface’s facility in Chonburi, overseeing design, especially the custom design production for this region besides working closely with his counterparts in Europe and America, including David Oakey, exclusive designer for Interface. Meet the man behind the name.

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INTERFACE

CARPET FLOORING

Q: On Interface’s Web site, it reads that “Design is a mindset and sustainability is the journey of a lifetime.” Can you explain this philosophy? A: At Interface, we have redefined design in terms of our commitment to sustainability, in that design involves everything that we do. From looking at how to redesign and improve our processes, to designing our work habits, how we design and the way we physically manufacture goods, how we sell those goods as well as how we reclaim those goods. Everything that we do comes from looking at and designing processes, as well as the aesthetic design aspects of actually creating interesting-looking products. In this way we have redefined that term “design” as it connects to the fundamentals of our core; our focus on sustainability, which is really our DNA. Hence, when we are talking about design we are talking about a bigger picture that includes sustainability & design. An example of this is the phrase “Design with Purpose” – where purpose symbolises that ultimately we design for sustainability. But there are also more, different levels of interpretations in that particular statement. Q: Founded in 1973, Interface has gone on to become the world’s largest carpet-tile manufacturer. What do you think are the key drivers of the company’s success? A: I have been with this company for more than 20 years, and I saw a lot of changes. Back in 1994 the company was already more than 20 years old, and the company had gone in a lot of different philosophical directions, as one might expect with different leaders, different directions, different agendas, even how and what we manufactured was somehow all over the place. I think the key to bringing all that in, and providing a purpose for all the 3000 employees at the time, was finding this core and catalyst around sustainability. That is what brought us all together. Secondly, what propelled us to become the market leader we are today, and to talk in more practical terms, as of what we manufacture; a key success factor was having a design team and a design group that was solidly grounded and linked in with sustainability. Understanding what sustainability is all about and where it could take design; how we could look at design in an aesthetic way but also in a practical way. >>

Daniel Blois, Asia Design Director, Interface 87


“... when I was working with interior design, I was always thrilled more with the process of design as opposed to seeing the final result.”

Q: What’s your favourite part about designing carpets? A: My favourite part of designing is definitely the process. In a sense, once the product is built, then it’s kind of over. For me the thrill is actually working through the process of trying to solve problems, the stage where you are coming up with ideas. New ideas, new products or simply improvements or new functions can make you realize that what was there previously, was actually burdening or just not optimized. Coming to that moment when you have found an idea, that sort of Aha moment, that is my favourite part of designing or working with design. After that the work becomes more mechanical until you have an output, an actual tangible product in place or as an interior designer, to have a tangible finished interior. So it’s really the process that is the thrill, the discovery moment of finding those ideas. Q: What trends are you are paying attention to in carpet designs in Asia right now? A: I have never really paid a lot of attention to trends, other than having a general awareness of what’s out there. For me it is almost the opposite, it is more about understanding what’s out there and from there being able to create trends ourselves. Or finding something in today’s marketplace that people didn’t actually realize that they were looking for. Something that we’re looking at in our Hospitality segment is a more keen interest in neutral, softer and natural colour palettes. There will always be that calling for bold palettes, but this is something we see growing. We’re not sure how far it’s going to go; perhaps it’s more about predicting a direction. So personally I’m just not really keen on nailing down specific trends when it comes to interiors. However I can describe some colour basics that have existed in our business over the years. The further north you go, the usage of grey, blue and darker colours tends to be more dominant. When you move towards the equator, people tend to use more of the brighter colours. I wouldn’t say that northern countries don’t use the bright colours, but they use less of them. And then when you move south you see the opposite thing happening again. When you come to Australia, in our specific region, you see blue, greys and black again. This phenomenon is the same even when you move around the world. Q: How would you describe your design style? A: This is a really difficult question, but there are two words that I have clung on to over time, and that is “meaningful constraint.” That refers to trying to do away with elements to the point of having a core look that represents the restraint. Basically to not over design, because I think there is so much

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INTERFACE

CARPET FLOORING

overdesign out there today. I try to just do away with the unnecessary elements, such as unnecessary materials, which also ties in with sustainability. It also includes the use of colours, etc., to the point of having this nice balance. Q: What’s the most important thing to remember in designing carpets for the commercial market? A: In a practical sense its visual appeal, usability/functionality and durability/performance. With this I have pretty much quoted the book of product design, because carpets are just like any other product in that aspect. These three elements really have to be combined well, and the key is to find the balance while making your product look good. Q: From where do you typically draw design inspiration? A: Everybody has their own source of inspiration, and usually it’s quite personal as it is something that develops over time. It is also something that continuously evolves with experience. For most of the products coming out of Interface, including products that I’m not involved in, they usually have some reference to nature. For example if you look at the design inspiration behind the two latest global products; Urban Retreat and Net Effect, they have a really strong visual connection with nature, both colour-wise and through texture. Q: What do you believe is the definition of sustainability to designers today? Does the term go beyond simply being green and utilizing eco-friendly materials in projects? A: I think it is an evolving definition, and similarly to inspiration, it will continue to evolve as people, both individually and collectively, will become more aware. Especially as the clock is ticking, which we see with both our environment and the human population, and as people open their eyes, the urgency becomes more real. Does the term go beyond simply being green? Well, first of all, it’s hard to define “green” these days. For me personally, it has a negative connotation, and ultimately I think people would rather want to move more towards the idea of restorative. We need to start looking at how a product is realized from its materials and where those materials come from. Many of the designers are today still looking at the other end, the output end. But it is really about stepping back to the start; for example, we at Interface are talking to our yarn suppliers. What we have done is then to influence our suppliers to work towards more sustainable processes; for example, we have an amazing relationship with our yarn supplier Aquafil, and their Econyl product that we use in our products. By using recycled yarn, less oil is extracted from the earth and by recycling our own products into new yarn, we are really closing the loop.

