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Mix Interiors 182

March 2018


The Next Chapter in

Office Environments

19th April 2018

6 St Georges Court, Dairy House Lane, Altrincham, Manchester, WA14 5UA 0161 850 9005 go.spatial.co.uk/mix-launch


INSIDE UPFRONT 10 Perspective 25 Seven... 26 Forward Thinking 28 Material Matters 31 Deser t Island Desks 32

SPOTLIGHT 37 Big Question 38 Product Designer Focus 4 0

94 SPARK44 94 We brave the snow to see the fantastic new workspace of leading agenc y Spark44 at Shoreditch's White Collar Factor y.

40 PROFILE 66 Rawside

ROUNDTABLE 72 Let them work from home if they want to?

CASE ST UDY 78 One Twent y Wembley 78 Pw C Manchester 86 Spark44 Shoreditch 94

THE L AST WORD 104 Opinion – Glenn Elliott

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Upfront | Welcome

THE COVER The logo align's logo graphic highlights the craftsman’s work, particularly the upholsterer. Each letter reflects a gesture, to cut the fabric, to prepare the pattern, to sew the pieces together. align focuses on the detail and appreciates the work behind every single furniture element coming together in a single piece. www.aligngb.com

The cover Introducing new stained black and wenge woods options from Connection. Launched to meet growing consumer demands and workspace design trends, the new black and wenge colours offer additional personalisation and choice across the Connection range. Available to order and to view in our showrooms now. www.connection.uk.com March 2018

ONE TWENTY WEMBLEY PWC MANCHESTER SPARK44 RAWSIDE DESIGNER FOCUS

RANT

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Mix Interiors 182

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Do you know what the fastest growing language in the history of mankind is? You might be surprised by the answer. Apparently, it’s Emoji! When I first saw this, it left me a little bamboozled. You see, up until now, I’ve intentionally never used an Emoji in my life. I’ve baulked at the idea, believing them to be the domain of 13-year old girls and my mate Dave (he literally ends every single text and email with an emoji, just to wind us lads up!). However, when I think about it, the growth of Emoji as a language makes a great deal of sense. Gone are the barriers of traditional languages – it doesn’t matter if you speak English, French, Catalan, Mandarin, Swahili, Japanese or any combination of these, you’ll understand what a smiley face is. Also

MARCH 2018

Contact us to buy back issues: rebecca@mixinteriors.com

Editor Mick Jordan mick@mixinteriors.com

Contributors Steve Gale Glenn Elliott

Editorial support Rebecca Sabato rebecca@mixinteriors.com

Address Mix Media Limited 2 Abito 85 Greengate Manchester M3 7NA

Sales director Gary Williams gary@mixinteriors.com Director David Smalley david@mixinteriors.com

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Designer Georgina Nicklin georgina@mixinteriors.com Managing director Marcie Incarico marcie@mixinteriors.com Founding publisher Henry Pugh

JANUARY 2018

t: 01709 385470 e: sales@cmd-ltd.com w: www.cmd-ltd.com

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January 2018

2017 REVIEWED

use Street

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Contacts

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Mix Interiors 180

PEAKS & PLAINS CLARION HOUSING GENSLER WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS

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MIX INTERIORS 180

This stylish monitor arm, arguably one of the slimmest of its type on the market today, has been awarded FIRA’s prestigious Ergonomic Excellence Award and is now supplied with a 10 year extended warranty.

gone are the uncertainties, double-meanings and misconstrued messages that so often complicate texts and emails. We’ve all been there – and sometimes that can have massive effects on business and personal life. Furthermore, I’ve always been an advocate of language progressing – and this is merely another progression. We can choose to not move forward with such new advancements, but we should not deny their existence. It’s a bit like saying that music today is just noise. Our parents said that about our favourite bands, remember. So, I’ve decided to move forward, to embrace and to join the throng…or have I? I’m not sure I can bring myself to do it. Sad face, frustrated face, old face.

GET IN TOUCH BACK ISSUES

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MIX INTERIORS 182

This stylish monitor arm, arguably one of the slimmest of its type on the market today, has been awarded FIRA’s prestigious Ergonomic Excellence Award and is now supplied with a 10 year extended warranty.

A WORD FROM MICK

16/01/2018 09:11

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Telephone 0161 946 6262

GET YOUR OWN! To ensure that a regular copy of Mix Interiors reaches you please call 0161 946 6262 or e-mail: G rebecca@mixinteriors.com Annual subscription charges UK single £45.50 Europe £135 (airmail) Outside Europe £165 (airmail)

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Upfront |

PROGRESS PLUS O U R N E X T G E N E R AT I O N S I T- S TA N D D E S K I N G

ELITE OFFICE FURNITURE UK LTD

Elite_Furniture

T. +44 (0)1405 746000 Head Office, Factory & Showroom T. +44 (0)20 7490 4909 London Office & Showroom

Elite Office Furniture LTD

www.elite-furniture.co.uk E. info@elite-furniture.co.uk E. londonshowroom@elite-furniture.co.uk

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Upfront |

FINA COLLECTION brunner soft contract & textures

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w w w.brunner-uk .com

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Upfront |

in partnership with

SWITCH | SLEEK | STACK SMART STORAGE Make your storage solutions smart with the new SWITCH, SLEEK & STACK ranges. Enhance your workspace with features including powered lockers and high density rolling storage all within a smart, slimline carcass design.

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Upfront |

London Showroom: 21-22 Great Sutton Street | Clerkenwell | London EC1V 0DY T: +44 (0)20 7253 7652 | E: enquiries@silverline-oe.com

www.silverline-oe.com Part of Group S : www.group-s.co.uk

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21 JUNE 18

Upfront |

Old Billingsgate London Don’t miss out on the summer party of the year. Last few tables remaining. Get your tickets: www.mixology-awards.com rebecca@mixinteriors.com 0161 946 6262

Thank you to our sponsors: 8 | Mix 182 March 2018


Upfront |

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JUDGE FOR YOURSELF

With Mixology18 getting ever closer, we thought we'd add to the anticipation by unveiling the brilliant industry experts who will be responsible for deciding who picks up this year's prestigious Mixology awards. Our judging panel comprises key players in the workplace interiors and design community. The panel will be split into two categories – Projects and Products, affirming that the most knowledgeable professionals are deciding the shortlist and winners of each category.

GLENN ELLIOTT, FOUNDER, REWARD GATEWAY Glenn is an employee engagement expert, entrepreneur and co-author of Build It: The Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement. He has a decade of experience in company culture, engagement and leadership development. He founded Reward Gateway, the employee engagement technology company, and is also an investor and advisor to boards, helping get the best out of their people.

CAROLINE CUNDALL, DIRECTOR OF INTERIOR DESIGN, INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP (IHG) As Design Director at IHG, Caroline is responsible for overseeing the interior design of InterContinental and Crowne Plaza hotels throughout Europe. Her role covers new openings as well as refurbishments across the existing hotel estate. Recent projects include the InterContinental Ljubljana, where Caroline worked closely with the designers to help create an exciting, brand new hotel. Prior to joining IHG, Caroline worked for 15 years as a designer at GA Design in London. During her time at GA, Caroline worked exclusively on interior design projects for the luxury hotel market.

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MIKE WALLEY, HEAD OF WORKPLACE EXPERIENCE, CRITEO After three years at Westminster Hotel School, Mike started his working life in the hospitality business. Later career diversions as a commercial pilot, aid worker and Corporate IT manager left him with an eclectic skill set that sits well in the new world of Workplace Experience. Mike has been at the forefront of Unicorn business Criteo's meteoric rise.

MARK PENKETH, MANAGING DIRECTOR, PENKETH GROUP Mark started in the family business straight from school, leaving a promising tennis career behind to join his two brothers in the business. Initially running the print department, the business grew rapidly, with Mark being responsible for acquiring over 10 companies during the late 90’s. In 2008, Mark became Managing Director, when his brothers decided he was the best man for the job. His passion for the industry is nearly as great as his passion for Liverpool Football Club.


Upfront | News

MARK SIMPSON, PRINCIPAL, BDP Mark started his career at BDP in 1985. In 1993 he co-founded Amalgam, the multi-disciplinary kibbutz, working in retail and commercial interiors, exhibition, product and graphic design. Clients included British brand DAKS, the BBC and Sainsbury’s. Mark moved on to become Director of Interior Design at HKS Architects, winning the 2011 BCO National Award for Best Fit Out of Workplace for the Avon Cosmetics HQ, before returning to BDP in 2011, joining the 50 strong ID team. Clients include AstraZeneca, PwC, Cambridge Assessment, Land Securities, Atrium and Poltrona Frau. Mark has judged all Mixology London Awards.

SALLY SELLERS, HR DIRECTOR, BSI GROUP

SIMON JACKSON, DESIGN CONSULTANT, SJJDC Simon has recently set up sjjdc – a design consultancy collective undertaking in-depth strategic advice and change management and full interior design services in the office, residential and hospitality sectors. Simon has also previously worked with global giants Gensler and Aedas.

Sally is HR Director for the Knowledge Solutions business of BSI. As a key member of the executive team, she leads the people and culture change activities. Sally has led the modernisation of BSI’s workplace at their global headquarters and the introduction of smart working to ensure that BSI is a truly resilient organisation. Sally has 17 years in HR and business operations roles, working in sectors such as aerospace, oil and gas and professional services Sally is a Fellow Member of the CIPD.

NEIL USHER, EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT, UNISPACE & WORKESSENCE With over 25 years in the industry as a property, workplace and change leader, Neil has delivered innovative environments for organisations in a variety of sectors, all over the world. He hasn’t just talked about it – as an occupier, he has been there and done it. Together with this practical experience, his influential blog (www.workessence.com), regular conference talks and occasional performance poetry have made him a leading thinker in the profession.

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Upfront | News

WELCOME TO THE SKY GARDEN First impressions count – and the welcome is arguably the most important part of any visit. The new Sky Garden reception at 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London has been created with just that ‘first impression’ in mind. The scheme has been developed by Scott Brownrigg Interior Design and replaces the building’s original reception area. The design has allowed for an increase in people flow up to the 35th floor, while maintaining security measures. The innovatively designed interior provides a contemporary twist on a garden – this is depicted through the incorporation of bespoke 'trees' and planting, which lead the visitor through the space, whilst the lighting design symbolises dappled light through the branches overhead. These elements, together with the living wall located behind reception, effectively help in building a sense of anticipation of the Sky Garden. We hope you’re reading this, Oliver H!

ETHICALLY NAMED - AGAIN

WHICH WAY TO THE BEACH? There is yet another new face on the Manchester workplace scene. Ikon Furniture has launched its new showroom in the heart of the city centre Spinningfields district. The showroom has quirkily themed rooms such as a beach room, a sample library and a log cabin, designed to ‘get the creative juices flowing’. The showroom has two floors of working space, featuring contrasting textures, fabrics and finishes, with the aim of taking visitors through a journey of interiors and experiences. Ikon expects the showroom to be a hub for clients and colleagues, acting as a creative space and hopes will be seen as top of the list of Manchester’s coolest office space for 2018. Managing Director and Co-Founder, Kevin Rawcliffe, says: ‘As a business we have truly outgrown ourselves and have reached the point in our business journey where we need to expand. It was time to take the business to the next level and unveil something truly ‘Ikonic’.'

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Top flooring company Milliken has been recognised by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as one of the 2018 World’s Most Ethical Companies. Named in the list for 12 years now, Milliken has received this honour every year since the award was first given in 2007 – one of only 12 companies continually included on the list since its inception. Integrity has always been core to Milliken’s business practices and, in 2017, the company looked to advance its integrity further through radical transparency. With the implementation of a new LEEDv4 credit on materials transparency for floor covering, Milliken emphasised its role as an environmental steward and helped re-frame what was thought possible for healthier

environments. Moreover, Milliken began strengthening communities worldwide with the advent of Milliken Gives – a three-pronged programme fostering community engagement through significant and impactful connections that best suit the preferences of Milliken associates. ‘While the discourse around the world changed profoundly in 2017, a stronger voice emerged. Global corporations operating with a common rule of law are now society’s strongest force to improve the human condition. This year we saw companies increasingly finding their voice. The World’s Most Ethical Companies in particular continued to show exemplary leadership,’ explains Ethisphere’s CEO, Timothy Erblich. ‘I congratulate everyone at Milliken for being recognised as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies.’


Upfront |

DESIGN IS INTELLIGENCE MADE VISIBLE

GD10

DESIGNERS & MANUFACTURERS OF WORKSPACE FURNITURE

www.gof.co.uk

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Upfront |

a dk …

… a table that works really hard. So we called ours, ‘Worktable’.

Rawside Furniture is a London-based, designer, builder and lover of the most practical office furniture on planet Earth. www.rawside.co ~ hello@rawside.co ~

@rawside

Rawside, The Undercroft, Kennington Park, 1-3 Brixton Road, London, SW9 6DE 14 | Mix 182 March 2018


Upfront | News

INTERFACE INSPIRES COLLABORATION

SARACEN COMPLETES CONTRACT FOR ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SUPPLIER Workplace consultant Saracen Interiors has completed its first major fit-out contract for Enviva at the international, clean energy provider’s second office in York. The project, over eight weeks and valued at approximately £245,000 over one 3,000 sq ft floor, was created to host the company’s growing UK team. The fit-out has been expressly designed to enhance the brand for Enviva, as it expands its physical presence in the UK market, bringing its logo and corporate colours to the fore to complement the overall look. Design details included an angled layout, bespoke feature rafts, perimeter bulkheads, feature panelling from reclaimed timber, tailored joinery, attention grabbing signage and graphic wall manifestations and canvasses. Michael Page, one of the senior management team at Saracen, tells us: ‘We’ve been involved in some stand-out projects in Yorkshire since we first established a presence in the North and our reputation as experts with an enthusiasm for design has grown in recent times thanks to the team’s hard work and its excellent record of smooth handover and delivery. ‘It’s been great for the team to engage with a company such as Enviva as they were happy to give us scope to explore a variety of ideas to make the space stand out and to deliver a flavour of the business and its brand.’

Leading flooring manufacturer, Interface, has launched Human Connections – a flooring system that promotes biophilic design by embracing nature’s elements and their relationship with interactive, urban neighbourhoods. The new collection, created by David Oakey, responds to increasingly technologydriven working environments and people's innate need to connect with each other and the outdoors. Generational demand, technological mobility and flexible work policies have created a tribal culture that allows work to happen anytime, anywhere. Human Connections draws inspiration from neighbourhood meeting places, such as streets, piazzas, and pathways. Its versatility lends itself to creating dynamic, positive spaces that mimic natural transitions. David Oakey says: ‘The product line genuinely mimics city surfaces such as turfs, patterns, textures and grounds, using them to create interiors that function more like neighbourhoods that encourage collaboration.’

your

AUTHENTICITY AND NOSTALGIA You’ll be aware that the lines between workplace, education, home and hospitality are blurring – and that’s why we thought we should bring you this story. Market leader in luxury vinyl flooring, Karndean Designflooring, was selected for the recently renovated Wroxham Bridge American Restaurant in Norwich. Located on the riverside, the family eatery has an interior design scheme and cuisine reminiscent of a classic American diner. Karndean’s Opus Luna and Nero feature in a chequerboard design to complete the monochrome scheme of the upstairs milkshake parlour, and the subtle tones of Korlok Baltic Mistral Oak have been fitted throughout the main dining area. ‘The flooring design was especially important because we really wanted to capture the quintessential American diner style and Karndean had the ideal products to make this happen,’ comments restaurant owner, Mark Eames. ‘I envisioned a restaurant that different generations could enjoy together, and the flooring really adds to the overall atmosphere – it transports our guests to a 50’s diner like the ones they see in the movies. As well as the look, however, we needed a floor that could stand up to the pressures of a busy environment as we can now accommodate up to 130 guests at any given time, so I’m pleased we chose Karndean.’

