Mar 21st 2021

4 Things to Know About the Future of Healthy Spaces

Anne Kulinski

Q1 2021 NH Event Article Alternative Hero

Last week, we welcomed four talented designers to celebrate our latest launch, the New Horizons collection, and discuss what they see as the future of healthy spaces. Moderated by award-winning designer Michael DiTullo, panelists Kate Logan (Design Director, Whitney Architects), Kathryn Holloway (Interior Designer, JCJ Architecture), and Ashley Kirkland (Director of Interior Architecture, Grizform Design Architects) speak from their experiences on how they see the interior design industry evolving as we adapt to building in a post-pandemic setting.

Nh event panelists

The event was filled with interesting insights and thoughtful guidance on how to proceed with designing healthy, functional spaces while keeping evolving guidance in mind. Check out our top four insights from the event, below:

  1. The office is (still) mobile. While some office workers want to return to the office full time and others want to stay fully remote, most office workers say they want 2-3 days a week to work remotely. As vaccines roll out and travel returns, we can’t forget that the office is wherever these workers might be. Their home office, a hotel lobby, the airport terminal, a restaurant bar, the coffee shop down the street - all of the usual suspects - with new parameters and considerations around health. Thinking about the office as more than just the home and headquarters is a must.
  1. Acoustics are as important as ever. Introducing more “easy to clean” materials into spaces often means introducing more hard surfaces as well. Knowing this, we can proactively think about how we can incorporate acoustics into these spaces earlier in the process, making them architectural and an integral part of the design. These intentional acoustics will help ease any sound issues that arise from the increase in hard surfaces while adding to the visual impact of the space.

  1. Flexibility is key when it comes to the role of the office. As the world continues to change, clients want to stay adaptable. While this comes in the form of shorter leases and smaller satellite offices, it also includes adaptability within a space. Huddle rooms, 1-2 person rooms, lounge chairs, desks - as Kate says in the discussion, “The variety is here to stay.” As workers return, we’ll need to stay mindful of their personal comfort levels. Providing these options for gathering sizes as well as opportunities to reorganize the space (such as with acoustic partitions) allows for more personal comfort in the hands of the team, helping them focus more on their work and be more productive.

  1. There’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to office design. Some teams like being together in the office more than others, and every organization will have their own set of guidelines for their teams to work in person. When speaking to your client about their design requirements, find out what is working for them in their current space as well as what they would improve upon. This will provide a good starting point for the design and help identify any early opportunities to incorporate and champion acoustics.

When we look forward to new horizons, we look forward together. Having these open discussions and sharing our knowledge is a part of that, and we are thankful to our fantastic panelists for joining us.

View the full webinar for additional insights below:


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