the perfect approach to sustainability but we definitely have one of the most extensive approaches. And I believe this is what the designers need to do: they have to let sustainability become part of their DNA so that it’s no longer about designing a green product – all products are naturally sustainable. Q: You first joined Interface in 1992. What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your career at Interface? A: I guess the greatest lesson I’ve learned is that there are no limitations. I might be unique in the sense that I’ve been able to go through all this experience within the same company, and it has really given me a particular perspective, especially when it comes to design and the influence of design across the business. It’s not just about designing something pretty; it has to work at every level, usually starting with sustainability, but it also has to make sense to sales, and for marketing. It is invaluable to be able to have this all-around understanding. So in conclusion, I think my greatest lessons have been perseverance, perspective and not being too narrowly focused. Q: What advice would you give to design students or those starting out in the carpet design field? A: My advice to students is to study process; how do the great ones go ahead in getting inspiration, where do they find creativity. Study it but don’t mimic it. There are absolutely infinite ways to be inspired, and it’s always personal, and it’s always a result of your experience. So study the processes and develop your own experiences so that you can create your own inspirational journey. This is also really where the passion comes from. If you are inspired, and that inspiration comes from your experience and how you see the world, then passion is automatic. Q: What do you consider to be your motto or design philosophy? A: Design is creativity made visible. Because design is everywhere, it’s all that we experience. Even those that aren’t designers do design, because it’s much more about how you apply it. Design is really powerful, it is everywhere in everyone’s lives. I really don’t think it should be this mysterious thing that a lot of people try to make design out to be. Even some designers themselves try to make design into something difficult and mysterious, but it really shouldn’t be that way since we are designing for other people.

Q: What do you feel is the most important lesson that the next generation of designers needs to learn about sustainability? A: At Interface we still do talk about sustainability as a differentiation factor to a certain extent, but we embrace and encourage all other companies to take the same direction. We might not have

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PASSIONATE LEADERS IN THEIR RESPECTIVE FIELDS

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SPACE MATRIX

WORKPLACE DESIGN SPECIALISTS

These creative crusaders at Space Matrix are clearly driven by sheer passion and perseverance to offer design solutions to their clients. Being obvious leaders in their respective fields, they share what keeps them going and ultimately, what it takes to constantly deliver on their promises. www.spacematrix.com

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Archie Cruda Head Workplace

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SPACE MATRIX

ARCHIE CRUDA | HEAD - WORKPLACE

Q: As a trained architect, how did you transition into the world of designing corporate offices? A: When I came to Singapore, in 2007, all the opportunities that came along were corporate interiors. I thought that I would try this out for a year and see if this field would suit me. I was lucky that my first year in Singapore was full of interesting design challenges. This progressed my thinking into how having an architectural perspective and sensibility can be a significant benefit in approaching office design. I’ve also met an array of people who have influenced me positively and encouraged me to continue my passion for design in the world of corporate interiors. Q: What are the key differences or similarities between architecture and interiors? A: Architecture in general gives far more importance to form, while interior design is focused more on the human activity within enclosed spaces. What they both have in common is an emphasis on — and a concern for — the emotional and physical wellbeing of the inhabitants of a place.

“Architecture From the Inside Out”, there must be an “awareness of the basic universal principles that help harmony and beauty to be defined and sustained.”

Q: What is your design philosophy? A: I believe that great design is derived from a collective and collaborative approach with the client. We gather as much information as possible early on in the process to fully understand the design objectives. Once the objectives are set, we seek out opportunities for discovery, growth and transformation. As espoused in the book “Architecture From the Inside Out”, there must be an “awareness of the basic universal principles that help harmony and beauty to be defined and sustained.” Q: What is your favourite part of the overall design process? A: I would have to say that the discovery stage is my favourite, when we are starting to develop a relationship with the client to truly understand their needs. It’s the time in which we come together with the client to collaborate, research, and formulate a foundation for our design. I enjoy sketching, developing a concept, and bringing a project to life with 3D-renderings that help the client visualize their space. Q: How do you define a successfully designed project? A: It’s important that the completed space functions as it was meant to. It should be able to respond to the end user’s business requirements. It should deliver on all agreed-upon project objectives — be it scope, schedule, budget, quality. The most important thing is that the client must be happy at the end of the project. Q: Where do you seek inspiration from and, at the same time, how do you inspire your teammates? A: As an architect, my passion is creating spaces that evolve from the fundamental needs of our client while encouraging my team to think of the specific perspective we should adopt for the development of our collective definition of design. I always bring to life the story behind the design thinking by sketching and then sharing this with the team to ensure that we meet our common objectives. Q: Please name an upcoming ‘trend’ in the design of corporate offices. A: I can think of two trends in this space. The first is that of functionality; companies are moving toward a 100-percent mobile workforce. This trend requires an activity-based solution of workplace design that offers flexibility, interaction, and integration of technology. The second is related to aesthetic elements and the trend towards vibrant interiors and dynamic environments that influence engagement, productivity and joy.

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Nijaya Intaraprasong Director Thailand

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SPACE MATRIX

NIJAYA INTARAPRASONG | DIRECTOR – THAILAND

Q: You’ve been in this line for 16 years. How has the market evolved and what are you seeking to accomplish in the upcoming years? A: The Bangkok corporate market has perfected the one-stop-shop service solution in the past 10 years. Established clients are searching for professional service consultants who can deliver projects within quick timelines and with a minimum risk to business investors. My goal in the upcoming year is to sustain happy clients and work towards a longterm vision for a successful and sustainable business operation.

“There are so many factors that may be driving a project from the client’s perspective. These could include a combination of recruiting, branding, image building, reorganization, growth and/or downsizing. ”

Q: As client-facing personnel, it’s your belief to ‘walk a mile in another person’s shoes’. Please elaborate. A: Really understanding a client’s needs, interpreting them through design, and delivering desired results — these are the keys to a project’s success. The project execution should go beyond the client’s expectations. In-depth discussion through the exchange of ideas adds to one’s personal commitment to a project and engages both parties. There are so many factors that may be driving a project from the client’s perspective. These could include a combination of recruiting, branding, image building, reorganization, growth and/or downsizing. The psychological effect of one issue can change the other factors significantly. As professional consultants, we seek to understand our clients’ needs and address these through our design and execution. Solid processes and specialized design and build expertise are critical for success. Q: Please share your leadership style and how you put your best foot forward. A: Being sincere and putting your passion into what you do is so important. I believe that leading by example helps to inspire the team. Being genuine, authentic and pure from the heart enables the transfer of ideas. We need to remember that our clients’ businesses — as well as our own — revolve around people. You need to stand for what is right and live ethically and authentically. Q: What do you foresee to be the catalyst of the commercial interior design industry in Thailand? A: The vision of business leaders will drive the direction of corporate interiors. How do they want to be perceived? What image do they want to communicate to their staff and their stakeholders? How environmentally friendly and sustainable do they want their organizations and offices to be? What do they want their work environment to look like and feel like? How do they intend to use their physical facilities to help them recruit and retain talent? What experiences do they want to provide? Do they want to be perceived as local or international? The answers to these questions will influence the future of office environments for years to come. Q: What’s your vision for Space Matrix in Thailand? A: Space Matrix should emerge as a leader and role model for workplace and professional design service companies that are built on strong moral principles. It should engage with like-minded clients with shared long-term business goals. We are delighted to have developed a reputation as a sustainable design firm with a happy team, happy clients and a collaborative work environment.