FIT OUT

FF&E+

partner

cm@spatial.co.uk / 0161 850 9005

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Upfront |

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Upfront | News

SPATIAL AWARENESS Yet another announcement from Greater Manchester! It’s been a year in the making, but our friends at Spatial Office Environments are now ready to reveal their new 5,000 sq ft showroom. Having outgrown their Manchester city centre showroom on the back of some impressive growth, which includes the workplace transformation of Car Finance 247’s new 40,000 sq ft office, Spatial took the bold decision to buy a vacant building in Altrincham, south of the city centre. Investing nearly £1m in their own renovation and fit-out, they have now provided themselves with a platform to offer products and their services to the North West and beyond whilst giving themselves room to expand. To celebrate the opening, Spatial are hosting two RIBA approved CPD events provided by Connection Seating and modulyss on 19th April.

LUMINOUS LUMENA Antron Lumena carpet fibre provides carpets with permanent, fade-free, stain-resistant colour through a solution-dyed multi-hollow yarn. With rich and vivid colour, Antron Lumena fibre is used in some of the world’s most exclusive carpet designs and performs faultlessly in busy commercial spaces. For 2018, 1385dtex Antron Lumena fibre is available in 150 colours, including 19 brand new tones, which ensure a palette that is rich in scope and is connected to prevalent trends in commercial interiors. Driven through development and research, along with the trend forecasting in Global Colour Trend Forecast 2017/2018, these new colours include tone-on-tone nuances and powerful high-impact hues. With warm blue greys in Gunmetal, Sepia, Gull and Inkwell, through layered moss and natural colours in Antique Olive, Tarragon and River Rock, to the positive and bold shades of Firecracker, True Red, Paprika and Fuchsia, the introductions represent the increasingly global nature of carpet design.

Upholstery

Aviation

Hospitality

Office

Automotive

Healthcare

Marine

Yarwood Leather has you covered. sales@yarwoodleather.com

www.yarwoodleather.com Mix 182 March 2018 | 17

+44 (0) 113 252 1014


Upfront | News

HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY LEVELS GUARANTEED We always like to start any piece about research with a little about the methodology. The Instant Group (‘workspace innovation company’) partnered with HLW to conduct a study of over 300 respondents from the coworking and flexible work industry. Respondents completed a comprehensive questionnaire about their current perspectives of the market, the value they get from it and how they see the market benefiting them in the future. Four out of five flexible office space users reported that they have benefited from the enhanced work environment, with workers agreeing that their workspace has had a positive effect on engagement with their roles, resulting in much higher productivity levels. Tim Rodber, CEO of The Instant Group, said: ‘The trend towards flexible working has dominated the headlines for some time now and operators of this space have been driving take up in the global cities for the past two years. More than half of our respondents envision spending less time, going forward, working from a traditional company office space. This confirms our view that corporate occupiers in particular want far more flexibility and choice nowadays over how and where they work.’

MONTEITH SCOTT AND BOSS CATAPULT ENERGY FIRM

THE EBB AND FLOW OF LIGHTING In line with this month’s Product Design Spotlight, we couldn’t resist bringing you a piece on Danish lighting. Moonbeam Lighting, the Cheshire-based lighting people, told us about a new range of Danish decorative lighting called Ebb & Flow. Founded by Susanne Nielsen, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the textiles and home accessories industry, Ebb & Flow combines old with modern and celebrates unique, enduring design. Moonbeam’s Ebb & Flow lighting includes Smykke – the Danish word for jewellery, Horizon – hand-blown in Denmark and the Lute pendant lamp.

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Boss Design’s philosophy of ‘workplace habitats’ and furniture solutions has helped the Energy Systems Catapult scoop a Regional BCO Award for Midlands and Central England in the ‘Fit out of Workplace’ category for its new offices in Birmingham. The Energy Systems Catapult is part of a network of elite technology and innovation centres set up by Innovate UK. In conjunction with leading Birmingham architectural and interior designers, Monteith Scott, Boss helped create a contemporary and non-corporate environment based on a series of habitats specifically designed to adapt and flex as the organisation grows and matures. The BCO judges agreed that the ‘workspace lab’ for the Catapult is a collaborative and creative space that both encourages collaboration with the wider industry, and provides a centre for debates, conferences and cultivation of ideas. They also noted that the careful use of ‘earth tone’ colours found in the city and crisp detailed timber surfaces brings a warm, calm environment that ripples out from the central welcome space. As a knowledgebased business that works continuously with many outside agencies, collaboration and meeting space was

paramount for the Catapult. To accommodate such meetings, a ‘collaborative habitat’ utilising Boss Design’s Entente private meeting booths features as an alternative to formal built rooms. ‘Home habitats’ are also vital for when people need to concentrate, make phone calls or conduct confidential interactions – and Boss Design’s best-selling high-backed Peek singleperson work booths fulfil this requirement, providing comfortable and informal work areas. As well as creating private headspaces in open plan areas, Peek can be grouped together to enhance collaborative working. Commenting on this challenging project, Alison Monteith, Director of Monteith Scott, said: ‘This is deliberately a non-corporate environment that is designed to anticipate multiple uses, whilst expressing the ethos of the business and ‘walking the talk’ through the provision of appropriate technologies.’


Upfront |

Drumback meeting chair Design: Martin Ballendat

Your Seating Companion. Proud winner of the „Mixology task furniture product of the year 2017“ award. For more information contact us at 07769 88 33 35 or visit www.viasit.co.uk

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imperial

25 Office

furniture

Years

To Celebrate The Imperial Office Furniture 25th anniversary we are hosting an Open Week at our Manchester Showroom. Showcasing a range of new products and A refreshed showroom Layout. Week commencing 14th May 2018 Contact Your area sales manager for more information and to book in a convenient day and time.

9 Portland Street. Manchester. M1 3BE.

Imperial Office Furniture Limited. Bankfield Business Park, Quebec Street, Bolton. BL3 5JN Tel: 01204 364602 Fax: 01204 381509 www.imperialfurniture.co.uk info@imperialfurniture.co.uk 20 | Mix 182 March 2018


Upfront | News

NOISE IS PRIMARY CAUSE OF INEFFICIENCY AT WORK Noise and distraction from open plan workplaces are preventing employees from focusing on individual tasks requiring high levels of concentration and minimum disruption, according to research from global design firm, Unispace. The findings come as part of Unispace’s research of more than 11,000 workers in a global study of working practices and workplace design and, yes, we agree, they could have asked any of us and come up with the same conclusion. But please read on – there’s much, much more. According to Unispace’s research, the issue of noise has actually become far worse over the last 12 months, with more workers complaining compared to the same research conducted back in 2016. Survey respondents flagged noise (15%) as the primary cause of inefficiency during the working week, a number that has risen by 4% in just 12 months. Second to this was a lack of quiet areas (13%), a lack of privacy (9%) and 7% felt that the temperature and air quality of their office was also a factor.

‘Our research shows that the vast majority of our time at work is based on the need to ‘focus’ – more than 60% of the working day,’ says Simon Pole, Unispace Global Director, Design. ‘The workplace has changed radically in the last few years, but it may have gone too far now. Collaboration is obviously a central tenet of many modern spaces and in this environment, creating a fusion of ideas and socialisation is key. But, for the majority of everyday business tasks, workers need space for focus, calm and solitude. ‘Increased noise, a lack of privacy and quiet areas consistently show up as the top three employee complaints in open environments. This is particularly problematic as most employees’ report that they engage in focus work more than any other work mode.’ The research also found that 60% of the average working day is devoted to individual task-focused work; 25% to collaboration, 7% to socialising, and the same for learning. Natasha Bonugli, Unispace Regional Principal, Design, says: ‘Designers have to question why the sector is devoting so much space to collaboration when most of the working day is given over to tasks that require focus and concentration.’

STAFFORDSHIRE BUSINESS MAKES FURNITURE FOR UK’S ‘MOST EFFECTIVE RESTAURANT DESIGN’ If you live or work in Birmingham, you may agree with the local media that the opening of the Gaucho restaurant in Colmore District was the city’s most anticipated restaurant opening of the year. What you may not know is that most of the furniture was bespoke and created by Pure CF, the Stone (that’s a place) based manufacturer. Gaucho won ‘Most Effective Restaurant Design’ at the latest Restaurant Magazine R200 awards. Paul Gill, Executive Chairman at Pure CF, said: 'We are incredibly proud to have been asked to manufacture the furniture for a number of Gaucho restaurants up and down the country and now we’re thrilled to see our furniture taking centre stage in their award-winning Birmingham restaurant. From our factory in Stone we handmade all the tables, chairs and wall panels, which included wing chairs upholstered in Sunbury Nappa smoke, solid ash tables polished in black, chrome high stools with grey upholstery, deep buttoned wall panelling and fluted fixed seating, which all created the distinctive interiors.’ Look out for more on this award-winning restaurant in our next issue of Impression!

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Upfront | News

CIRCLE BATH WINS 2017 HAPPIEST WORKPLACE COMPETITION Workplace and interior design consultancy, Wylde IA, has announced that the winner of its Happiest Workplace 2017 competition is… Circle Bath Hospital. The independent hospital near Bath received the accolade at an awards ceremony at Hartham Park in Corsham. Maxine Bennett, Director at Wylde IA, says: 'This year we’ve attracted a record number of entries from businesses and have been overwhelmed by the quality of workplace. Circle Bath Hospital stood out for us…they’ve created a genuinely inspirational workplace.’ Staff enjoy many health-related benefits, such as access to mental health support, flu jabs and a smoking cessation programme. Yoga, Pilates, HIIT, tai chi and lunchtime walks are also laid on, alongside free sports massage as and when needed. Paul McGaughey, General Manager, Circle Bath Hospital, says: ‘We are delighted to have won this award. Our staff are a fantastic group of people who, through their dedication, skill and positive attitude, deliver a fantastic service to our patients. We have worked hard on embracing a wellbeing programme for everyone who works at Circle, offering fun and healthy activities. However, it is the staff here who have created the culture of openness, supportiveness and teamwork, which have become so ingrained in the DNA of Circle. We are in no way complacent and still have lots to do to ensure staff are as happy as possible and to provide them with a great environment and all the tools to do their job to an outstanding level.’

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MINDSPACE DOUBLES UP IN LONDON SOLUS CERAMICS HEADING TO CLERKENWELL Solus Ceramics are launching a new showroom in Clerkenwell this spring, offering architects and designers a place to collaborate as well as get tile inspiration and develop design schemes. Solus Ceramics are working with the creative team at BusbyWebb, the branding and spaces firm, to develop the design of the new showroom, which will be at the junction of Clerkenwell Road and St John Street, over two floors. Nick Wills, Director of Branding at BusbyWebb, said: ‘Our concept is based around the ‘heart’ of Solus Ceramics as a family company – starting from the Chairman, Peter Bentley’s original home office, 22 years ago, to becoming one of the UK’s leading architectural tile suppliers. ‘The Clerkenwell showroom will be a relaxed environment that gives customers everything they need to create and implement eye-catching design schemes – from a traditional specification centre to an informal workspace.’ Marcus Bentley, Managing Director of Solus Ceramics, commented: ‘Solus Ceramics sits at the very heart of the latest floor and wall tile designs, so it’s only right that we open our new home in one of the most renowned architectural design hubs in the world.’

Mindspace has entered the London market with its first location in the city. The 30,000 sq ft coworking in Whitechapel is now open, with a second location planned in Shoreditch for spring this year. Since launching in 2014, European coworking brand Mindspace has experienced an extraordinary startup journey. In just three years, the Israeli workspace brand has amassed 15 locations across Europe, Israel and (soon) the US – and now caters for 8,000 members and over 2,000 companies globally. Recent openings include Warsaw, Berlin and Munich. Current members of Mindspace include large corporate businesses, SMEs, startups and freelancers. In this crowded market, Mindspace aims to differentiate itself by bespoke design linked to the local area in an attempt to embed it at the heart of the local community.


#loveyourworkspace Upfront |

KI’s portfolio of workplace furniture helps some of the world’s leading organisations to create happy, healthy, high performing working environments for their people.

Designed to perfectly suite together, KI’s storage, workstations, tables, seating and third space solutions make optimising the office landscape easy. Well designed and built to last, they can be configured and reconfigured to meet an organisation’s evolving needs over many years.

KI Europe New Fetter Place 8-10 New Fetter Lane London EC4A 1AZ E workplace@kieurope.com

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Upfront | Perspective

PERSPECTIVE Anna Stables is the Digital Innovation Manager for Aviva, whose Digital Garage on Hoxton Square is shaking up the insurance industry. Since joining the business, Anna has curated a portfolio of experience with both diversity and depth, working at local and global level in the UK and Asia. She is now managing Aviva’s partnership with Founders Factory – setting up pilots with the cream of the start-up crop, and supporting the incubation of new businesses.

What is the current size of the workforce at the Digital Garage (and Aviva worldwide)? 120 workstations in the Garage – we are always full! Globally we’re c30k staff. When did you move into the Garage? We moved into the Garage in May 2015, though a small team worked in the building before the refurbishment. It’s worth mentioning that, off the back of the successes that we’ve had with the Garage, we’ve replicated the space elsewhere around the globe. We have very similar buildings in Singapore and Toronto, and have created pop-ups that have adopted the features and principles of our core Garages. What is the size of the new workplace? 13,000 sq ft.

How long have you been in your role at Aviva? I’ve been in my role for just under three years now. What’s the best bit of your job? It’s definitely meeting lots of interesting people from all sorts of backgrounds. From the European Space Agency, MIT, ex-Israeli military – the list goes on. And they’re all solving really big, impactful issues. It’s a really inspiring position to work in. What is the skill you have used most since being in this role? Networking! A key part of my role is connecting the start-ups I work with to the right people in the business. With so many employees, that can be difficult. Our business is global, multichannel and products are managed and distributed by a number of different teams. I’ve developed a really broad network and strong stakeholder management skills.

What was the main objective behind your recent workplace transformation? To create a work environment that encourages innovation and collaboration. We were inspired by the way that the tech giants and start-ups of Silicon Valley work – fast paced and collaborative, with a really genuine culture. We were creating a new digital business and this was going to be integral to its success. As an insurer, we’ve always had traditional corporate offices, so it was a big change! What is the one thing you and the staff do differently since moving into the new space? We’re so much more social and collaborative since the office change. The space is conducive to working together, enabling more informal and larger group meetings. We hold casual coffee catch-ups in our lounge area – an informal meeting

space. On a Thursday, we now have regular ‘standups’, where the whole office comes together to hear project updates and business news. Downstairs we can now hold workshops and even conferences in our event space. What does the term wellbeing mean to you? At Aviva, our staff wellbeing is a real focus for us. A healthy and happy workforce is so important when it comes to retention and performance. We’re really utilising the space at the Garage to deliver our wellbeing programme. We offer both physical and mental health sessions, including yoga, bootcamp and spin, as well as 1-2-1 sessions with a qualified mental fitness coach through our partners, Sanctus.

Exterior and interior of Aviva's Digital Garage, London designed by HLW

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Upfront | Seven

7

COWORKING AND FLEXIBLE WORK SPACES IN LONDON

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We're not sure if you've heard or are aware of this, but there has been something of a rise in the number of coworking and flexible workspaces in London. Steelcase's Alex Gifford has picked out seven of the best for us.

1. Impact Hub King's Cross One of the older spaces, this is one that feels authentic and unique, even if the look and feel is seen elsewhere. It's authentic because the space has evolved around its ethos of social change and has a particular culture and a particular type of person that would belong there. Not that it’s a clique – I felt quite comfortable there wearing ‘business casual’ and doing work that had little social impact... 2. Level 39, Canary Wharf What I really like about this is not so much the space – although the view is amazing and the interiors by Gensler are great – but the idea behind it. The aim is to provide space for financial

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and technology start-ups and the like, and help them along by introducing them to mentors and investors. Apparently, this space has been quite successful, and it would be interesting to see if this idea could be transferred to other sectors. 3. The Office Group, Aldgate I’ve followed these guys for quite a while and like the way they mix short-term lets, serviced office and coworking space. This one has a very public café/coffee shop merging with the lobby and the more private workspaces – which is so much nicer than having a fake 'Costa' coffee in an open plan office. The other nice thing about this location is that you can sit and make a few calls in the lobby of the White Chapel building opposite.