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Gautam Tewari Director Global Projects

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SPACE MATRIX

GAUTAM TEWARI | DIRECTOR – GLOBAL PROJECTS

Q: Please describe your role and day-to-day activities. A: I have been director of global projects for about a year now, and the role requires me to wear multiple hats every day. Key areas of focus in this role include strategic initiatives (like LEAN design and construction), procurement, vendor development, and SAP implementation. Projects involving LEAN processes usually take up most of my time alongside procurement activities. Both involve a major cultural change in how we work, and it’s not just about the teams learning and accepting change. The key here is for me to change myself, too. It’s extremely challenging and rewarding at the same time. Q: What are the key traits needed to be a successful project delivery lead? A: Communication is key. Open and transparent communication, both internally and externally, is critical. Some of the initiatives that we are working on have a significant emphasis on acknowledging and exposing problems in the early stages of a project. That would never happen without open and transparent communication.

“Projects involving LEAN processes usually take up most of my time alongside procurement activities. Both involve a major cultural change in how we work, and it’s not just about the teams learning and accepting change.”

Q: You find a great sense of achievement in delivering a multimillion-dollar project with minimal or no cost variation, on time and to the best quality. How do you do that? A: My role has evolved into managing the overall success of all projects through improved processes and new strategic initiatives, so credit goes to the entire team. A couple of examples that I take great pride in are the Infosys Bangalore office and BMR’s headquarters in Gurgaon. Both presented different challenges; but, as a team, we put forth an amazing response. Amongst the many things we achieved on these projects was our ability to complete them on time and within budget without compromising on quality. Q: What are the common mistakes committed by project delivery personnel during a project? A: I really think the biggest problem, especially from a design+build perspective, is the way we view problems in our industry. The natural reaction is to hide the problems, not realising that they will only get bigger and be more wasteful later. Also, the whole culture around weekly monitoring of projects in the design and construction industry supports (and even augments) problem-hiding abilities of project teams. The lack of open and transparent communication is a third problem. The above three co-exist. If you communicate daily (instead of weekly) in a transparent manner and expose problems early, chances are you will deliver many more successful projects, have happier clients and be proud of the work you do and the organisation you work for. Q: How do you unwind after a long day at work? A: I love my job, but it can be stressful. I switch off from work mode once I am home by going for a run and spending quality time with my kids. I used to be an early morning runner, but have realised lately that evening runs really help me not only unwind but also help me focus for the next day. So I changed my schedule slightly to run in the evening and practice yoga in the morning.

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Uday Shankar Director International Client Solutions

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SPACE MATRIX

UDAY SHANKAR | DIRECTOR - INTERNATIONAL CLIENT SOLUTIONS

“Establishing project success criteria begins with the project manager having a pro-active attitude and adopting tracking initiatives for deliverables.” Q: Please describe your role and responsibilities. A: As Director for International Client Solutions, I lead a group of team members who are responsible for managing key accounts and international business development. We work to deliver the highest quality customer service and best workplace solutions. We take on a leadership role in a cross-functional team to deliver client solutions, workplace strategy, cost management, design and execution. We also act in a client-facing capacity to lead the direction, communication and outcomes across various teams. Q: As an International Client Solutions Director, how do you equip yourself to deliver what’s best? A: I believe in approaching each matter with simple solutions. As someone with a technical background, subject matter expertise is clearly very important in my field. However, most of the time we get carried away by thinking that having technical skills is sufficient. The fact is that relationship management skills are also extremely important. Establishing strong relationships within your team and organisation, being proactive and leading by example, as well as coaching and mentoring your team are critical for maximising effectiveness in this role. These soft skills, alongside technical expertise, are helping me deliver the best to our clients. Q: As a strategist across diverse markets, how do you balance different market conditions? A: Delivering projects and solutions to clients in Asia has many challenges, and they vary in each specific market. The end products may look similar, but the process needs to be customised to suit and address the local eco-system. These need to be addressed in each aspect of a project cycle and include cost, time, design solution and quality. Balancing cultural nuances in the workplace environment is a big factor, and we have been able to manage this across all markets. Having benchmark data across all regions helps us in making comparisons and providing additional value to our clients. Even though most of our global clients have standards for their workplace design, we have assisted them in customising and catering to local cultural aspects across multiple locations. Q: Can project management transcend geographical boundaries? Please elaborate. A: We have a huge unprecedented demand for project management competencies, substantially more complex projects to deal with, and a more demanding and sophisticated community with higher expectations. If we want to be perceived as a critical and respected profession, we need to demonstrate positive results consistently. These are essential in developing countries such as India, China, Philippines and Indonesia.