4. Central Working at the Zetter Clerkenwell’s ever popular Zetter hotel had a great idea in letting Central Working operate their rather quiet restaurant as a coworking space during the day (I don’t know who’s idea it was – may have been Central Working’s). So, during the day it is a subscription based coworking lounge with fixed desks and meeting rooms downstairs and, at 6pm, the coworking space reverts to being the hotel's public bar. The interior functions equally well for both and demonstrates a really clever way to get space to work that bit harder. 5. Kensington Pavilion Formally known as Dryland, this space is an example of the fact that coworking spaces are not


just for hipsters. The principal is pretty much the same as anywhere else with a sliding scale from lounge/hot desk membership to private offices, to short term lets for a group of people. But what is interesting here is that the design aesthetic is pretty conservative, quite smart and aimed at a different crowd from the disruptive start-ups normally associated with nomadic working. If you Google ‘coworking space’ under the ‘images’ tab, you tend to see one particular type of interior. Its nice to see some diversity.

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6. Breather Whilst this isn’t a coworking space, it is still very much on the flexible working spectrum. Breather is a sort of Airbnb for meeting spaces, something that is always hard to find, whether in a permanent office or on the road. But what is particularly clever about this space is that they have partnered with furniture maker, Deadgood, who use the space as a rather lovely Clerkenwell showroom. Obviously, this is by appointment only, due to the way the space works, but that tends to be the case for contract furniture showrooms anyway. Given the cost of space in this part of town, this is another great example of getting the most out of a space. 7. Us&Co Another example of a space that has worked with the ethos and insights from a furniture manufacturer is Us&Co. Based in the City, it has a grown up look and feel, describing itself as professional but relaxed. It's interesting to see that they have opted to use furniture designed for working rather than hospitality, which these days is the exception rather than the norm. And as these sorts of flexible spaces become the norm (WeWork being London’s largest private tenant), those of us creating things to go in offices need to think about what it is that these spaces really need…

a cage full of ideas. cage– a cabinet system that impresses with its striking design language and authentic blend of materials. wiesner-hager.com

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Upfront | Forward Thinking

'YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT…' In 1969 Mick Jagger was obviously talking about output specifications, says Steve Gale.

…the civil servants delivered a sermon on how we must produce an output specification

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W

hen Carillion recently imploded, the talk about PPP involvement brought back memories of my own brush with PFI, as it used to be called, which stood for 'private finance initiative'. The one huge lesson I took away was how the public sector tried to define its requirements in a way that encouraged the market to bring innovation into their allegedly ossified practices. Whatever you think of this theology, it has a great founding principle of the 'output specification', which defines how requirements are captured and expressed. The principle is quite easy to explain, but surprisingly hard to put into practice. I will try to explain why it is actually difficult to do. A few years back, the government needed a new Home Office HQ, and three weeks into the project I joined a team to write a brief for it. At my first big meeting, the civil servants delivered a sermon on how we must produce an output specification and what the simple rules were. I drank all this in because it was genuinely new to me, and it sounded a great idea, and others around the table took the opportunity to add their take on it. This was going to be more interesting than I had expected. The second part of this long day was a review of the first draft of an engineering specification. The project was just three weeks old, but already there was a weighty document, stiff with prescriptions for air changes, temperature control, relative humidity, lighting levels and colour temperatures. But surely this was the exact opposite of what was required for an output specification? I was the new kid, I was not comfortable standing up, pointing out the elephant in the room. But it was indeed the exact opposite, and we spent many weeks refocusing on what was really being asked for. Why was this so hard? Why did intelligent, seasoned, technical professionals have such a problem with the output specification? An output is the opposite of an input. An example

of an output would be a desire for your village to have improved access to another village on the opposite bank of a river. The input to achieve this might be a tunnel, a ferry, a bridge or even some virtual communication, depending on the detail in the request. But the desired output is better access. The requirement is not a bridge, which as an input is just one potential way to meet the need. Closer to home, we can see the big difference between a request for accommodating a tech business of 300 people (output), versus a specification for 35,000 sq ft with 300 desks, 10 8-person meeting rooms and a kitchenette with space for 45 people seated at one time (input!). The difference is clear when you look at it, but back in PFI land we all found that outputs were devilishly hard to define. The architects and engineers were not best qualified to write the output requirements, it was really a client task – only they knew what they needed. But specifications were traditionally technical documents, so wheel in some architects. We found that, because design and engineering people had spent their entire professional lives defining inputs, it was not possible to suddenly drop all this training and wear a completely different hat. This lesson is just as relevant now when we ask a client what they need. They might easily think they are being asked for a list of components and facilities to support their business, whereas in fact they need to express the bits that we, the designers, do not know about. We already understand buildings and how to arrange them, it’s our day job, whereas only the client knows about his business and where he would like it to be in the future. 'You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you just might find you get what you need'. Thanks Mick, glad you agree on that. Steve Gale is Head of Business Intelligence at M Moser Associates. SteveG@mmoser.com


Upfront |

Mix 182 March 2018 | 29


Upfront |

Imagine • Design • Create www.karndean.com 30 | Mix 182 March 2018


Upfront | Material Matters

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MATERIAL MATTERS In this month’s Material Matters, the experts at Material Lab explore surfaces and materials that are trulybreaking boundaries. www.material-lab.co.uk 1. Incredible, hand-blown stained glass windows by Progetto Arte Poli Based in Italy, using both traditional and innovative techniques and materials, Progetto Arte Poli serves the more luxury side of the interiors market with its incredible mouth-blown glass artworks and mosaics as well as artistic, stained glass windows. Established since 1953 by its founder Albano Poli, expect stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces, in an array of beautiful colours, that transform any space. www.progettoartepoli.com 2. Karuun turns rattan palm into an innovative wood material Thanks to a patented process and new technology by Out for Space, the fast-growing rattan palm is transformed into an innovative wood material called Karuun. Not only does it represent a sustainable alternative to conventional materials,

helping to preserve the rainforest, it turns a palm wood with a limited use into a versatile material for new product applications. www.karuun.com 3. Mirrl is handmade, easy to install and available in a wide range of colours Mirrl is a solid surface material on a birch plywood substrate that is highly resilient, long-lasting, waterproof, food safe, repairable and ready for joinery. With a distinctive organic pattern, it’s available in eight colours and made to order options from its Glasgow workshop, using a technique inspired by Japanese lacquerware from the island of Hokkaido. Seamlessly jointed, it’s easy to clean and has a wide range of applications – it is ideal for tabletops, kitchens, bathrooms, cladding and much more. www.mirrl.com

4. modulyss adds a touch of Velvet for the ontrend, timeworn interior Velvet& is the latest carpet tile collection by modulyss that introduces the on-trend look of timeworn velvet to commercial interiors. Through a random tip-sheared loop pile texture, modulyss presents lavish contrast, a tight and dense structure, interspersed by areas of luxurious velour for a rich velvet feel. By combining bright and dull yarns with an organic design through rising and falling textures and pile heights, Velvet& delivers a striking 3D effect in any setting. The collection is available in a palette of 18 royal colours, including rust, navy, ocean, burgundy, ochre, purple and grey. www.modulyss.com

Mix 182 March 2018 | 31


Upfront | Desert Island Desks

DESERT ISLAND DESKS Barry Jenkins Established in 2003 by designer Barry Jenkins, UK design studio BroomeJenkins’ philosophy is that ‘the design of a product is very much a collaboration between designer and manufacturer, where both parties work towards a shared objective that results in products that are useful, attractive and commercial'. Applying these principles to our desert island, Barry thinks he will need things that are useful, and if they are also attractive, it is a bonus – but commercial no longer applies.

Richard Sapper Coffee Maker 9090 for Alessi La Maison de Starck

In order to build a shelter, we will seek direction from Philippe Starck. In 1993, mail order specialists 3 SUISSES collaborated with Philippe Starck to create a set of architectural plans for a build-it-yourself timber framed home. Starck worked with architects Patrick Bouchain, Loïc Julienne and Jean Marie Mandon to design the building and plans were purchased in a numbered presentation box.

But First Coffee

We are extremely lucky in Chichester to have several artisan coffee roasters on our doorstep, including Tides Coffee. Owners, Sarah and Ben, have a simple aim; to source and roast great tasting, ethically traded speciality coffee and make it accessible to everyone – we need to see if this applies to desert islands!

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With great coffee, we need a great coffee pot! Rejecting capsules in favour of the traditional pot for making good espresso, Richard Sapper designed the 9090, which became one of the the early design icons for Alessi when, in the 1980’s, they planned a new direction for their long established company, making flat-ware and hollow-ware. It’s not just about the looks, the spout is non drip and the wide conical base captures maximum heat – no doubt from the fire made of freshly gathered coconut husks.

1966 Adjustable Chaise by Richard Schultz

With plenty of time to spare, we would definitely need somewhere to relax in the sun and work on generating some melanin. If you are going to absorb some UV you need a stylish vehicle to facilitate this and there is no better version of the sun lounger than the Richard Schultz chaise for Knoll. Designed in 1966, although it looks like it comes from 2066 with its minimal elegance, it’s the perfect product to make you look sophisticated whilst lying prone in your Speedos. It’s our island. This situation could only get better with a chilled glass of...


Tel 01925 850500

Upfront |

Email info@sixteen3.co.uk

Message in a Bottle

We may need to escape from our island or encourage others to join our beach party. To do this we will need a suitable receptacle for our message - what could be better than a bottle from our local distillery, Chillgrove Gin?! Of course, we must start by enjoying the gin! Traditionally handcrafted and distilled with natural mineral water filtered through the chalk Downs which surround Chilgrove, this gin celebrates Sussex-grown botanicals.

Solent Sunbeam

Any island dweller would need a mode of transport. Ours would be the classic one-design day-boat, designed by Alfred Westmacott in 1922, built on the Isle of Wight. Designed specifically for sailing on the Solent, the Sunbeam’s graceful, elegant lines combine performance and style. A large flotilla can be seen racing between East Head and Hayling Island, close to Chichester.

Hog Roast

We're probably hungry by now - all that lounging works up a healthy appetite. We need a Hog Roast on floury bap with roast pork, apple sauce and CRACKLING! from the Chelsea cafe in Bath. This establishment was just up the road from our client Herman Miller’s old factory. We would often break up a meeting for lunch at this fine local eatery. So good it would bring a tear to the eye. Shame HM couldn't have devoted a section of their amazing new factory in Melksham to this purveyor of porky pabulum. London Showroom The Gallery, 21-22 Great Sutton St. EC1V 0DY / Manufacture/Showroom Chesford Grange, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 4RQ

www.sixteen3.co.uk

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Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Mix Design Collective Educate | Engage | Experience Part of Mix Week Manchester 4th - 6th December 2018 INNSIDE Manchester For more info and to register: www.mixdesigncollective.co.uk

Thank you to our partners: 34 | Mix 182 March 2018


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Mix Design Collective (MDC) is a brand new, must-attend, three-day design experience created as part of Mix Week Manchester. The event will celebrate the best national and international design experiences.

Experiences and Designers Heart Space

New Analogue

designed by

designed by

Health & Wellbeing designed by

Engage

Smart & Connected

Escape

designed by

designed by

designed by

Contact david@mixinteriors.com to get involved and collaborate with our MDC designers

Mix 182 March 2018 | 35


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Asymmetrical Meeting

Designed by Simon Pengelly for Boss Design

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bossdesign.com |

wearebossdesign |

boss_design


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

SPOTLIGHT

THE BIG QUESTION 38 Which product do you feel has changed the workplace landscape?

Product Designer Focus 4 0 Mix 182 March 2018 | 37


Q

Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

THE BIG

UESTION

Wh i c h p ro d u ct d o yo u fe e l h a s c h a n g e d t h e w o rk p l a c e l a n d s c a p e?

STEPHEN JOHNSON, STEPHEN JOHNSON DESIGN

LINZI COPPICK, FORME UK

RAINER KALESSE, RAINER KALESSE DESIGN MANAGEMENT

Without wanting to sound obvious, I’d have to

The workplace landscape has quite literally been

The table. A table is universally applicable and

say the PC – or my iMac, to be precise. Ever

changed by the height-adjustable desk. Being

has definitely changed the workplace landscape

since my first original model back in the 90’s,

able to alternate between sitting and standing

significantly – and will continue to do so in the

they’ve been with me at every stage of my

during the average day addresses today's

future. The table is becoming more and more a

creative output, from emailing to 3D modelling,

awareness on health and ergonomics within

multifunctional item, which, in size and height, with

Skyping to rendering. My iMac is my workhorse.

the workforce. It is said that this active working

seats or even without, can individually adapt to the

A kind of best friend. It’s embarrassing, but when

style encourages staff productivity and reduces

number of users and their current requirements.

I go on holiday I miss him a little.

absenteeism. Higher end models, Bene products,

The table can be a conference table, a kitchen table,

for example, have electronic versions, which are

sometimes a work table or even a workbench. It

progressively adjustable, catering for various

becomes a user-friendly communication and work

height requirements. Additional memory functions

platform. Thus, in the long term, it becomes the most

address the ever-popular hot desking situation.

important piece of furniture.

CLARE JOHNSTON, ROYAL COLLEGE OF ARTS

KIRSTY ANGERER, ERGONOMIC CONSULTANT

BECKY POLE, TARKETT

The computer had the biggest impact –

What has changed the workplace landscape is the

Flexibility is key for today’s workplace landscape

and now it is the ubiquitous laptop/tablet/

laptop (and WiFi). Designed to be used for short

and the development of acoustic furniture

smartphone, which can make any space a

periods of time, this has now become the standard

has helped interior designers to satisfy this

‘workspace’. This has changed the landscape

for most organisations and allows you to work

requirement. High back acoustic pods, that allow

of the office to the point that you can no longer

from anywhere, at anytime. And because of this

for private ad hoc meetings, for example, and

tell what people do – we have the homogenised

we have seen the increase in collaboration spaces,

armchairs that create breakout areas for workers

workspace. The question is, does it make for an

agile working, working from home schemes and

to focus and relax, are great examples of how

effective working space?

the rise of digital nomads. It’s going to be an

adaptable furniture can be used to transform open

interesting time, as I don’t think employees are

plan office spaces to cater for workers’ changing

being sufficiently educated as to how best manage

needs.

their time, use their tools to avoid musculoskeletal disorders and consider mental health.

Umbrella editorial banner Mix Interiors October 2017 copy.pdf 1 25/09/2017 9:33:50 C

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Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

BOSSE TELEPHONE CUBE – THE COMEBACK OF THE TELEPHONE BOOTH

The spacesaving solution for confidential phone calls in open-plan offices. The integrated presence detector ensures that lighting and ventilation are controlled in an energy-efficient way and is suitable for offices with a room height of 2.55 metres or more. The new generation of the telephone booth. To get your copy of the Bosse catalogue, please call our UK Sales Director, David Sellars +44 (0) 7775 798 877, or email at d.sellars@dauphinuk.com.

LONDON OFFICE Dauphin HumanDesign® UK Limited 1 Albemarle Way I GB London EC1V 4JB Phone +44 207 2537774 I Fax +44 207 2531629 www.dauphinuk.com I info@dauphinuk.com

Mix 182 March 2018 | 39


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

MEET THE MAKER In a recent BDP publication, Mark Simpson quoted Steve Jobs, saying: 'Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course if you dig deeper, it's really how it works.' Although Mark was using this in reference to the noble art of design and architecture, it is product design that Steve Jobs was musing over – the very subject of this month's Spotlight feature. We have brought together probably the most eclectic mix of product designers you would ever wish to meet. In fact, probably the only thing they have in common is that they design things. Clearly, we wanted to give them an opportunity to show off about their work – and judging by their brilliant

responses, some of them would make great salespeople – but we also wanted some deeper, more personal insights. Most people know that we love our music, so asking which concert they would like to go to elicited some wonderful, eclectic responses. We also gave them the opportunity to say who they would invite to dinner from a pre-subscribed list. Interestingly, only half responded to that question (boo!) and, much to our surprise, the majority of those opted to dine with...well, read for yourselves. One of the designers who is new to the Mix family is Rainer Kalessse, a designer from Lemgo. He

Barry Jenkins Below left Stage Below Bedouin

responded comprehensively (which we're very grateful for) and we felt that his homage to fellow German designer, Deiter Rams, could not be left out – particularly his 10 principles for good design: 1. is innovative. 2. makes a product usable. 3. is aesthetic. 4. makes a product understandable. 5. is unobtrusive. 6. is honest. 7. is durable. 8. is consistent down to the last detail. 9. is environmentally friendly. 10. is as little design as possible.

Company name: BroomeJenkins What is the favourite thing you have designed? Designed before smartphones, the I+ Kiosk for Cityspace marked an important development of consumer information services. It featured in the Design Council’s Design Against Crime study and was awarded a Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? In 2014 we brought 3D printing in-house. As a result, we use it all the time to apply greater scrutiny of our work in a way traditional methods of model making simply can not. It has changed how we work and delivered cost and time efficiencies. Are your customer expectations changing? The once distinct roles of design and engineering have become blurred through the use of CAD and other design technologies. Although some of our clients have great design engineering teams, some of them do not and so engineering becomes part of our work. This change is reflective of how, in many aspects of modern life, expectations increase. If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? Matthew Halsall – playing Brockwell Park in June.

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Charles Dedman Company name: Charles Dedman What is the most recent product you have worked on? In September I launched the Zapotec Range. A vibrant Mexican inspired collection with lazer cut marquetry – part of the emerging craft and technology overlap. I call it Craft Tech. What is the favourite thing you have designed? Easy – the award-winning Turner Carver. It launched my business into the industry, with great exposure, and we recently had a 50 piece order for a café in East London.

Left Zapotec Cabinet Below Turner High Stool

What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? Alongside the constant networking and sharing I do via my instagram (@ charlesdedman), I have seen huge benefits in efficient 3D CAD modelling for commissions and collaborations with the finest UK makers. I can take a virtual model into the workshop with ease and accuracy. Clarity is key in the furniture industry. Are your customer expectations changing? I am seeing a larger demand for customisation from my customers. The Zapotec range is designed and tooled up in a way so that my customers can select a wide range of colours and timber veneers to fit perfectly in the desired environment. This has no change to the laser-cutting programme and tooling cost. If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? If I could see anyone living in concert it would have to be the Mali band, Tinariwen. Odd choice, but they are perfect for those late night glue-ups in the workshop or studio sessions. Their music keeps me level headed and I’m sure a live concert would be full of like-minded people!

Mix 182 March 2018 | 41


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

David Irwin

Company name: David Irwin Design Studio What is the most recent product you have worked on? The most recent product I have worked on is a stacking chair for Deadgood, called Setter. It’s designed for durability in both meeting and hospitality settings. What is the favourite thing you have designed The M Lamp, for Brooklyn-based lighting company, Juniper. It's a small portable lamp which references 19th century mining lamps. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? 3D modelling software has probably had the biggest impact on my business over the last few years. It’s allowed me to visualise ideas before getting into the workshop to try them out for real. Coupled with that is the advancements in CNC technologies, allowing for more complex processing of timber, which hasn’t been possible in the past. If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? Chemical Brothers.

Company name: KI What is the most recent product you have worked on? KI works on numerous products concurrently on an annual basis. The most notable of the recent developments is a comprehensive systems collection that features an unprecedented level of user control over personal space. The concept is called Tattoo. What is the favourite thing you have designed (not with current company)? The Ruckus Collection and Sway.

Shawn Green 42 | Mix 182 March 2018

What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? The ability to render realistic product concepts quickly. Also 3D printing has been extraordinarily impactful in reducing the duration of the development process. Are your customer expectations changing? Customers are looking for guidance around applications,

Above right Working Girl Chair Left Setter

not a feature dump. Furthermore, our clients are more and more focused on ideas and concepts that enrich the cultural and work/life experience. In the past, furniture decisions were primarily driven around financial metrics. Now decisions are being made with the goal of creating environments that drive higher levels of attraction and retention. People are quickly becoming the most valuable commodity. If you had to choose one of the following to have dinner with – Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel – who would it be and why? Angela Merkel. She is intelligent and would provide a more worldly perspective on social and economic issues. Furthermore, I believe the world would benefit from having a greater number of competent female leaders. If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? That is easy…the Black Keys.


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

allermuir.com

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MAXFURNITURE.CO.UK

The right option whichever way you look at it Treehouse by

Come and see them the right way up in our Clerkenwell Showroom, 25 Britton Street, London EC1M 5NY

Spotlight | Product Designer Focus


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Duncan Neil Company name: Earthed by William Clark What is the most recent product you have worked on? Our soon to launch ‘Pilgrimage’ collection of luxury linen, inspired by a unique Victorian book of dried flowers originating from Scotland. What is the favourite thing you have designed? Probably Me-Shirts for my nephews when they were born.

Above Pilgrimage

What is the most recent product you have worked on? ‘Quiet Workstation’ – a personal workspace offering privacy and comfort. An extension of our successful ‘Quiet’ booth range, it allows clients to customise fabric combinations. What is the favourite thing you have designed? The ‘SW19 Chair’ – developed before Ryan became part of New Design Group. A refined, comfortable, high density stacking chair, adaptable to multiple applications – a nicely resolved product.

Simon Cahill

Company name: New Design Group

Are your customer expectations changing? Customers are better informed and more knowledgeable, looking for well-designed competitively priced, quality products, backed up by great customer service. Customers appreciate that we are a British manufacturer and can offer solutions tailored to their requirements. If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? Glenn Kotche.

Left Sw19 Chair

What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? Definitely digital printing. As a textile designer I trained in screen print, working with beautiful processes, but when it comes to colour count this process restricts the amount of colours used due to cost of silk screen production. Digital eliminates this and allows high colour count designs to be produced. Are customer expectations changing? As the world, in particular the retail world, moves even further online, customers increasingly expect immediate dispatch of goods. Online sales are easy for consumers – they can order a number of goods, returning what they don’t want. It is a challenging but exciting retail environment for fabric brands. If you had to choose one of the following to have dinner with – Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel – who would it be and why? Jeremy Corbyn – I appreciate many Labour values but would like to discuss how his socialist policies can work for SME's in a tough, globally competitive market. If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? London Grammar, without question. For me, the most exciting band of the moment. Hannah Reid’s voice is pure beauty.

Mix 182 March 2018 | 45


Tom Faulkner

Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Company name: Tom Faulkner What is the most recent product you have worked on? I recently created the Golden Edge, which is made from raw steel and finished in 24 carat gold, combining an industrial silhouette with a luxurious finish. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? As I work predominately with metal, it is essential to have the technology to accurately cut any piece. For this reason, water cutting has been revolutionary in ensuring precision without the concern of distortion from higher heat options. If you had to choose one of the following to have dinner with – Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel – who would it be and why? Although Donald Trump does seem the obvious choice, I admit, I would love the opportunity to form my own opinion of him without any media biases.

Above Golden Edge dining table

If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? Jerry Lee Lewis – he totally surpasses Elvis!

Tim Wallace

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Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

What is the most recent product you have worked on? Memo for Herman Miller. We fundamentally redesigned the way bench structures work to remove unnecessary complexity. We also made some subtle changes that increase the potential to alternate between individual and collaborative work. What is the favourite thing you have designed ? That’s like asking which one of your children you love most! At a push, I’d have to say Abak Environments, as it’s easily the most successful product I’ve designed. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? There are a growing number of technology tools that inform us about the design we’re preparing. Be it rapid prototyping, finite element analysis, visualisation or a myriad of other new tools; anything that helps us to understand the design will always benefit an idea’s development. Are customer expectations changing? The requirements of office furniture are always changing – albeit subtly. Big changes only come along occasionally but I believe we’re now at the start of a substantial transformation. Mostly, this will come from the realisation that placing people in rows with no space to move is becoming less and less efficient.

Above & below left Memo for Herman Miller

Residential & Commercial Installed Throughout The UK & Abroad Staircases | Balustrades | Handrails | Balconies | Canopies | Bespoke Metal Work

ENGINEERED ARCHITECTURAL INNOVATIONS

Company name: TWd

11-12 Great Sutton St. London, EV1V 0BX. www.canal.eu.com +44 (0) 115 986 6321 Mix 182 March 2018 | 47


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Joe Armitage

Company name: Tala What is the most recent product you have worked on? We recently launched the Voronoi III, the world's largest sculptural bulb, into our Design Collection. What is the favourite thing you have designed? A 'Wigglu' – a design that was a half wigwam, half igloo. It was a lamp that my Grandfather first prototyped in 1952. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? LED technology. Tala aims to accelerate the low carbon economy by: creating low energy products; offsetting carbon from manufacture with our tree planting scheme; creating long lasting products, which, at the same time, change the perspectives of light bulbs away from being disposable items; using recycled materials where possible.

Right Voronoi III Cluster

If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? Either Des The Tiny Child or Chic.

Right Kerning sideboard

Company name: Joined + Jointed What is the most recent product you have worked on? A family of cabinets called Stele: six pieces with different functions but sharing the exact same, compact dimensions. Extensive utility within a small space. What is the favourite thing you have designed? Perhaps my Kerning series. A true expression of my design approach – visual purity achieved through complex, precise craft – and my respect for wood. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? Sure, web-based technologies get our products seen by a bigger audience. But if one understands technology historically, it’s the woodworking technologies in our workshop that define who we are as a company. We’re deliberately low-tech – none of our making is done by CNC – but it’s tech all the same. Are your customer expectations changing? Much of our work is bespoke. In the past, clients understood what a commission entails: that it takes time, and needs their input. Now, ironically, despite the growing interest in craft, people still want products immediately. They won’t wait on the process, so we design with that in mind.

48 | Mix 182 March 2018

Samuel Chan


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Harc Modular Designed by Roger Webb Associates

London Showroom 20 Old Street Clerkenwell London EC1V 9AB

Ocee Design Design House, Caswell Road Brackmills Industrial Est. Northampton, NN4 7PW

01604 674674 @OceeDesign sales@oceedesign.com www.oceedesign.com

MADE IN GREAT BRITAIN

Mix 182 March 2018 | 49


eadership Integrity Focus thics Family Focus Detail esign Capability Design espect Craftsman Expert Craftsmanship Quality apability Delivery Team etail Focus Family Collaboration Int Craftsmanship Dynamic Inspi Collaboration Leader Design nspiration Respect Ethics Fam Quality Collaboration Design Fo Respect Integrity Capability Expert ynamic Inspiration Quality We are specialist. Capabilit eadership Integrity Detail F thics Family Focus Detail esign Capability Craftsm Collab espect Expert Craftsmanship Inspirat Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Business

Collaboration

Global

Expert

Ethics Dynamic

Business Leadership

xpert elivery

Global

Team

Dynamic

Ethics adership

Business

50 | Mix 182 March 2018

Collaboration www.sjg.co.uk

Busine

Expert Delivery Global Expert


Norbert Geelen

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y

What is the most recent product you have worked on? Hard to say, as I am contemporarily working on multiple projects all the time. The last product introduced to the market is Series 8600 'Lupino' – a family of organic armchairs for Kusch+Co. What is the favourite thing you have designed (not with current company)? It’s always difficult to name a favourite design. I will go with the NoTable high end tables and desks I designed for ICF S.p.A.

n

tegrity

iration

rship

Company name: Heseltine Design

mily

What is the most recent product you have worked on? The Meandro Seating Range. Meandro provides versatile seating for many public settings, including retail, corporate, and leisure. The various modules can stand alone or be arranged in many formats, including continuous end linking. Made from FSC sourced thermally modified timber and powder baked steel, Meandro is durable and maintenance free.

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ess

Company name: Norbert Geelen Industrial Design

t ty Focus manship boration What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? The development of CNC controlled machinery in every aspect of production. This enables us to draw on a computer and have this produced accurately in timber, metal, glass and stone.

Are your customer expectations changing? The public now expects good design and quality of production at an affordable price. The gap between mass production and premium handmade items has narrowed.

If you had to choose one who would you have dinner with: Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel, and why? Donald Trump – because I take pride in my childcare skills and it’s not often you get the chance to go out to dinner with a sociopath.

tion

What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? I started studying design in the late 80's when computer/CAD was still regarded as a specialist skill by most. Almost all my work during that time was analogue. Skip ahead 30 years to today and I’d have a hard time to name any task in my work that isn’t related to, determined by or executed on a computer.

Above Lupino Below NoTable

Are your customer expectations changing? The only continuity is change, so of course customer expectations are changing too. They change over time, between jobs, between customers etc. Don’t assume anything, if in doubt – ask! If you had to choose one who would you have dinner with: Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel, and why? I always wanted to know if he really eats his steak with ketchup, so – Donald Trump.

Below Meandro Seating

Ian Heseltine

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Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Mix 182 March 2018 | 51


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Company name: Colour and Form What is the most recent product you have worked on? Zig Zag Monochrome, a contract fabric digitally printed onto wool, a continuation of our collaboration with Camira.

Rainer Kalesse

What is the favourite thing you have designed? Our textile called ‘Chance’, a flamboyant and intricate pattern. The design is full of rich colours that appear to be painted onto the fabric. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? Recent advances in digital textile printing have allowed us to achieve a fantastic colour range onto a variety of high quality fabrics such as velvets and even wool. These now meet the Martindale and lightfastness standards that contract demands. Are your customer expectations changing? Expectations for British made products have always been high. Our customers are savvy and expect more than just good quality, they are beginning to look for sustainable materials, manufacturing and packaging. The ethics and values of the business are becoming more and more important.

What is the favourite thing you have designed? A sculpture titled 'The new dimension'. In just 48 days, starting with the planning, through the statics to the craftsmanship, this sculpture was designed and made. A lively networking of the products of a company with the life's work of the main shareholder was established. Approximately 12 tonnes of steel and 30m cubed of concrete symbolise the development of a piece of furniture, from chipboard to the finished product. Two vertical surfaces stand for a wooden material, technology is illustrated by uneven holes, which are translucently illuminated in the dark, thereby symbolising the lightness of the material – on the front sides. The two wall panels stand for the change of the two-dimensional chipboard to three-dimensional cabinet furniture. Through the rectangularity of the entire sculpture, which has been worked out in every detail, the archaic statement of the box furniture is again underlined. The sculpture embodies durability and symbolises the unconditional belief in your own ideas and their enforcement properties – which apply exactly to the main shareholder. Are your customer expectations changing? Definitely! Finding out about the future requires vision and implementation into new products takes a lot of courage! Staging is everything! Today's customers rely on flexibility and multifunctionality, especially with small rooms – living space is always expensive, and smaller, affordable rooms are in fashion. It is also important that heat and personality are reflected in our apartments. Light creates emotions – forms and structures provide autonomy. Material and feel are becoming increasingly important for the customer/end user.

If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? The design selected to go to Hong Kong for the GREAT Festival of Innovation was inspired by a Kraftwerk track – Neon Lights – so to see them live would be incredible.

Sarah Parris

If you had to choose one who would you have dinner with: Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel, and why? I would choose not a politician but a good designer. Dieter Rams (born May 20, 1932 in Wiesbaden) is a German industrial designer of the modern age. The aim of his designs is the clarity of form, material justice and ease of use. His name stands for good design. Dieter Rams had very important design principles. Above Chance velvet press Left Neon Lights & Fierce Beauty fabric

52 | Mix 182 March 2018

Company name: RAINER KALESSE Design Management

If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? Udo Lindenberg.