Space Matrix has been able to transcend geographical boundaries by adopting processes and technologies into our project life cycle. In recent years, we have been able to implement an SAP system, LEAN design and construction methodologies, and DX Details (our trademarked name for simplified design excellence details), which reduced our dependency on site work and improved the quality of delivery throughout Asia. Q: What are clients’ expectations in terms of project management deliverables and how do you meet them? A: For a client, the main expectation from a project manager is to have the project delivered within the time stated, on a defined budget, while adhering to high quality standards. However, that’s not all when it comes to project success criteria. In addition to the conditions above, the project manager needs to work closely with the client to ensure that project deliverables meet expectations. Establishing project success criteria begins with the project manager having a pro-active attitude and adopting tracking initiatives for deliverables. KPIs need to go hand-in-hand with business objectives for a project to be considered successful. Space Matrix has been able to demonstrate and meet multiple project performance indicators by having SME (Subject Matter Expert) teams and processes for each project objective, QSigma for cost management, SAP process for project management, and LEAN practices for quality control. Q: The nature of work is evolving with the growth of technology. How will that impact you and the current office design? A: All major projects at Space Matrix are set against a program of change management. We understand that this is vital for any workplace transformation. The increase in technology adoption has enabled organisations to connect teams and businesses across the globe. As a result, we see an increasing number of multi-cultural teams working within and across regions. Technology applications such as mobile services, cloud computing and web conferencing have driven connectivity across the globe. Employees can work in different locations or on the road and still collaborate. These factors are driving change in the workplace. In addition, organisations are trying to optimise costs by reducing underutilised office space. They also often want to improve productivity by including collaboration spaces. These changes in workplace design are dynamic in nature, and to keep up with these changes, Space Matrix has been investing a certain percentage of revenues in research. We also have a specialised team developing and assisting with these strategies and implementing them across our projects. Thanks to all these initiatives, we have been successful in delivering the best results to our clients and have increased our customer base and percentage of repeat business substantially.

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FITTING INTERIORS

Discover the right fit & balance with careful material selection Kensho by Kastel

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ZENITH | Haven Pods KASTEL | Kensho BRUNNER | Alite HOWE | Spaghetti Wall TEKNION | Mina ARTE COMO | Ranzza ZAVA | Rings BRUNNER | Case Study INTERFACE | Case Study PRODUCE | Case Study A. & H. MEYER | Netbox 101


FREEDOM THROUGH SPACES Allowing staffers to move between collaborative and solo work modes, these stylish office “pods” pave the way to more productive work spaces.

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WORK + COLLABORATE

HAVEN PODS | ZENITH, ALLERMUIR

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acilitating activity-based work environments, Allermuir’s Haven Pods are a versatile addition to any office in the case of either team-based or solo work. Designed with privacy and extended periods of concentration in mind, these miniature “havens” enable workers to move from pod to pod depending on their given work space needs. Available in several formats, the pods serve as defined areas for everything from individual-focused work, staff meetings, to multimedia presentations. The antithesis of static working areas, these geometric enclosures take on the function of a resourceful furniture system, doing away with fussy architectural screens or awkward partitions to accommodate different styles of working. Pared down and functional, the design’s portable disposition and ability to nestle and tessellate for maximum space ultimately means that the existing office setting is left undisrupted. Without the need for tedious installations, the standalone pods can be set up, plugged in, dismantled and put away in a pinch. Featuring a sturdy steel framework upholstered in Camira Blazer fabric, the sensible construction, spanning respective heights of 1400 and 1800mm, also lends itself to stability and enhanced acoustic properties. Distributed by Zenith Interiors in Australia, the Haven Pods come in an array of sizes: Solo, Solo Plus, Duo, Quad, Team Work, Team Meeting, and Team Resource. www.zenithinteriors.com.au

TOP: Built for up to six people, Team Work is perfect for video conference sessions thanks to its screen mountable support panel. MIDDLE: Team Meeting comes with built-in benches, allowing ten people to comfortably congregate. BOTTOM: A workstation for two, Duo is ideal for smaller face-to-face meetings.

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IN LIVING COLOUR Evocative of lively floral patterns, Kastel’s recently launched furniture series add an eclectic touch to everyday interiors.

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POUF, STOOL & TABLE

KENSHO | KASTEL

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pring is here to stay – at least this is the impression one gets from a close encounter with Kensho, the new brightly hued furniture collection by Kastel. This unique series showcases a coordinated mish-mash of colours and petal-like shapes that draw direct inspiration from the cheery floral patterns found in nature. Designed by Italian architect Franco Driusso, the essence of the collection lies in the interchangeable pieces, enabling users to mix and match to their hearts’ content. Affording free reign over the personalization of one’s furniture arrangements, Kensho consists of three versatile components: a stool, pouf and small table. Apart from the stool, which comes in a standard size, each piece is available in a variety of quirky triangular-shaped dimensions that inject a bold organic feel into how the furniture is positioned. The luxury of choice carries through to even the upholstery of the pouf - those with a soft spot for classics can opt for a monochromatic version of the piece while a more eclectic vibe can be achieved through pieces that feature a duo tone skin whereby eye-popping shades such as sunny yellow or turquoise highlight the seat. Whatever your preference, Kensho is certain to perk up even the drabbest space. www.kastel.it With a vibrant range of sizes and colours on offer, the Kensho Collection was virtually designed for customisation.

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EASY CHAIR Portable and lightweight, this new stackable chair by Brunner combines sustainability, common sense, and state-of-the-art aesthetics.

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STACKING CHAIR

ALITE | BRUNNER

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ikely one of the most understated office furniture staples around, the ubiquitous stackable chair was recently subjected to a much-needed revision courtesy of designer Martin Ballendat for German contract furniture manufacturer Brunner. The result is the indispensible Alite, a sleek, lightweight model that moves well beyond the caliber of its run-of-the-mill counterparts. Weighing a mere five kilos and fashioned entirely from anodised aluminium, a sought-after material lauded for its durable qualities, Ballendrat’s pragmatically envisioned design is sturdy yet free of the encumbrance that often goes hand-in-hand with a strapping framework. The integrated row linking function also means that multiples can be aligned with ease, with or without armrests. Staying true to Brunner’s global reputation for award-winning solutions that champion innovation and sustainable practices, the Alite boasts a unique construction that owes much to the green-minded thinking behind the design; rather than parts that are welded or glued together, it’s made up of bolted segments that one can opt to recycle once the chair has outlived its use. The chair doesn’t disappoint where ergonomic details are concerned either - seat and back surfaces are shaped just so, with rounded and curved areas that offer unparalleled support at all times. www.brunner-group.com

TOP: The integrated row linking function allows for fuss-free convenience when aligning chairs. Up to twelve chairs may be stacked at once thanks to Alite’s soundly conceived design.

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OFF THE WALL Modeled after rows of stringy pasta, the whimsically named Spaghetti Wall is a space divider with personality.