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Mix 182 March 2018 | 53


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

egecarpets.com

New ege collection: ReForm Artworks Ecotrust Mark-making, collage and the aesthetics of chance transfer readily to the floorscape. The multi-level loop construction defines shapes, brushstrokes and layers in three co-ordinated patterns. Made of regenerated ECONYLÂŽ yarns from used fishing nets, Artworks is a truly green choice. Available as tiles and broadloom. THE URGE TO EXPLORE SPACE

54 | Mix 182 March 2018


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Company name: Simon Legald What is the most recent product you have worked on? Pine Tables, a small series of coffee/ side tables. For me, the wood’s fiery growth rings and characteristic aroma represent Nordic soul and warmth. Not least, it makes a lot of sense to use a material that can be found locally in large quantities.

Simon Legald

Below top Pine tables Below bottom The Form series

What is the favourite thing you have designed? The Form Series for Normann Copenhagen. It was very interesting to work on, but also very long; it took over three years to get all the details correct – even though it looks quite simple, it is very complicated. I like things that can be simple in their expression, but in reality are more complicated than they look . What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? There are a lot of interesting materials in development – new ways of using materials, combining of materials. This is forcing people to think differently, and to try new ways to make products. It's a bit like the car industry, where a few companies are doing electric cars and pushing the rest to think in new ways. If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? Blood Orange (Devonte Hynes) – if they ever decide to visit Denmark.

Above PLAY

Stephen Johnson Company name: Stephen Johnson Design

What is the most recent product you have worked on? Our most recent product range is PLAY. It's a collection of products that features a unique synthetic dough that we have developed. What is the favourite thing you have designed? This has to be our PLAY material. It’s been five years in development and the result is this wonderful dough that behaves just like kids PlayDough but with incredible adhesive qualities – and sets hard like concrete. It frees us to design and make furniture and lighting intuitively, like kids. Are your customer expectations changing? I think the roll of creatives, especially designers, isn’t to just adapt to people's changing expectations but to influence or steer them. So products shouldn’t just be reactive but also effecting in some way. Our PLAY collection, for example, offers a relatively unexpected approach to design and making. If you had to choose one who would you have dinner with: Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel, and why? I’d choose my least favourite, out of curiosity. So probably Vladimir Putin. Although I’d be worried about him poisoning my soup! If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? Someone really embarrassing, like Cher or Justin Bieber.

Mix 182 March 2018 | 55


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Company name: Patternistas What is the most recent product you have worked on? We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Newmor Wallcoverings. They strike the perfect balance; a family run company using traditional manufacturing techniques alongside cutting-edge technology, based in picturesque countryside but achieving international reach. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? The ability to create high definition, contract quality, digitally printed products, that are not restricted to minimum order quantities, opens up exciting opportunities for those of us on a mission to cover the world with pattern. Are your customer expectations changing? As boundaries between workplace and hospitality continue to blur, architects and designers are looking to create multifunctional spaces with individuality. The affordability and flexibility of digital print has increased custom orders. Some clients want to tweak colours or scale of existing ranges but others commission us to design bespoke patterns that link with their project in a very direct way. If you had to choose one who would you have dinner with: Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel, and why? Angela Merkel – we’d be happy to raise a glass to a remarkably calm and powerful global leader who demonstrates the values of humanity, generosity and tolerance and is not afraid to stand up to tyranny.

Peter Thwaites

Suzanne & Chris Carpenter

56 | Mix 182 March 2018

Below right Tern Sand Below left Banshee Green


Another month, another amazing workspace project Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Company name: Rapture & Wright What is the most recent product you have worked on? A collaborative project and exhibition with the wonderful Arts & Crafts House at Standen, to produce a collection of fabrics, wallpapers, lighting and accessories to reflect the house, the Beale family, who commissioned and lived at the house, and the radical social philosophy of the Arts & Crafts. What is the favourite thing you have designed? A series of prototype lights for the exhibition at Standen. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? We are a company of two extremes. Our original designs and final print production methods are purposefully analogue – we are all about the hand of the maker. However, the digital technology that we use to turn our original designs into art work ready for printing is thoroughly modern. We find that the quality and flexibility offered by hand printing allows us a creative freedom unsurpassed by modern digital reproduction. Are your customer expectations changing? Our customers are becoming much more used to the idea of the bespoke and many of our fabrics are designed with this in mind. Our production process is geared to offering much more individual choice, with finished pieces unique to that particular customer. If you had to choose one who would you have dinner with: Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel, and why? I would like to say Vladimir Putin but I think it would be deadly dull and I'm not a fan of atomic tea. Therefore, I would plump for Jeremy Corbyn. We would dine on prawn cocktail and Chicken Kiev. I would quiz him as to whether his attitude to design is as retro as his politics – avocado bathroom suites by government decree?

Seeing the end result of our workplace and furniture expertise come to life, makes us proud to be a part of these amazing workspace projects.

If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? Savages.

www.penkethgroup.com Mix 182 March 2018 | 57


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Agile working made easy.

Quiet Booth

Media

Fold

Quiet Workstation

Here at Ryan we provide well designed products for lots of applications such as reception, cafĂŠ, breakout, informal meeting and most recently, agile working. Our design and manufacturing are both based on our own premises in the UK and the combination of efficient in-house design and fabrication means that we deliver great value products without compromising on style or quality.

Get in touch! By all means, stalk us on the internet first. 01427 556 2018 58 | Mix 182677 March

info@newdesigngroup.co.uk

A proud part of:

www.newdesigngroup.co.uk


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

James Brown

Koray Malhan

Company name: Daro

Company name: Koleksiyon

What is the most recent product you have worked on? The most recent is our Elgin woven range with a flat cane arm – and we’re currently working on the concept stage for the 2019 Outdoor Collection.

What is the most recent product you have worked on? Oblivion – designed as conical pods, creating semi-private meeting, presentation, relaxation, concentration, video conference etc spaces. The interior elements can be configured specifically for each customer.

What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? The Internet has made working with the Indonesian factories a much easier process. Previously, we faxed over sketched designs, they would make technical detail amendments and fax back. Now we Skype, WhatsApp and Facetime, which is much quicker and the use of CAD delivers consistency and accuracy in design specifications.

What is the favourite thing you have designed? İkaros – a seating series with winged worksurface extensions. The idea was to support social gatherings around a seating unit using the worksurface for tablets. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? SAP has revolutionised the way we gather data and understand our customers. This is only the beginning. Our insight will get deeper with investment in other technologies like our ‘Dealerzone’ customer portal. However, it comes down to sensible analysis of the data, which can easily turn into garbage as well. Are your customer expectations changing? This isn’t specific to our business at all, but the demand for variety, speed of action and dialogue is increasing, which is invaluable to our business. It is vital to construct healthy channels and to create constant dialogue with user groups, monitor the evolving needs and anticipate the emerging expectations.

Are your customer expectations changing? As retail prices have increased, so have our consumers’ expectations. All our products are handmade and sometimes customers do not appreciate that every piece of furniture is unique – but it is understandable, from their perspective.

Above Oblivion Below Ikaros

If you had to choose one who would you have dinner with: Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel, and why? I would have dinner with Angela Merkel, to ask her to explain their stealth economic invasion of other EU member states. If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? That would have to be Coldplay – as I am still yet to see them live.

If you had to choose one who would you have dinner with: Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel, and why? I am of an age where I really enjoy creative conversations. Seemingly, Angela has similar emotional intelligence, giving the best odds of a great dinner. If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? Daniel Barenboim or Evgeny Kissin.

Mix 182 March 2018 | 59


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Russell Cameron & Steve Jones Company name: Innermost Ltd What is the most recent product you have worked on? Panel is a flat format chandelier we designed that's influenced by jewellery and architectural metal cladding. It combines high quality metallic finishes with new and simple forms. What is the favourite thing you have designed? RC: There are too many to choose from as we have been doing this for over 18 years! Certainly our latest collection is the strongest it’s ever been. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? SJ: The widespread adoption of LED has improved the lighting industry significantly. Lights are more efficient and last longer than ever. It’s opened up innovative design possibilities. A product like our new Kepler could not have been conceived without the latest LED developments. Bluetooth control in lighting is fast becoming the next game changer. Are your customer expectations changing? RC: Lighting has to be about quality and longevity. We live in a disposable society and we are trying to change that with our designs. The majority of our range comes with a three year guarantee and we almost always manage to repair or replace even after 10+ years. If you had to choose one who would you have dinner with: Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel, and why? SJ: Donald Trump, has to be, just for the entertainment value. If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? RC: Ned's Atomic Dustbin – they just reformed and are touring with The Wonder Stuff!

Paul Lincoln

Left Panel

Company name: Hawk Furniture What is the most recent product you have worked on? Gianni A Frame meeting tables, offering both desk and poseur height meeting tables. Gianni is a simple and affordable response to increased demand from consumers moving to agile workspaces. What is the favourite thing you have designed? Evolution bench desk. Designing a bench screen strong enough to accept multiple monitors was a real personal achievement, especially back in the early days of benching, when nobody else had managed it. It has stood the test of time too, as a very popular range for Hawk. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? 3D printing. Until around five years ago the obvious answer was – and still is – CAD, however investing in a 3D printer has sped up the prototyping process exponentially. Seeing and feeling something physical in front of you offers an advantage that you just don’t get by looking at a visualisation on a computer screen. Are your customer expectations changing? Price has always been a very important factor, however, over the last few years, consumers have realised this is often a false economy. Hawk has grown recently as more and more people realise that spending a little more to get a mid-range product pays for itself over the course of the product’s life. If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? Foo Fighters.

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Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Decors as far as the eye can see... Lawcris’s laminate stock is set to increase with a whopping 94 new decors as a high quality and hugely affordable range from the European manufacturing giants Pfleiderer hit their shelves. Not only that, all 94 decors are also available as a melamine with matching edging. Want to see for yourself? Simply contact Lawcris who will bob a swatch chart out in the post for you free of charge. They hold the full laminate stock for next day delivery.

W: www.lawcris.co.uk E: sales@lawcris.co.uk P: 0113 217 7177

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Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Ray Hills

Alexandra Llewellyn

Company name: Ocee Design

Company name: Alexandra Llewellyn London

What is the most recent product you have worked on? The most recent collection I have worked on is Hilly. This modular seating collection has 22 modular pieces, with high back and low back options.

What is the most recent product you have worked on? We were able to collaborate with Milton H. Greene’s Archive and Iconic Images to create 10 limited-edition backgammon boards featuring previously unpublished photographs of the iconic screen legend, Marilyn Monroe. The box is of Macassar ebony and the artwork is black poplar inlaid with brass triangles, and then printed with the iconic photographs. This series of portraits was taken in September 1953 by Monroe’s friend, the celebrated photographer, Milton H. Greene. They feature the actress in a negligee, draped in fur, with a sparkling diamond bracelet on her wrist.

What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? The key for our design team is to strike a balance between new technology and traditional craftsmanship. We strive for an extremely high finish on our upholstery and feel that traditional techniques work best. Having worked in the furniture industry for 46 years, CAD and the ability to visualise product before prototype has transformed the product development process. Are your customer expectations changing? More of the projects we become involved with are now focused towards soft seating and breakout furniture, especially in the office and education sectors. This has evolved from the traditional desk and task seating offerings. If you had to choose one who would you have dinner with: Donald Trump, Jeremy Corbyn, Vladimir Putin or Angela Merkel, and why? If I had to choose, I would say Donald Trump – purely for the entertainment factor. You can have tickets to see anyone in concert who is still alive, who would it be? Anita Baker

62 | Mix 182 March 2018

What is the favourite thing you have designed? Skull Poker Set. Each limited edition set has the edition number engraved on the skull’s handcut gold tooth. The artwork is hand-drawn, then executed using marquetry made up of over 1,000 pieces of individually cut wood, using sycamore, walnut, oak, Masur birch and 4,000 year-old bog oak. The poker box houses 500 traditional clay poker chips that are gold stamped. The dealer button is of black marble, engraved and inlaid in brass, and the blind buttons are engraved motherof-pearl discs.

Are your customer expectations changing? I am very happy to notice clients are becoming more interested in the materials we use and that they understand the imperfections and nature of handmade natural products, as opposed to mass produced machine-made products. If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? Nick Cave.


Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

Above Scafell Modular sofa

Vicki Leach Company name: Deadgood What is the most recent product you have worked on? The Scafell Modular Sofa – a customisable and playful sofa collection, which features bountiful curves and crisp seam detailing. We’re also looking at launching the Scafell ‘Cave’ this Spring. Watch this space. What is the favourite thing you have designed? Victoria Arms – a simple update of the 19th century ‘Smoker’s Bow’ armchair, made in solid ash and steel and featuring simplified lines and softened curves to fit in with any modern interior. What technology has made the biggest difference to your business? The mobile phone. Deadgood has come a long way since its inception over 10 years ago. We’re now located in three different cities and communication is the biggest driver to progress. Additionally, having a conversation with a client or supplier over the phone is far more productive than emailing!

GLOBAL SUPPLIER OF CONTRACT FABRICS • • • • • • • •

Luxurious FR Weaves & Velvets Wide-Width FR Velvet Blackout Drapery Decorative FR Blackouts & Specialist Dimouts Enticing FR Wools & Plains Delicate FR Voiles Bespoke Digital Prints Natural Leather & Faux Leather, Suede & Fur Essential Linings & Accessories

INNOVATIVE & DURABLE FR FABRICS FOR STUNNING CURTAINS & UPHOLSTERY IN HOTEL, LEISURE, CRUISE, HEALTHCARE & EDUCATION INTERIORS

Are your customer expectations changing? They’re changing because we’re learning new things every day and we’re asking more of ourselves to offer a better service. This can be anything from improving our website and displays, to creating mock-up renders and trend forecasting. We aim to improve by means of marginal gains. If you could have tickets to see anyone in concert (who’s still alive), who would it be? Daft Punk – Glastonbury 2019.

THE QUEEN’S AWARDS FOR ENTERPRISE: INTERNATIONAL TRADE 2017

www.bancroft-fabrics.com / T 01274 518888 enquiries@bancroft-fabrics.com

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Spotlight | Product Designer Focus

BOLD FURNITURE FOR MODERN PLACES

ALFRESCO BENCH

Showroom 8 Clerkenwell Green London EC1R 0DE

jennifernewman.com

64 | Mix 182 March 2018


Spotlight | Milliken Quiz

Question Time On a cold night in February, the Mix team had the pleasure of hosting a quiz at the wonderfully inviting Milliken showroom in Clerkenwell. Eight teams from across the workplace sector were treated to fine wine and pies, with our very own Mick and David delivering the challenging questions. The top three teams on the night were: 1st Place – Girls' Night Out + Jon (Tate Hindle), 2nd Place – Let’s Talk About Specs (Gensler) and 3rd Place – Dirty Habit Action (Habit Action) – although we think everyone went away a better person, not least of all because they now know the two landlocked countries of South America.

As well as the standard questions, the Milliken team arranged for a specially created tasting round with chocolate and cocktails. The quiz really exploded into colour and action when each team was tasked with dressing a team member up as a devil or angel – which was won by IA Architects. There was one round in particular that was on the tough side – and we thought we should share it with you in this Spotlight on product designers. Below are a number of images of renowned chair designs. The best any of the teams managed was six – so have a go yourselves, the answers are below.

1

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Answers 1 Egg Chair, Arne Jacobsen | 2 Platner Chair, Warren Platner/Knoll | 3 Tulip, Knoll/Eero Saarinen | 4 Bertoia/Diamond, Harry Bertoia/Knoll | 5 Slow Chair, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec | 6 Fifty Chair, Ligne Roset | 7 Barcelona Chair, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe | 8 DAR/Eiffel, Eames, Vitra | 9 Standard SP, Jean Prouve | 10 Panton, Verner Panton | 11 Fan Chair, Tom Dixon | 12 Drop Chair, Arne Jacobsen

Mix 182 March 2018 | 65


66 | Mix 182 March 2018


Profile | Rawside

In the week that we said farewell to NME magazine – one of the titles that certainly influenced us here at Mix – it feels so right that we’re heading down to South London to meet with a new, relatively unknown furniture brand. After all, it was NME that ‘found’ all those great artists and bands that we still treasure today. We always said we wanted to be like that – to discover new and brilliant brands – not that we’d be so arrogant as to call ourselves the NME of the workplace sector!

T

here definitely is something a little bit rock’n’roll about the company we’re here to see. Rawside is the brainchild of Richard Gann, who has built a small, close-knit team of like-minded people, whose goal is to design, produce and deliver something different – a genuine alternative – right here in London. A quick look at the Rawside website will tell you that this isn’t a brand just trying to be different. With the mantra ‘Designed in Brixton – Made in Wandsworth’ writ large across the home page, the look and feel here is more cool fashion label, surf/skate brand or hip microbrewery. Don’t worry though, Richard and the team aren’t some band of hipsters, playing at being different for the sake of it. There’s plenty of substance here, as we quickly discover. ‘We started Rawside right here – and we still do the design work here. We just opened our new production facility, just around the corner, three weeks ago. That used to be in Wandsworth – hence the ‘Designed in Brixton – Made in Wandsworth’ line – but we’re now looking to change that to ‘Designed in Brixton – Made in Brixton’. So we’ve brought everything even closer together! ‘We started off with the idea of simply making a desk in London. Where are you going to actually make a desk in London? We were never going to make a white, formulaic, soulless desk. This all came from being frustrated by boring furniture constantly being used on projects – and also the environmental impact. I had moved out of interiors for four years and got a lot of experience with product and technology manufacturing. I realised that UK furniture manufacturing is really behind in its offering to its customers. You can find some great manufacturing facilities in Europe – but why shouldn’t you be able to produce a desk right here in London?

Above A rugged Worktable with a reclaimed top and our signature clear lacquer steel frame Left A co-work Bad Boy with an inset parquet top, hot rolled steel frame and central trough

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Profile |

Be inspired with the NEW Taralay Impression and Uni Collection. A stunning set of unique designs and colours that surpass the expectations of designers, architects and specifiers. There are endless design possibilities for your creative mind and for your innovative projects.

*This image has been created using references from the collection.

CONTACT US NOW 01926 622600 www.gerflor.co.uk contractuk@gerflor.com

@gerfloruk

68 | Mix 182 March 2018

EW

Create a stunning & lasting impression...

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TARALAY IMPRESSION


Profile | Rawside

‘I talked to some buddies of mine from this industry and told them about my idea. They thought I’d never do it – they couldn’t see how we could do this competitively.’ Of course, Richard was determined to prove them wrong – well, we wouldn’t be here if he’d simply agreed and thrown the towel in! ‘We just went ahead and did it!’ Richard grins, as we stroll across to the new Rawside factory facility. ‘We’ve recently supplied 4,000 desks for The Office Group. We produce what we call ‘the non-standard standard’ – so they are essentially a range of products that you can change around, within reason, that are delivered quickly and are as competitive as all the other contract quality products on the market. It’s really worked – we’re going from strength to strength. ‘We literally make everything here. We want people to come here and ‘meet the makers’, to see what we’re doing. We’re a team of 20 now – and some of these guys have been with me from before we even started the business! We’ve got a really great core of makers here – and we’ve produced over 6,000 workstations in the last six months, which is pretty good going, especially seeing as we were in a workshop half the size of this. We plan to be making up to 200 desks a day now we have this facility – and we’re competitive and sustainable. 'Each worktable is 100% recyclable. The whole

Above Two Bad Boy tables surrounded by Rawside raw steel partitioning at Workspace’s Kennington Park location Right Skilled makers hand lacquering a new prototype, ready for release

For the set up here in the factory we use biomass heating – so we heat the factory with our own offcuts

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Profile | Rawside

ethos of the business is focused on the recognised 4R approach to environmental responsibility (reduce, reuse, recycle, recover) – and that starts with making sure that the product lasts a lifetime. Then, when we do make a new product, we take a look at the materials we’re making it from, and then just make sure it’s travelled as little distance as possible. It’s not always easy, but that passion is at the heart of this business. We use British steel, we use plywood – because it is so much more environmentally friendly – and we use desktop linoleum as a mass manufactured material, which everyone says is too expensive. We’re proof that you can make it work! ‘It’s amazing to think that we only came up with the idea of making a desk in London three years ago!’ Before starting Rawside, Richard had taken some time out of the interiors world and worked in the technology arena. ‘I realised, after four years, that this wasn’t going to be my retirement fund! But during that time I’d spent quite a bit of time in the States and also went out to Germany and China a lot. I saw a lot of factories in China – both good and bad – and saw some amazing factories in Germany, which inspired me. ‘So, realising that what people wanted from their workplaces had changed an awful lot and with technology moving the way it has and agile workforces being promoted, we still believed that, however many quirky spaces were on offer, people still want a flat surface to work at a lot of the time, but not necessarily in the format of a traditional office desk. So, we simply started with the question, what makes a desk a desk and a table a table? Aren’t they the same thing – essentially four legs and a flat surface? Let’s just make a table.

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Above New material samples, drying like hotcakes and stamped with the Rawside brand Below Soon to be released Rawside Surf meeting table with an olive linoleum top, sat in front of Rawisde raw steel partitions

Virtually everyone else works with 8x4 sheets, but we looked at the idea of taking a square – if you look at it, what’s the difference really? If you put two chairs around it, then it becomes a two-person desk and if you put four seats around it, it becomes a meeting table. ‘We’re not reinventing the wheel here – and we don’t expect to win any Red Dot awards (although we have some interesting products on the drawing board that might change that!) but we knew that if we kept it true to our principles, it would appeal to the market and the only way it could really work is if we brought manufacturing in-house. So we invested in some great CNC machinery, a good team of designers and makers and then we just started selling it – and it sold really well.’ With such a great ethos, a genuinely personal service approach, new workshop facilities and fantastic, robust products, we’re sure Rawside will continue to thrive, not that they’re resting on their laurels – or prepared to take anything like an obvious route. ‘We’re currently looking for a select group of resellers to work with – we’re probably looking at no more than four or five,’ Richard reveals. ‘We don’t have a Clerkenwell showroom – we’ll never have a Clerkenwell showroom. I’ll have sold my soul to the devil if we ever do that! ‘Who knows where this will take us – maybe we’ll have a Rawside Brooklyn and a Rawside Shanghai one day.’ w


Profile |

While technology brings us closer globally, it can isolate us from those who are nearest. Neighbours, colleagues, friends. Human Connections builds vital pathways, intersections and meeting spaces. Where people can come together, collaborate, communicate. See our new Human ConnectionsÂŽ collection at interface.com.

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LET THEM WORK FROM HOME – I F T H E Y WA N T TO ?

Kristoff DuBose, Cirkularis8 Kristoff heads up Cirkularis8, a fullservice end-to-endless design and construction consultancy. With 13 years’ experience in London, educated in New York, but originally from Austin, Texas, Kristoff brings refreshing views to the table. They call him the crazy Texan because you never know what's next!

Laurie Chetwood, Chetwoods Architects Laurie founded Chetwoods in 1988 and continues to lead the practice as Chairman and head of its creative studio. His driving force is the avoidance of bland architectural solutions, steering the practice to explore and develop creativity and innovation. His philosophy is based on a non-formulaic approach to design, often taking precedent from nature and utilising psychological profiling as an essential part of the brief-making process. His work combines the practicalities of everyday living with the emotional ingredients that make a complete design solution.

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Lee Day, 360 Workplace Lee is a partner at 360 Workplace, which is part of the FourFront Group. Lee has a BA Hons degree in industrial design and has spent the last 20+ years working in the commercial office environment as a furniture designer, Interior designer, project lead and workplace specialist.

Natalie Spraggon, BuckleyGrayYeoman Natalie is a Senior Associate at BuckleyGrayYeoman. With a wealth of experience in commercial and community sectors, she is persistently designing into projects the importance of beautifully detailed yet robust interiors. Her work for some of London’s leading developers ensures that spaces are truly designed for the end user and will age well – the quality of the spaces only really evident after a good bit of wear and tear.

Sally Marshall, Turner & Townsend

Simon Jackson, sjjdc Simon has recently set up sjjdc – a design consultancy collective undertaking in-depth strategic advice and change management and full interior design services in the office, residential and hospitality sectors. The company is particularly focused on creating unique but efficient and business appropriate solutions, providing benefits to its client's business, their people and their future organisational strategy. The approach incorporates intellectual research, covering behavioural science and colour psychology, a focus on health and wellbeing and sustainability aspects, all aligned to tailored design and implementation methodology.

Sally works in the T&T London office, with a focus on building relationships with the commercial occupier client base. Her background in design and marketing means she brings unique insight into what end users need to get the most out of their workplace. She is passionate about investigating ways the construction industry can be more forward thinking and, in particular, delivering more sustainable benefits to clients, the environment and the wider community.

Nic Pryke, Oktra Nic heads up a team of 42 designers dedicated to designing unique workplace environments. Since moving into commercial office interior design, Nic has gained over 10 years’ experience designing working environments that exceed clients’ expectations. With an eye for quality and creativity, Nic strives to design interiors tailored to both clients’ visual and strategic goals. He has particular expertise in workplace consultancy and understanding how workplace design can drive and influence behaviour and enable cultural shifts that benefit an organisation.

Steffan Williams, Scott Brownrigg As Director at Scott Brownrigg’s commercial interior design team, Steffan believes that the industry is finally coming of age due to a new appreciation of the value interiors offer to business. His approach to this new opportunity is to gain insight from experts outside of the industry. He has enriched occupants' experience of his interior designs by involving cognitive scientists, statistical analysts, marketeers, brand experts and even ornithologists in the creative process.

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Roundtable

In the modern era, IBM were one of the pioneers of ‘working from home’. Then, in March last year, the company announced that thousands of workers were required to come back into the physical office environment. In 2013, Marissa Meyer – in one of her first tasks as CEO of Yahoo! – recalled all the company’s home workers. This picture is in sharp contrast to the entirely common site of an office worker functioning in a café, bar or sat beside the Thames. How does the conflicting evidence help business leaders plan in deciding the best option?

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ronically, we’re in the grips of the ‘Beast from the East’ as we gather at Frovi’s fantastic Clerkenwell showroom. It’s the perfect day to work from home, however, our gallant panel of experts has all made it through the snow to offer us their personal and professional take on this emotive subject. We begin by asking whether any of our panel regularly works from home? Steffan: Personally, I deplore working from home. I just find it incredibly lonely – so even when I don’t go to the office to work, I’ll go to a coffee shop or a café, where there are people around me. A lot of the work my wife does, who works in the technology industry and reports into San Francisco, involves conference calls and video conferences, so even if she went to work she would spend a lot of time stuck in a room ‘on her own’. She loves working from home. I want the social connections – and my role is quite collaborative anyway. That aside, I’d still crave those social interactions.

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Laurie: I work at home when I need to do quite a lot of design work. If I’m in the office, my time is taken up with admin and meetings. It’s very social but it’s very difficult to concentrate. Similar to Steffan, however, if I’m ‘working from home’, I’d prefer to be in a busy environment, so I’ll go and sit in a hotel lobby to actually design – because I find it easier to have some kind of buzz around me, rather than just sitting there feeling as though I’ve got to get on with some work! If I sit in the office, though, I won’t get any design work done.

they liked. Not a lot of people took up the option of home working. Sally: I used to work for an architects’ firm and now I work for a consultancy firm – and I’d say it’s quite different. Designers – especially when you’re designing on big projects – need to be together to get those ideas flowing. We find that a lot of our clients don’t always need to be together and they’re quite often working in silos on separate things. So, I think this is probably different for us as a group compared to a lot of our clients.

Nic: We don’t really have a culture of working from home. The design team might sometimes work from home, but that tends to be extracurricular work, in the evenings or at weekends – but that’s not something we drive necessarily, it’s the nature of their job and they like to do that. Occasionally, I’ll tell people to go and work from home for the afternoon – but that tends to be lifestyle-driven, because they’ve got something going on outside of work. We might talk to clients about working from home being one option when it comes to agile working. But we don’t get a lot of feedback around people wanting to do that – and, if we do, it tends to be in consultancy businesses, such as legal practices, who actively encourage people to work one day a week from home because it reduces their desk requirements by a fifth! But I don’t generally find myself having a lot of conversations with clients about working from home.

Lee: You are only going to get disturbed in the office. In a hotel lobby or café you are anonymous and yet not isolated – and you have access to good coffee! I can choose – and I predominantly do go into the office. However, that is not the right environment if I want to get my head down and be productive. I go to the office to catch up with people – to collaborate. It can be difficult to be creative though.

Simon: I think that’s true. Depending upon the type of business you’re in, you might well be able to justify working from home. If you’re in a collaborative environment, you really should be with the team. That personal interaction is important. I think this is about the motivation of why people feel they should work from home.

Sally: I work from home one day a week – and I’d like to know how many of the people around this table are in quite senior positions and therefore can pretty much make up their own rules. I’m guessing most of you are. I just wonder if your teams feel that they can work from home?

In a hotel lobby or café you are anonymous and yet not isolated –

Nic: Funnily enough, we offered it to our lot. We asked them how they wanted to work – anything

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and you have access to good coffee!


Roundtable

office at the same time – we need to be able to talk and to collaborate.

People will have more flex to be able to go to the cinema or go to an art gallery – and then go back to the office

Nick tells us that he did a little research before our session and discovered that 18% of people work from home in the South East. Furthermore, it is anticipated that will almost double by 2022. This is driven by a number of things – including technology, millennials’ approach to work and task-based working.

Kristoff: There are a couple of fundamental questions we need to ask ourselves about how we monitor productivity. We basically come from a kind of manufacturing economy background, where a bum on a seat means productive – everybody needs to turn up at the factory, at the same time. The knowledge or intelligence economy is slightly different. It’s about solving problems and it’s about how you relate to the issues put in front of you. If you’ve got creative people who can’t think properly first thing in the morning and ‘need’ to be at their desks at 8.30am, you’re not going to get any productivity out of them. We’ve now got the technology where we can be smarter about how people contribute. There are moments when everybody needs to come together at the same time, sure, but we don’t need to still think of that as the default. My Mac at home is exactly the same as my Mac in the office because it’s all linked up to the Cloud. I can be at my desk at 4.30am to talk to clients in San Francisco – and then be at a completely different desk at 4.30pm to talk to clients on the other side of the planet. Lee: It’s personal to you and to the business. For example, it depends on whether you’re a start-up, scale-up or corporate. If you’re a start-

Simon: I do think that the 9-5 knowledge worker will be extinct in the not too distant future. There still needs to be those core hours where people are in the office together, so there is an overlap, but it might allow people to work from home or take the kids to school in the morning and then work until seven o’clock. I also think that leisure will also be more a part of the working day as well. People will have more flex to be able to go to the cinema or go to an art gallery – and then go back to the office. Natalie: I think it’s a really interesting point about seniority. In our office we only have two senior people who work from home on a Friday. Everyone else works from the office. It’s not really offered – although if something comes up then there are facilities for you to be able to work from home. They will accommodate you. But, on all other levels, we really need to be together in the

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There are moments when everybody needs to come together at the same time, sure, but we don’t need to still think of that as the default.

up, you want everyone to be together because you’ve got that connective emphasis of growing something. If you’re a scale-up you might have a little more freedom in the way you work – and if you’re a corporate it might be different again. Laurie: Most processes in most industries are going to have a collaborative bit and then a focused bit. Lee: Absolutely. I think our industry is really bad at settings these kinds of trends – thinking that everything needs to be collaborative. If your office is not providing you with a place to go and focus, then that’s why you’re going to want to go and work from home – to get your head down. It used to be that your IT was better in the office – but this is no longer necessarily the case. Nic: I’m not actually that technical but, if I was an IT manager, my aspiration for that business would be that anyone could work from anywhere as long as there’s a wireless network. That should be quite easy for a start-up. Sally: Lots of companies aren’t there yet! Nic: If you are a start-up you wouldn’t rent yourself an office and a load of desks anymore – you’d go to WeWork or somewhere like that and you’d be an incredibly flexible little business. You can work wherever you’re like – from the train, a café or from your clients’ offices – but it’s not working from home. It’s incredibly difficult for a big, corporate business to behave like that. Lee: If you’re relatively new to the office environment you almost need an apprenticeship to learn how to be in that space. It can be quite exciting – you’re going into the world of work and you’re able to learn from your new colleagues and you bump into other departments and are exposed to new opportunities – which you lose if you’re not there. Simon: It’s about those chance encounters.