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ROOM DIVIDER

SPAGHETTI WALL | HOWE

This movable wall is constructed out of thin, neatly arrayed fiberglass sticks that lend themselves to a porous, see-through appearance.

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here are wall dividers, and then there is the Spaghetti Wall. Zany name aside (one can’t help but entertain absurd images of halfcooked pasta being flung against a hard surface in a hypothetical scene from a vaudevillian Italian comedy) the partition, a joint concoction from designers Hans Von Hirsh and John Zoffman for Howe, comes across as a relatively sober construction. Described as a “psychological barrier,” this movable wall is constructed out of thin, neatly arrayed fiberglass sticks that lend themselves to a porous, see-through appearance. A slim yet robust frame is employed as a sturdy means of support at its base; in line with one’s personal preference or color palette, there is the option to choose from a selection of tasteful finishes such as oak, ash, black-stained, and brush-steel while the sticks come available in white or anthracite grey. Crafted for public areas, the wall is a quintessential addition to offices, meeting spaces, conference facilities, canteens and even entrance areas, offering an elegant means of segmenting space. Its semi-transparent surface cleverly allows for a feeling of privacy without shutting off the area or person on the other side. The challenge of uncovering a new unobtrusive way of marking off designated stretches of space served as inspiration behind the concept, which ultimately drew from Zoffman’s eccentric sensibility and Von Hirsh’s deftness for sound construction and technical details. Coming together, these two distinctive qualities culminate in an innovative design that brings a dynamic feel to drab workspaces, retail, hospitality venues and the home. www.howe.com

TOP: The Spaghetti Wall’s barely-there surface allows for privacy while keeping one open to surrounding areas.

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BASIC NECESSITIES The Mina task chair’s classic design and easyto-use functions mean minimal fuss for sitters of all heights and habits.

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ERGONOMIC SEATING

MINNA | TEKNION

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big believer in versatility and innovation where high-quality furniture products are concerned, Teknion is a company that obviously knows a thing or two about design’s capacity to transcend one’s expectations through simplicity and function. A classic in the making, its Mina task chair clearly reflects the company’s industry prowess. The economical price tag and pared-down appearance belies the chair’s sophisticated construction; giving rise to crisp lines and perfect symmetry, every part of the Mina was seemingly conceived with the user’s comfort in mind. Adjustment settings, for instance, have deliberately been simplified for ease of use, making the chair a cinch to handle. Thoughtful ergonomics feature prominently in the uncomplicated design as well; the Mina’s gliding five-star base offers a sturdy perch while sitters of varying heights are effortlessly accommodated thanks to the inclusion of adjustable armrests and a synchro-tilt function. The curved backrest sports a high-tech mesh material, allowing for breathability during extended periods at one’s desk. Bolstering qualities aside, the plush and pliable cushion – covered in an elegant gray material that complements the aesthetic of any given space – caps off the overall design perfectly. A fine fit in any office setting, the Mina is the ideal combination of style and substance. www.teknion.com

TOP: Beneath the Mina’s bare-bones look and feel, there’s more than meets the eye in terms of ergonomic comfort.

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A STOOL THAT STRIVES FOR CORRECT POSTURE AND COLLABORATION Not your average office furniture, the Ranzza pulls triple duty as stool, standing desk and tête-à-tête body prop.

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SIT-STAND CHAIR

RANZZA | ARTE COMO

O TOP: The Ranzza seeks to bring correct posture, creative energy, and a good dose of cheer to the work environment. BOTTOM: Pitched as an “out-of thebox” answer to the new workstation, the Ranzza is standing desk, mobile body prop and ergonomic office perch.

ffice furniture, it appears, is not just adopting a more informal appearance. It really is healthier. The Ranzza has blurred the boundaries between form and function, challenging traditional notions of what workplace furniture should look like and how it should be used. In essence, the Ranzza invites you to sit for a bit, but please don’t get too cosy. The three ideas that the Ranzza embodies — first, that sitting up straight is not the best position for office workers, second, that standing at work is healthier and improves work performance, and third, a little more fun can be injected into the office to make it a place where employees can be more collaborative and creative — are evident in the Ranzza’s design. Manufactured by Oasis Furniture Industries Sdn. Bhd., the Ranzza, fashioned as ergonomic stool, standing desk and body prop all rolled into one, puts sitters in a position halfway between sitting and standing and makes shifting between the two positions seemingly effortless. Leaning back at 120 degrees and with their feet remaining on the floor, the sitters are perched comfortably enough without sliding off the padded seat. This relaxed position, studies have suggested, places less strain on the spinal disks and associated muscles and tendons. The Ranzza doubles up as a desktop when the cushion seat is flipped up to rest horizontally atop the frame, a testament of the stand-up advocates’ belief that you burn more calories when you stand, that it’s important to move around, to shift, and to avoid hours in the same position, with such body motions promoting blood circulation and improving mental concentration. To match the Oasis’s progressive philosophy of rolling out sure-footed solutions for creating a “collaborative workplace,” this office perch with its out-of-the-box design is also intended as tête-à-tête body prop for an easygoing workplace where people are in motion or gathering into small groups, and where chance encounters, conversational noise and commotion can actually serve to inspire creative energy and great ideas. And mobility being essential, a mini-size version on rollers is available. The Ranzza would perk up any workplace — with its striking silhouette, plywood structure lacquered in sassy orange, sleek black, or white to resemble Corian, and deep padded seats in energetic colours to match, you might even want it at home. www.arte-como.com

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HOOP DREAMS New to ZAVA’s range of innovative offerings, the aptly named Rings lamp is a LED-based wonder that interacts with any given space.