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Sally: One of our occupier clients says that his business doesn’t refer to ‘working from home’ – they talk about ‘homing from work’. So they are actually try to make the workplace quite homely – and they still have 1:1 desk ratios and no agile working. He wants the most relaxed, homely atmosphere for people to come together. I don’t think this is particularly scientific – it’s more about ensuring your workforce is happy. Natalie: There has been lots of research into the psychological benefits of being in the team – as opposed to being isolated at home (and not in a café or a pub). You’re more likely to find it more difficult to de-stress at the end of the day if you’re associating you’re home with your work. You’re not switching off in the same way. Kristoff: People are now starting to take jobs that they are passionate about – they’re going after what they want to do rather than going after the paycheck – so the whole work/life balance is incredibly blurred. Even if you’re in the pub at 11pm, you’re not totally switching off from what you do. It defines what you do – which is a little bit of a problem. Steffan: It feels as though I spend half of my time protecting people who want to work alone in the office and concentrate and focus – and that’s when people should be working remotely. The


Roundtable

important point to make here is that it’s much more expensive for a business to provide a meeting room or a private booth for somebody who wants to concentrate than it is to provide a space where people collaborate. Sally: I think what is really important – and something clients don’t put enough emphasis on – is change management. That process is so important – it’s so important to teach people how to use the space, and on top of that, to create a community where there is trust. This trust should be led from the top. If this is done well, it will work – and that includes working from home. Conclusion This is clearly an emotive subject – and therefore incredibly subjective. Our panel is a perfect example of this, with like-minded individuals having opposite thoughts and feelings when it comes to working from home. Home working is no longer something we should see as sector specific – instead we should regard it as a task-specific option, especially for businesses who are unable to provide people with quiet, focused workspace. Maybe the key word here is ‘option’. Giving people the opportunity, should they wish, to do focused work from home, might not only help the bottom line, but also productivity and wellbeing. w

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Case Study | One Twenty Wembley Right The lounge area

Wembley Way Now, before we’re accused of being self-indulgent, we’d like to point out that this is a serious review of a project, which, although veering away from our usual subject of the workplace, promises a number of the design and cultural elements so prevalent in that world. It also means that we get a trip to Wembley Stadium!

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n fact, when our friends from KSS – who considering that, just the previous evening, Spurs recently scooped the Mixology North Hospitality were playing host to Manchester United here. Project award for the impressive Main Stand ‘Wembley is now 10 years old in terms of the Concourses at Liverpool’s Anfield – we were never new stadium,’ Debbie Drake tells us. ‘This was going to turn down the opportunity to take a look basically the first major refurbishment since then. at this latest scheme at our national stadium. The hospitality space here used to be known as The new One Twenty exclusive members’ the Bobby Moore Lounge and this was the Upper club, part of Club Wembley at Wembley Stadium, Bobby Moore Lounge. The lounge was as one, so opened its doors for the first time at the start of we've now added the screens to divide the spaces this current season, providing hospitality for just and to make this area feel more exclusive and more 120 select members and their guests. This bespoke premium. ‘We’ve ‘gently’ refurbed downstairs – club, designed by which is still called the KSS, delivers a new Bobby Moore Lounge. benchmark in football We’ve changed the hospitality. carpets and added There is a real sense of choice The One Twenty new bars (complete experience kicks-off with Laurent Perrier here – and that was important in the arrival space, branding) and we’re because it does add that extra where guests pass currently looking at through a sculptural new furniture for the sense of luxury an generosity. oversized angular space. canopy. It is here that There were we meet up with KSS previously four Associate Directors entrances for The Debbie Brant and Bobby Moore and now Debbie Drake. Before we even enter One Twenty, the two outside entrances are specifically for One we can’t help but admire how clean and pristine Twenty, and we’ve also re-addressed the branding the concourse and entrance are – particularly downstairs accordingly.

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Case Study | One Twenty Wembley

Left Lounge detail Below The One Twenty Lounge

‘The central area, looking up from downstairs is where the new One Twenty bar is situated. You’ll see that the screening is more intense along the stairs and the entrance and then opens up more so that One Twenty guests and members can look down to where they still have live entertainment downstairs in The Bobby Moore.’ We ascend an illuminated staircase, past the fantastic double-storey, smoked oak panelled wall, and into this exclusive facility. Guests are instantly met by a stimulating array of colours and features in the ever-so-cool lounge. Furthermore, upon reaching the top of the stairs, the view in front of you stretches right out to the pitch and the heart of the stadium itself. Even empty, this sight makes our hearts beat just a little faster! The lounge has been designed to be ‘evolutionary’, with small furniture clusters and swivel chairs enabling guests to define their own groups, privacy and sculpt their own experience. Dense tones of mustard, purple and turquoise are used throughout these spaces. ‘I don’t’ think there’s a hospitality space that offers so much space per head as this does – over half the guests can sit in the lounge, plus you have the entire bar area as well,’ Debbie Brant shows us. ‘There is a real sense of choice here – and that was important because it does add that extra sense of luxury and generosity. A panelled feature wall acts as a stunning central backdrop to the lounge area and includes beautiful upholstery and recessed bookshelves, where guests can browse through the famous Wembley archives.

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As we walk across to the amazing bar – which, at 21m long, runs along the entire width of One Twenty, we ask how challenging it was to ‘up the ante’ from what was already a great offering here at Wembley. ‘It was a challenge but we took a great deal from our own experiences in the sports arena sector – from projects such as Anfield,’ Debbie Drake continues. ‘It wasn’t just about making sure the space looked right, it was about the entire experience. The service here is incredible, for example. You’re greeted downstairs, you’re looked after by maître d’s, you can choose where you want to be – it’s a unique experience for this sector. ‘Everything was considered here – and everything is a step up. This runs all the way through to the branding of menus and staff uniforms. We worked with the team here on all the accessories.’ The bar really is a standout feature for its scale and presence alone, and features a spectacular brass chandelier that floats up to the exposed ceiling. Members can enjoy spectacular four-course meals from leading chef Mark Reynolds, served in the restaurant, overlooking the pitch, while Laurent Perrier serves its full range of champagnes right here in the bar, alongside luxurious cocktails – while members can also enjoy a ‘lighter’ selection of delicious snacks. This isn’t football hospitality as we know it – and we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a few – this really is on another level. Think private members bar meets top end restaurant. Of course, Wembley is very much an all-yearround venue, which, we guess, must have posed


Case Study |

In Short One Twenty is described as the most prestigious club in Wembley's history, with just 120 members and their guests. The facility marks a new hallmark in football hospitality. Events included in the One Twenty membership include all England men's home games at Wembley, The Emirates FA Cup Semi Finals and Final and the Carabao Cup Final. Members can also enjoy spectacular four-course meals from leading chef, Mark Reynolds, served in the private restaurant, overlooking the pitch itself. Leading champagne house, Laurent Perrier, serves its full range in the spectacular 21m long bar.

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Case Study | One Twenty Wembley

it’s own challenges? ‘We had two phases on site. Wembley is different from other stadiums,’ Debbie Brant agrees. ‘It doesn’t sleep in the same way. Other Premier League clubs allow you to go in and do site works at the end of the season. For Wembley, that’s when the concerts start. It was pretty challenging – we had two eight-week windows to work in. So, for example, we had to make sure that we could bring in a cherry picker to do all the incredible panelling here and still have everything out of the way downstairs for an Adele concert! Everything had to be acceptable for guests coming into other parts of the stadium.’ We’re told that a lot of the impressive features that now add so much to One Twenty were manufactured off-site and then brought here and assembled on-site. A perfect example of this are the feature ceiling rafts, which help diffuse the feeling of the naturally low ceilings here. Moving through to the One Twenty restaurant itself, we’re immediately struck by the scale. There is plenty more of that sense of luxury and generosity here. ‘The brief was that this is Wembley. You know where you are!’ Debbie Brant continues. ‘It’s about getting the very best members club and dining experience – and it just so happens that the match is right outside your door!’

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Essentials Client Club Wembley Design KSS Fit-Out Portview Furniture Supply Hunters Furniture & Rugs Moroso General & Feature Lighting Enigma Lighting Signage & Graphics Principle Global Carpet Shaw Contract Above & below The amazing 21m long bar


Case Study | ®

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Case Study | One Twenty Wembley

‘You can sit around 450 people here – but they don’t tend to do that. There is nothing themed about the space – although we do have a couple of very subtle nods to football, such as the use of hexagons, which mirror the panels on a football. ‘The lighting scheme is really important throughout, and we can change the settings according to the time of day or the mood required. Again, we’ve created a variety of dining settings, including fine dining banquet booths and long pitch-side tables. It was all about adding even more variety and choice – all about that extra layer. We knew we had to match fine dining establishments, while also cleverly dividing the space and making full use of it. We had to make sure that we could make this flexible. We were inspired by the outside fine dining world – but it’s not really comparable because of all the other challenges that this facility faces.’ One thing we haven’t mentioned is that, for the football fans among you, One Twenty sits right on the halfway line. Nice. One Twenty is described as ‘the finest offering from Club Wembley, delivering a unique concept unseen in sporting stadia and providing the next era of luxury and subtle extravagance’. We wouldn’t disagree. w

Above Female washrooms Below The One Twenty entrance

It’s about getting the very best members club and dining experience – and it just so happens that the match is right outside your door!

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Spinning Class

Case Study | PwC Manchester

Left Central town hall space

We’ve been fortunate enough to have seen the evolution of leading professional services company PwC’s workplaces through both 7 More London and Embankment Place. We’ve also known the company’s Carl Gearing (Strategic Planning) – who has been a regular contributor to Mix – for a good few years now. So when we were given the opportunity to meet up with Carl in our hometown of Manchester, to look at the latest PwC workplace creation, we weren’t going to say no!

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Case Study | PwC Manchester

P

wC has been in Manchester for over 80 years and is one of the city's leading professional services firms. Some 900+ staff now work out of the new Manchester office, servicing some of the city and the region's largest and most prestigious businesses. The new workplace at No.1 Spinningfields – the city’s tallest commercial tower – is a significant move for both PwC and for Manchester’s ever-growing business centre. PwC has taken 67,000 sq ft over three floors, with a further floor of 25,000 sq ft also secured for future growth. Previously, the firm was based at Barbirolli Square, near the Bridgewater Hall, for the best part of 20 years. No.1 Spinningfields offers PwC a number of things; great address, fantastic location and pristine, large, open floorplates. Concentrating on the latter, the nature of the building provides Carl and the team with a great canvas to create forward-thinking furniture layouts and flexible, diverse work settings for the 700 people now calling this building their working home. We begin by asking Carl about the process of developing these work settings. ‘We sit with everyone, from the Senior Partner through to the postman, and host a number of sessions to talk about the furniture,’ he begins. ‘Everyone’s keen to talk about the furniture. We start by talking through the settings we’ve devised – and also about how the space will feel. One of the big things that

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I didn’t want people to walk in here and see pictures of Manchester to understand that this is Manchester

Above left Personal lockers help divide space Directly above Extensive elegant breakout space Above right Brilliant fabrics employed throughout Left A variety of facilities away from the desk


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Case Study |

With Apple Apple, Samsung Samsung, Google and Microsoft devices using Type-C USB charging isn’t it time you upgraded to OE Electrics’ Type-C charger. charger With PIP TUFA+C you get the best of both worlds with Type-A AND Type-C USB charging capabilities. Perfect for integrating into the smallest of spaces, PIP is the best choice when it comes to providing the fastest, safest and most efficient phone or tablet charger. It couldn’t be easier! Simply clip into place, connect and charge!

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Case Study | PwC Manchester

Essentials Client PwC Design BDP Furniture / Finishes Bene, Senator, Office Electrics, Task, Orangebox, Salt & Pegram, Frem, Knightsbridge, By Bailey, Ahrend, Connection, MA Design Products, Idea Paint, Bisley, Davison Highley, Morgan, Boss Design, Saralunga, Woodwork Interiors, Hunters, CBS, Interstuhl, Foscarini, JBH, Chat Board, Envosort, Vitra, Muuto, Freewall, Clerkenwell Rug Studio, Framery, The Collective Agency

Above Amazing outdoor space with views across the city Right A close up of Freewall's lockers

came out of those sessions was that people really wanted to feel that the space had an identity of Manchester. I asked them what that meant – and they said that it should be a bit edgy, a bit ‘out there’, something different and not corporate. So we’ve had to push like crazy to create something that had exactly that feel. 'I didn’t want people to walk in here and see pictures of Manchester to understand that this is Manchester. This is louder, it’s more brash than we’ve done before. Some of the things here don’t really sit together – but they do sit together. It’s eclectic – and I hope we’ve achieved what people wanted. ‘It was a big push – the layout itself was a big push. Then, to get the finishes we wanted and the right look and feel, it really does take things a lot further. We’ve done things here that not only PwC have not done before, but I don’t believe anyone has done before. ‘This is very much part of a wider programme. We’ve taken on board all the things we’ve learnt from past projects – the things that have worked really We always try to take things forward with well and those that haven’t every project we do – and this was probably worked. We always try to a bigger leap forward than previous projects take things forward with every project we do – and this was probably a bigger we’ve done leap forward than previous projects we’ve done.' Carl and his team once again worked alongside BDP here in Manchester. Carl grins as he tells us that his friends at BDP raised an eyebrow or two when he explained his thinking behind the look and feel of the space. ‘I wanted to be even louder,’ he admits as we walk through the myriad of eclectic, flexible settings. ‘You can’t produce a creative, fantastic office space by holding back. You have to be a bit brave. You have to trust what you know and what those people around you know – and then push to get it done. ‘I think that, to start with, some people couldn’t see what we’d done here. There is a reason for everything though – a real rationale. Once I showed people the floorplan and explained why everything is like it is, they started to get it. Every twist and turn in this space has been implemented for a very good reason. ‘For example, Partners don’t have an office in here. There are enough offices for Partners to go into and use if they need to – so they can book an office – but these spaces are not set up as Partner offices, they’re set up as meeting rooms and Partners sit out here with everyone else. What we needed to do, therefore, was to carefully position certain settings, so that those places where the

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Case Study | PwC Manchester

Partners sit are protected and more secure. So you’ll find that people can’t walk behind them – there is that little bit of protection for them. Each of these areas has meeting spaces, pods and benches, and then we’ve also added mobile screen units, designed by Jones & Partners, which give even more protection and privacy where and when necessary. ‘There’s an awful lot of thought gone into all this. After all, the Partners have spent years in their own offices – and pretty big offices at that! This is a big change for them. To be honest, it’s all a big change for them. Their old office was probably more space than they needed – this is actually less practice space here! They’ve now taken floors five, six and seven – with seven offering amazing outdoor space. 'This office is all about future working. It’s about being able to bring people up from London and it’s

‘You can’t produce a creative, fantastic office space by holding back. You have to be a bit brave

Above Clever use of space 'beneath the bleachers' Above right Denim in the office? Carl certainly thinks so Right Entrance to client facing suite

about providing a world-class facility in the heart of a world-class city.’ We walk through the space, stopping every few yards to admire the fantastic variety of settings and furniture employed throughout. ‘There is no booking of desks here,’ Carl tells us. ‘You simply go the digital floorplan on each floor and it will tell you where’s free. There are sensors under everything. You can sit anywhere that is free. People tend to sit within their own teams, of course, but you can sit – or stand – literally anywhere. ‘Everyone has a ‘smartbox’. The sensors won’t tell people where you are – they are just there to show where is free. ‘The biggest change, from my point of view however, is that we’ve previously laid things out in a very linear fashion. On the Leeds project, we started to twist things a little and come away from the walls. Here, we have nothing against the walls and the windows, and we have created these working areas, where you have sit/stand, collaborative benching, meeting space, private booth…and all within a few feet of each other. In the past, we’ve found that people within a team need or want to work in different ways, using different settings, and so have spread themselves throughout the office. Here, we have everything within a few feet of each other, so those teams can stay close to one another and work together,

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whatever setting they require or in whichever way they want to work. This is truly collaborative. Everyone has choice here. ‘The look and feel is really soft. We’ve used curved ends, we’ve used natural materials and very non-corporate colours. There are writable screens and ‘walls’ everywhere, so people don’t need to book a room to meet up and collaborate.’ These ‘boroughs’ are repeated throughout the open working floors, although the smart use of products and facilities breaks up the vastness of the floorplates. Then we have the large, bright central presentation space, a brilliant informal breakout space (think Upper Class lounge or boutique hotel lobby rather than a couple of sofas stuck together) and, upstairs, a quite brilliant client facing suite (we’ve now moved on to top end restaurant/bar in terms of look and feel) and the aforementioned outdoor space – which we’re sure will be a massive hit come the Spring and Summer, but not quite the place to be right now! This is urban planning on a more condensed scale. It’s clever, it’s intuitive and it looks and feels incredibly impressive. In fact, from our vantage point up here above Spinningfields, we can see into neighbouring buildings, where rows upon rows of desks only help highlight how open, bright and generous this space is. w


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Case Study | Spark44

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Case Study | Spark44

SPARK OF GENIUS

London might well have been in the grips of the ‘Beast from the East’, with people struggling to navigate their way in, out and around the capital, however we got a serene, calm and beautiful view over this winter wonderland.

This planted, enclosed area next to 'The Stage' can also be used for individual working or meetings

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Case Study | Spark44

Left The kitchen features Silestone worktops and counters Right To the right of reception is a relaxed seating area, followed by a series of booths

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e’re on the 11th floor of the White Collar Factory in Shoreditch to take a look at the dynamic new workspace of global creative agency, Spark44. align has completed the highly-functional and client-sensitive workspace project, over two storeys of The White Collar Factory – the major new office and retail campus on Old Street Roundabout, described by developers Derwent London as ‘one of our most ambitious projects to date’. The design approach for the new Spark44 London office, which is uniquely dedicated to fulfilling creative projects for Jaguar Land Rover, sought to achieve a balance between respect for the building’s proportions and base-build materiality, the specific needs patterns of the agency’s London team and the brand principles of Spark44. The London office of Spark44 had grown substantially over recent years and needed to move on from an existing, fragmented space, no longer conducive to creativity or collaboration. The agency wanted a new workspace with a strong personality, without being either corporate or gimmicky, which would be able to house a variety of different departments with ease. As Spark44

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offers a 360° service both above and below the line, it therefore has a lot of different teams and activities with different needs and focuses. The agency’s working emphasis is very much about delivering to deadlines, as opposed to people simply being present at desks – and so the working environment needed to support the teams across different locations and environments and stimulate creativity at all times. We’re met here on the 11th floor by Spark44 Facilities Manager, Damien Jones, and align Director, Gurvinder Khurana, who can show us around this forward-thinking space. We begin by asking Damien to tell us a little more about the company’s relocation. ‘We were in a converted factory warehouse at Morelands on Old Street,’ he tells us, ‘but when we first occupied that space the company was a lot smaller – there were probably about 70 people working for the company then. Our headcount increased to about 200 in a couple of years – at which point we were packed to the rafters. ‘We originally occupied one building at Morelands – and then took ownership of a second building there and created a link bridge between the two, which then opened things up to create one bigger office space. Then, we had to take a

third building to fit people in – because we were really crammed in. Even then we were really tight on space. We even had people working out of the kitchen at times! ‘So, one of the main reasons behind the move was to have a space where people could have different places to sit, different collaboration areas, different places to have their lunch – a whole multipurpose environment.’ By way of example, Damien points out a series of booths here in the open, bright reception space, which are used for breakfasts, lunches, meetings and team working. ‘Clients also like to come here and use these spaces,’ Damien says. ‘It’s important to note that, when the decision was made to move, we were already having the conversation about how disjointed everything was becoming,’ Gurvinder explains. ‘We started fitting the third building, and we had conversations about the fact that the business was becoming so fragmented because it was growing so much – and it didn’t make sense to keep spilling over into these mini-units.’ ‘It was conducive to supporting a creative environment,’ Damien adds. ‘We really needed space in which people could collaborate, could come together as teams. At the same time, we


Case Study |

In Short Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer is Ralf Specht. Spark44 has 18 offices in 16 countries. Founded in 2011, Spark44 was - and remains - the first agency of its kind. The unique Spark44 model focuses on a business partnership between client and agency. Today, more than 1,000 Spark44 associates support the entire mix of Jaguar Land Rover's marketing communications. Both Jaguar and Land Rover were ranked in the top three websites in the UK, USA, Germany and China according to Psyma Automotive surveys.

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Case Study | Spark44

Above A large wall area for concepts and presentations sits beyond the meeting table Right Breakout space beyond kitchen with display shelving

didn’t want to create a series of soulless breakout spaces, where there was little or no energy. One of the things that works really well here is that, no matter where you are in the office, there is always activity. There is always energy here. Again, while a lot of companies have the luxury of having a great big town hall – that's only ever a town hall – we can move things around here, so every space is multi-use. All of this gets used all day, every day. None of it is wasted.’ ‘That’s how true agility should work,’ Gurvinder agrees. ‘The space should have multiple functions throughout the day – otherwise you’re paying whatever you pay per square foot and 50% of the time it just sits there not being used.’ Our hosts admit that this is still something of a work in progress, with Spark44 constantly learning how and where the teams here prefer to work. Despite the fact that, due to the nature of the agency’s work, people have fixed desks, that certainly doesn’t mean that they are fixed to those desks. ‘We know how people are using the space now,’ Damien confirms. ‘There are certain pockets of the office that people took to immediately, without anyone having to tell them how they should be used – which was really nice to see. The garden booths, for example, are really popular. People really like these alternative settings. ‘In saying that, we’ve created a couple of spaces, such as the library space upstairs, which isn’t used as we anticipated – it’s still really popular but people are using it in a totally different way, so we’ve adapted it to suit how people want to work there.

Essentials Client Spark44 Design align Fit-Out Virtus Contracts Project Manager Property IS Consulting M&E Medland Metropolis Furniture Supply Broadbase Street Art Feature Wall Nerone

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Case Study | Spark44

‘One of the really good things about this scheme is that we’ve got plenty of places we can play with and change as we move forward.’ We move through to the dedicated client area, which features a suite of six meeting rooms, arranged around a central breakout/gathering space. Each meeting room is named after a car model from the Jaguar or Land Rover ranges – Velar, Range Rover, F-Type, F-Pace, XJ and Discovery. The rooms include two boardrooms – Range Rover and XJ – with a folding wall between so that they can be adapted for larger-scale meetings. At the heart of the space is a dedicated, open kitchen/food prep facility, and the incorporation of the Spark44 mantra, ‘Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Honest’, together with a high-impact colour palette of red, grey, white and black. Technology was a key consideration throughout the process, we’re told, driven from a desire to facilitate and support growth and change within the company over the coming years. In order to create a workspace that would be future-proofed as much as possible, the design solution fully encompassed an agile working philosophy. Although there are 234 desks in the final scheme, a further 96 work settings have

been incorporated over both levels to allow for and actively encourage agile working. WiFi is accessible across both floorplates at all times to support this. Our hosts tell us that a projector upstairs on the 12th floor allows for presentations and announcements to be unified throughout the office

There are certain pockets of the office that people took to immediately, without anyone having to tell them how they should be used – which was really nice to see

if required, with the 11th floor always the focus of companywide meetings and presentations. There are a number of elements and settings that catch our eye as we continue through the space. The open plan working areas do have a genuine creative buzz and, despite the fixed desk

nature of the agency and the inclement weather outside, there are pockets of activity just about everywhere we look. A suite of four executive offices runs across the rear of the open plan office space on both levels 11 and 12. These offices, which feature black, metal-framed glazed doors and windows, are purposefully simply arranged, so they can double as meeting space when not in use. We find cool green, biophilic areas on each floor in the form of ‘garden pods’. These feature a thick-textured green carpet, referencing grass, with plants integrated throughout. A central table and write-on walls encourage staff to use the space for stand-up working or meetings. The triple-booth meeting and working zone mentioned earlier is illuminated by a brilliant feature wall, designed and hand-painted by street artist, Nerone, featuring a mythical international city skyline, with the outlines of real iconic buildings from around the world, We love the subtle car-inspired details we find here. The bespoke booth tables, designed by align, feature a double exhaust pipe detail at the end of the table top, while the red ribbed glass references the idea of car brake lights, and car pedals are even set into the outside wall of the client booth to serve as footrests. Brave and bold. Honest. w

Above Spark44 logo with inset spark plugs Left The windows boast views out across the city and its iconic skyline

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Ballroom Transformation Bespoke woven axminster carpet, expertly crafted by Wilton Carpets, has been installed in the ballroom at The Queens hotel, Leeds. The Queens asked the Wilton Carpets design team to come up with a pattern that reflected the Ballroom’s art deco features. Senior designer, Matthew Robinson, rose to the challenge with a grand design inspired by Art Deco’s structured, elegant geometrics. Wayne Topley, general manager, The Queens comments, 'The carpet has literally transformed the space into a venue in which people want to be seen.' www.wiltoncarpets.com

Twin Glazed Partitioning System Introduced Ocula Systems has introduced FT80, an 80mm twin glazed partitioning system that can support various glass types and thicknesses, offering a flexible ‘designer’ product to the specification sector. One of its unique features is the optional frameless glazing mullion, allowing manually controlled venetian blinds in the cavity, which come with encapsulated ends to eliminate any visible gap between the end of the blind and mullion. www.oculasystems.co.uk

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Ocula Works for Design Firm's Own Workspace Ocula Systems partitioning system has been specified for the workspace of commercial interior design firm Harmsen Tilney Shane’s London offices. Ocula supplied 20 linear metres of single glazed banded partitioning with drywall integration and flush glazed doors for the project. Whilst the aesthetics were important, so was the level of acoustics. 'The acoustics within the meeting rooms at Holyrood Street have exceeded our expectations, particularly as we only went for single glazing,' said a company spokesman. www.oculasystems.co.uk

Get Into the Groove modulyss has expanded its In-groove collection of air-purifying carpet tiles with four new colours. These new looks bring extra design possibilities to the collection, which has been a proven aid to indoor air quality since 2011. 'We designed In-groove as an answer to dealing with the problem of indoor air quality,' explains Vanessa Van Overmeeren, Product Development Manager. 'The carpet tile offers architects and designers a simple way to reduce airborne dust, all while delivering a hardwearing and attractive floorcovering.' www.modulyss.com

Heradesign Creates Aspirational Environment The University of Cambridge has a new purpose-built centre for its Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPdA). This new building provides bespoke support facilities for Postdoctoral researchers, who play a vital role in the university’s world-class research. Saunders Boston Architects employed an organic, unprocessed aesthetic featuring exposed ceiling services and building materials used in their raw state throughout. Heradesign acoustic ceilings and wall absorbers from Knauf AMF were chosen in a neutral colour to enhance the interior design. Visitors to the OPdA are welcomed in the open plan reception, where a Heradesign ceiling raft provides Class A acoustic control and creates visual impact. Specification Manager, Sacha Conte, explains why Heradesign is the ideal choice. 'The raft comprises individual Heradesign panels fitted to a concealed grid to give an almost continuous appearance. It’s hung using discreet wires so it looks as if it’s floating, creating a striking feature. The raft integrates successfully with the exposed building services and lighting.' www.knaufamf.com

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The Last Word | Opinion

WHEN IT PAYS TO BE DEAF With another brilliant, honest insight, Glenn Elliott tells us that you can ask absolutely anything of your staff - apart from 'that'.

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Glenn Elliott was the CEO of employee engagement specialist Reward Gateway from 2006 to 2017 and now advises businesses on company culture, leadership and growth. He is the author of Build it - The Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement (Wiley, 2018), where you’ll find much more on the subject of Job Design. www.glennelliott.me www.rebelplaybook. com

isten to your people. It’s not a radical idea. Perfectly good 'best practice', probably in every leadership manual from the last 20 years. But it’s wrong. Or at least it can be if you don’t do it right and doing it right requires more balls than you might think. Let’s dig in. In the 11 years I was CEO at Reward Gateway I grew the business from five people to 400, from one client to 2,000, from one product to eight and from one pokey little office in Notting Hill to nine across three continents. We started with no VC funding, no fat cat angels – just a handful of people with a few credit cards and an overdraft. We scraped together about £50k to get it going and when I sold it for the second time in 2015, it went for £140 million. Delivering that growth, that level of change, required endless restructuring, endless change, hundreds of organisational dead ends, pivots, upsets and the occasional volte-face. We reinvented the org chart on a sometimes monthly basis, changed job roles, job titles, rotated staff, incentives schemes, performance programmes, created and eliminated bonuses, formed departments – and sometimes disbanded them only months after. And what I learned during all of it is that, with an open and honest approach to communications and present, kind, visible leadership, you can inflict almost any change on your workforce and they’ll go along with it. Almost any change, that is, except ask them to move their desk or change the office layout. For nine years, the company’s London HQ was at 90 Westbourne Grove, London, W2. A nice address until you got there and found a B-grade 60’s building with plastic peeling off the windows, toilets that never seemed or smelled clean and a lift that amazed me every year when it passed another safety inspection. We got burgled once and nothing was stolen. It’s one saving grace was it was above a Sainsbury’s Local so it was handy for food, although in time earned the badge 'the world’s worst Sainsbury’s Local' and was itself closed for some time due to an infestation of some pest or other. But when we filled that space to a point of bursting and decided to decamp the sales and service departments to a beautiful new building 10 minutes' walk down the road, there was an outcry. The client service department – a dedicated, highly pragmatic and professional team – actually produced a spreadsheet

containing 35 reasons why it wouldn't work and shouldn’t happen. At least 34 of these were related to the idea of sharing a room with the sales team. In that same building, a colleague – Tina – worked in the finance team on the 3rd floor. I saw her one day wearing a jumper, coat, scarf and hat at her desk. 'Are you alright Tina?' I asked. 'Yes, I’m fine,' she replied. 'Just cold, very cold.' 'But Tina, you’re sitting under the aircon vent, directly under it. Why don’t you move your desk – there’s an empty one just there,' I replied. Tina looked at me aghast, like I’d really offended her. 'But this is my desk,' she said. 'My desk.' And then she looked back down and carryied on with her work, content she had put that terrible idea to bed. There is something so deeply personal about space that it can make us behave in a completely irrational way. When faced with change, we seem to forget everything that’s wrong with the present and view the new with deep suspicion and contempt. So when it comes to staff consultation, of course we need to do it and of course our offices will be the better for really understanding how people work and what their needs, wants and ideas are. But if you want to create a really special workplace that people will truly love in the future, you’re going to need to lead from the front and take people on a journey that some will find momentarily uncomfortable. In Build it, we call it 'collaborate with courage' and what I mean by that is, invest time in listening, communicating, sharing and explaining but then find the courage to paint a bold vision and avoid the deep compromise of the committee. If I hadn’t done that at Reward Gateway, for our own new workspace, we wouldn’t have been largely printer and paper free, we wouldn’t have had gender neutral bathrooms and we would have had a ton of 'essential' storage space, stationary cabinets, pedestal units and personal lockers – none of which I believed we actually needed and none of which we eventually provided. Most of us are highly resistant to change in our physical space but you can build an office of the future now. Just don’t expect everyone to be excited in advance. The real tests of leadership are always when everyone says 'Go North' and you know you need to go South. But get workplace right and, from the day your people move in, they’ll forget the past and walk confidently into the future.

T: 0161 402 3340 E: hello@opus-4.com

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W: www.opus-4.com


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