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DESIGNER LIGHTING

RINGS | ZAVA

This unusual LED-based lamp exudes equal parts whimsy and sophistication; its striking composition makes it an enlivening addition to all manner of interiors, be it an office or a home

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ince its eye-catching debut at Milan’s Salone del Mobile this year, Rings, a recently launched design by V12 Design for Italian lighting distributor ZAVA, has unquestionably generated its share of buzz. Deftly in line with the avant-garde aesthetic of lead designer Valerio Cometti, this unusual LED-based lamp exudes equal parts whimsy and sophistication; its striking composition makes it an enlivening addition to all manner of interiors, be it an office or a home. Consisting of springy, aluminum rings designed to gracefully flex and contract, the piece notably blurs the line between lighting and art installation. The idea, according to Cometti, was in creating a “simple alphabet” out of varying sized circumferences that would lend themselves to increasingly inventive formats. Structured yet transformative, Rings is also distinctly evocative of designs by Bruno Munari, an iconic Italian designer and artist renowned for mobile-based, abstract works that heightened the emphasis on colour, tactility and movement. Incidentally, the piece’s overarching element of play also emerges as a tribute to Munari one is encouraged to “draw” and create sculptural volumes according to personal preference, perpetuating the lamp’s ever-evolving dynamic. www.zavaluce.it TOP: The lamp’s springy disposition makes it memorable as a high-end statement piece.

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With the trust folding table seating arrangements can be varied in the meeting room and adjusted to accommodate specific numbers of attendees.

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CASE STUDY

FURNITURE | BRUNNER

IN THE SPIRIT OF DEMOCRACY

UN Climate Change Secretariat in Bonn. Furniture by Brunner emphasises the building’s timeless, genuine character.

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This is furniture that can be used in a variety of ways; it combines function and design, is in harmony with the architecture and maintains the timeless, authentic character of the building on the inside. Klas Wischmann

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he Bundeshaus building in Bonn is today the home of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The group of listed buildings was specially rebuilt and thoroughly modernised. As such the aim was to preserve its original character. The interior includes tables and chairs by the Baden region contract furniture manufacturer Brunner in harmony with the architecture. The building design developed by Düsseldorf architects RKW Architektur + Städtebau provides for the most extensive preservation of listed items and future-oriented usage at the same time. From the individual parts of the building a structural unit was created, whose communicative central point is a glass-covered atrium. The simplicity of the white collection of buildings is also reflected in its new interior. The spirit of democracy, which was the inspiration for constructing the Bundeshaus building, is still palpable today with rooms that are presented with clarity and bathed in light.

PROJECT DETAILS PROJECT: Reconstruction and modernisation of parts of the Bundeshausbuilding in Bonn for the Climate Change Secretariat of the United Nations LOCATION: Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1, Bonn, DE FURNISHING CONCEPT: RKW Rhode Kellermann Wawrowsky, Düsseldorf, DE AWARDING AUTHORITY: Federal Agency for Real Estate represented by the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning, Bonn, DE

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Brunner furniture combines function and design The furniture also has the same linear approach as the architecture. In the conference and meeting rooms flexibility and comfort were called for. For these specific requirements the stylish first class stacking chair was chosen. Invisible frame linking ensures unobtrusive cohesion and ease of arrangement in rows. The first class chair was combined with the sturdy trust folding table. It has convinced architects with its folding feature that is not obvious to the eye. Thanks to its four-legged frame trust is a table that is not easy to knock over. “This is furniture that can be used in a variety of ways; it combines function and design, is in harmony with the architecture and maintains the timeless, authentic character of the building on the inside,” says architect Klas Wischmann in praising Brunner’s furniture. In the cafeteria the UN staff enjoy their free time on the twin monobloc plastic chair. Being robust and low maintenance this chair makes an impact with its casual design. The round centre-column table of the series 3000 has room for food and beverages. With its clean design language the delicate fina bar barstool adds the finishing touch to the cafeteria. www.brunner-group.com


CASE STUDY

FURNITURE | BRUNNER

TOP LEFT: The first class stacking chair with its clean geometry and striking presence provides the ultimate in comfort even at lengthy conferences. BOTTOM LEFT: With their simple design, the first class stacking chair and trust folding table are an inspired addition to the Bauhaus simplicity of the UNFCC complex in Bonn. TOP: The cafeteria, outfitted with the twin monobloc chairs, classic series 3000 bistro tables and fina bar stools, invites a patron to get cosy and stay a little bit longer. RIGHT: The trust looks anything but a folding table with its clean modern lines and sturdy design.

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WORKPLACE REVOLUTION Heightening its global presence, Interface has got it covered in South Korea with two prolific new projects.

Featured in Microsoft’s Korean Headquarters, the carpet, UR201 in Ash from the Urban Retreat Collection, gives the office interiors a pop of texture.

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CASE STUDY

CARPET FLOORING | INTERFACE

A lecture room at the Samsung Corporate Training Institute is enlivened by UR103 - Grass, also from the Urban Retreat Collection.

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hen the acclaimed American entrepreneur and environmental pioneer Ray Anderson founded Interface in 1973, he envisioned a company that would continually champion innovation, even if it meant going against the grain. The fact that Anderson believed in the untapped global potential of carpet tile but was determined to defy the petroleum-intensive processes that, at the time, defined commercial carpet manufacturing, affirmed Interface’s reputation for making its own rules. An acknowledged pioneer of the green business model, the company has always placed sustainability at the fore, along with people, technology and design. Over forty years later, this is still the case. As the largest designer and producer of carpet tile, Interface continues to bring different worlds together through inspired floorcoverings that leave a positive impact on our environment by reducing excess waste and minimizing energy consumption. In terms of materiality and design, product collections aptly pay tribute to nature as a main source of inspiration. Taking a cue from biomimicry – the theory that true innovation stems from observing, and then emulating the biological or natural systems around us – Interface products are increasingly designed to mirror the cyclical relationship between humankind and nature. Holding true to Anderson’s original vision to give back to the earth, the company established what it dubbed Mission Zero® in 2006, a promise to eliminate any negative impact that the company may have on the environment by the year 2020. Continuously moving closer to achieving this objective, and as Interface strengthens its

global presence with a growing reach that currently encompasses 110 countries, that goal is more pertinent than ever. GLOBAL MINDSET, LOCAL RELATIONSHIPS Moving beyond the idea of establishing outposts in different countries, Interface furthers its commitment to its global clientele by “being at home everywhere in the world.” This essentially means having people on the ground with a strong understanding of local markets and the ability to tap into the cultural and societal dynamics of a given place, ensuring that virtually nothing is lost in translation. Interface Korea is a marked example of this sensibility. Established in 2012, the branch has come a long way in a short time. Helming its operations, Business Manager Anna Lee maintains that the branch initially faced monumental challenges in a highly competitive market where carpet tile has long been considered old news and where sustainability remained an afterthought with respect to budget-centric businesses. However, a notable shift in mindset has occurred in the last few years, enabling Interface Korea to come out on top where premium carpet ranges were concerned. “Our sales have tripled since last year,” Anna reveals, citing the growing support of progressive chaebols and multinational corporations looking to change up their existing office cultures. For Anna, it goes without saying that relatability, complemented with a serviceoriented approach, plays a critical role in underscoring a product’s qualities. “In Asia, it’s important to develop good business relationships,” she affirms. >>

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MICROSOFT’S KOREAN HEADQUARTERS Samsung and Microsoft, two recent additions to Interface Korea’s client portfolio are particularly indicative of its strengths in this domain. Completed in October 2013 by the international architecture firm Gensler, the expansive premises of Microsoft’s Korean Headquarters were devised with versatility and functionality in mind. Featuring modern interiors by Gensler Korea designers Ha-na Rha and Sun-hee Kang, the new office, which boasts a picturesque view of the garden at Kyung-Bok Palace, deliberately gives way to a thoughtful mix of playful and pragmatic elements. In line with Microsoft’s New Workplace Advantage principles, otherwise known as the New World of Work, a balance is knowingly created between people, place and technology. Ideal for showcasing the company’s technological products, spaces are brought together aesthetically through a strategic inclusion of vibrant colors and local cultural accents. Equipped with formal desk-bound spaces and informal work areas decked out with lounge-style seating, high benches and “touch-down points,” the office environment adapts itself accordingly to staffers’ work dynamics in an effort to promote out-of-the-box thinking. Hub areas on each floor, meanwhile, infuse the workday with a healthy dose of leisure by encouraging employees to unwind over coffee, billiards or other tabletop games. In the midst of this, spaces are united through modular floorcoverings from Interface’s biophilia-inspired Urban Retreat Collection, and Flatweave, a multipurpose range which offers an alternative carpet texture while keeping unwanted acoustics at bay.

1: Flatweave (Straightforward -Granite) 2: Urban Retreat Two (UR201 - Ash) 3: Urban Retreat Two (UR201 - Ash) 4: Urban Retreat Two (UR201 - Ash) 5: Flatweave (Straightforward -Granite)

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CASE STUDY

CARPET FLOORING | INTERFACE

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CASE STUDY

CARPET FLOORING | INTERFACE

SAMSUNG CORPORATE TRAINING INSTITUTE The Urban Retreat Collection similarly became the prevalent choice when it came to finalizing the classroom interiors of the newly revamped Samsung Corporate Training Institute by the company’s in-house design team, Samsung Everland. In the case of its communal workspaces, different color variations of Suits-U, a minimalist range which draws on the structured look of an impeccably tailored suit, were employed to allow for a welcomed feeling of order and symmetry. Designed by Joo-hee Shin, the interiors, though pared down on a whole, also project an understated sense of play through coordinated color use in the open-plan lounge area and spirited furniture additions such as Lego-like enclosures that offer themselves as private nooks for working and socializing. Large picture windows, including a prominent one in the lounge area bearing an elaborate cultural motif, keep spaces flooded with abundant natural light throughout the day. Gently lit, the interiors retain a cozy, home-like ambience that perfectly complements the work-oriented nature of the institute. REDEFINING THE GLOBAL WORKPLACE While Microsoft’s Korean Headquarters and the Samsung Corporate Training Institute share much in common as reliably designed spaces that proffer their own refreshed takes on the conventional office experience, both projects also touch on something more crucial - a mounting need amongst global businesses to revolutionize the way we work. Designating areas for personal leisure may be one thing but, as seen in the two projects, it is equally important to recognize how these spatial possibilities can be accurately conveyed through interior aspects to achieve a truly seamless correspondence between a structured foundation and creative chaos. Working hand-in-hand with its clients, Interface ensures that such exceptional environments are always a given. By design, its conscientious solutions dare one to embrace guilt-free everyday settings that speak to us about the world in which we live and, in turn, inspire us, regardless of where we work - or play. www.interface.com

1: Suits-U/Oxford - Orange 2: Suits-U/Oxford - Yellow 3: Urban Retreat One (UR103 - Grass) 4: Urban Retreat One (UR103 - Grass) 5: Suits-U/Oxford - Lime

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BRINGING THE OUTDOORS IN

It is the heart of the spatial story as well as the Ege Asia’s corporate headquarters. A compelling green courtyard as the focal point of the office space, this Produce Workshop design project not only achieves its most eloquent effects in the interplay between revealing and concealing an obtrusive column, but in melding the indoors and out. 126


CASE STUDY

HYPER-足REALISTIC COURTYARDG | PRODUCE

TOP: Cove lighting is used to add a subtle glow, draw attention to the courtyard and evoke the expansiveness of the sky.

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TOP: It feels like the outdoors when you step into the space. On entering, you are greeted by a courtyard, an important feature of a traditional house, and one which is not expected in a high-rise office.

hen Ege Carpets Asia secured a new office on the 13th floor of the International Plaza on Anson Road, it was easy to see that the key requisite of its design brief was to retain the magnanimous views of the bustling city and the lush greenery of the nearby MacRitchie Reservoir Park. For the design team at Produce Workshop Pte Ltd, projecting the right image of a company known for its sustainable carpet couture involved looking to nature for its design details and using them in an unexpected setting, in this case making a hyper-realistic green courtyard as the central feature of the office. The end result is a corporate setting that is imaginative yet efficient, sophisticated but unpretentious, and energising without being distracting. With the courtyard and its glass-partitioned pavilion becoming the center of company life, and the work spaces arranged along the windows, an occupant not only gets to look out but enjoy an additional engaging, albeit reverse, view pulled in from the courtyard. Strikingly, the once out-of-place column has become a harmonising element. Creatively converted into a bespoke shelving unit for stowing carpet swatches, it is encircled by a gallery for easy access. Adding to its allure are the shelves finished in walnut veneer. Cut using a CNC machine in the Produce workshop, the shelves have a distinctly precise and accurate look.

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Unsurprisingly, the designers have astutely kept to a palette of grey, green and walnut, colours evocative of the sky and the surrounding landscape. As an office that pulls double duty as showroom, the Ege premises has been fittingly decked out in a few of Ege’s choice selection: the workspace is outfitted in the cityscape series while the courtyard area is decked out in wall-to wall carpeting in a lush green botanical print. Light has also become an important element of the overall design. To further accentuate the outdoorsy dÊcor and ambience, natural light is incorporated into the design to enhance the work environment while cove lighting is employed in the courtyard to emote a soothing atmosphere and represent the expansiveness of the sky. Judging by the design outcome, Ege’s management will not disagree with the design mantra that respect for people and the environment can go a long way in creating a happier and healthier workplace. www.produce.com.sg

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CASE STUDY

HYPER-足REALISTIC COURTYARDG | PRODUCE

TOP LEFT & BOTTOM: It can be challenging for carpenters to produce simple curvatures. The column shelves are cut in the PRODUCE workshop with a CNC machine, carefully assembled by carpenters and finished in walnut veneer. Of different depths and precisely measured, every piece is carefully labelled and fitted onsite.

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Besides adapting the design of NETBOX MEB-K and NETBOX Point-Q to reflect the way people use digital technology in the lounge, the designers have ensured that these products can be easily and safely installed into furniture and furniture accessories. Peter Lenhardt

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CABLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

NETBOX | A. & H. MEYER

A. & H. MEYER’S LOUNGE ACT Cutting-edge and stylishly applied, the NETBOX MEB-K and NETBOX Point-Q perfectly fuse furniture in the lounge with new technology.

I LEFT & BOTTOM: NETBOX MEB-K

n today’s world of hyperconnectivity, the workplace can be anywhere and everywhere, with traditional boundaries between work and social life having all but disappeared. Now all a business traveller or an employee needs to work, check email or text friends between meetings are a comfortable corner and the obligatory outlet or two for recharging the iPad, or iPhone. And where better to be comfortably tethered to the humming demands of technology than in the cushy confines of a waiting zone, a modern hot spot of interaction and internal company interchange for ideas of every kind, or a recreation area for a brief moment of relaxation. However, with the increasingly large presence of tablets, laptops and other digital wizardry in the lounge comes the challenge of keeping the endless varieties of cables discreet and organised. But with A. & H. Meyer’s latest NETBOX offerings, which are designed to embrace this new “work anywhere, anytime” paradigm, the digitally-distinctive lounge is not only assured of cable cleanliness but the conventional couch can be promptly converted into an e-communication hub. Installed into furniture or embedded into furniture accessories such as pillows or cushions, the NETBOX MEB-K and NETBOX Point-Q layer on technology in furniture. The very essence of subtlety, the NETBOX MEB-K comes with two built-in power unit designed specifically for sofas and couches. With its classic rectangular frame, this NETBOX assembly set can be easily mounted into armrests or cushions that fit snugly into the triangular space between the armrest and the back of a sofa. Comprising of 3 components, the MEB-K is a simple plug-andplay setup that can be customised with any two modules from a selection of 250 different international power and communication options.

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CABLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

NETBOX | A. & H. MEYER

Designed to embrace a unique concept, the nifty NETBOX Point-Q assembly set can be snugly-insulated in a leather pouch draped over a sofa back and arm, or safely corralled within a comfortable headrest or armrest. Combining innovative technology with timeless elegance, the NETBOX Point-Q also consists of three components: a power outlet and two communication modules. Commenting on the lounge line and its recent soft launch, Managing Director of A. & H. Meyer Sdn. Bhd. Peter Lenhardt said, “I am inspired and encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the NETBOX products. At the core of the products is a pragmatic approach that fuses furniture with new technology, hence taking the “work-life blending” experience in the lounge to a new digital high. Besides adapting the design to reflect the way people use digital technology in the lounge, the designers have ensured that the lounge products can be easily and safely installed into furniture and furniture accessories.” www.ah-meyer.com.my

NETBOX Point-Q

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THE SOCIAL CIRCLE Get the latest scoop from the region’s latest social circle

A. & H. MEYER

A. & H. MEYER PARTNERS & FRIENDS PARTY

INTERFACE

NET EFFECT - A GLOBAL COLLECTION INSPIRED BY THE OCEAN

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A. & H. MEYER THEME:

A. & H. MEYER PARTNERS & FRIENDS PARTY

VENUE:

SINO | THE BAR UPSTAIRS ALEXIS TELAWI

WEBSITE: WWW.AH-MEYER.COM.MY

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EVENT

A. & H. MEYER

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INTERFACE THEME:

NET EFFECT - GLOBAL COLLECTION INSPIRED BY THE OCEAN

VENUE:

SHANGHAI SHOWROOM

WEBSITE: WWW.INTERFACE.COM

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EVENT

INTERFACE

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SPOTLIGHT

REVOLVING PODIUM Leading Italian furniture designer Marco Goffi’s desire to create unique furniture pieces that marry functionality and architectural inspirations have resulted in yet another head turning fruition. Dedicated to his motto of ‘time at work’, Goffi continues to exert design influences that encourage the concept of ‘automatic retailing’. With his latest unveiling of a sculptural masterpiece, there’s no doubt the Negotium feature a stark resemblance to some sort of a podium. A clear sequel to the success of the Otium, the Negotium is a self-standing storage container that is a suitable support for table-top appliances such as water or coffee dispensers. Poised to transform coffee breaks at any location, the Negotium proves to possess both functional and aesthetic needs. When opened up, the revolving stores of the Negotium allows multi-functional interactions with those that come in close proximity. Despite appearing as a simple shape, until its conceptual phase, the Negotium was developed taking in consideration every single movement of the people around it. The Negotium consists primarily of four partitions. The upper white level provides storage for cups and lids, the two white middle levels are used as revolving stores for miscellaneous items, while the lower and coloured level is the waste-bin. Negotium is provided also with two revolving side glass tables, concealed under the wood top support when not in use. Goffi also ensured the Negotium is economically sustainable thanks to the basic roto-moulding technology, while the PE (polyethylene) used as sole material for the revolving storages allows for price efficiency. www.marcogoffi.com

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Office Concept V7N2  

Designed with Purpose

Office Concept V7N2  

Designed with Purpose

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