Interior Design

Architecture, Inspiration, Interior Design, People, Projects /

Movement in Design: 6 Ways to Encourage Movement in Our Designs

In a previous blog post, Lisa Morrison, Lawrence Group workplace designer, shared her experiences with a radical idea dubbed “the standing meeting.” After struggling to find a place for a “normal” sit down meeting due to conference room demand, her team decided to move counter-culturally and stand for the meeting. They had a quicker, more productive meeting and enjoyed the change.

This idea of incorporating movement into design is not so new. People have begun to realize that we sit a lot, and that it might not be so good for your health. If you think about it, we do spend a lot of time seated. As an office worker, your typical day probably looks something like this: You commute to work, seated. You sit at your desk, seated. You go to lunch and sit. Back to your desk, sit, attend a meeting, sit, drive home, sit. And, if you just feel worn out after a long day, relax and watch some Netflix, while you sit.

Sitting really isn’t the problem though. The extended periods of sitting, creating a lack of movement in your day, is the real problem. One of my favorite coaches, Dr. Kelly Starrett, mobility expert and personal trainer, says that the best position to be in is the next position. Basically, we should always be in motion. Our bodies were made for it. Here are some ways that we as designers can encourage more movement and activity with our designs.

1. Encourage an alternative commute. Now, we really can’t change your commute, but we can encourage people to do something different. First, consider the location of your building. Locating near a public transit route and within a walkable neighborhood can make alternative commutes such as walking or biking more achievable. By providing facilities for bicycle parking, showers, lockers, etc., in a workplace there are limited barriers to riding your bike to and from work. This could mean a bike parking area to lock up your bike outside, or even better, inside to protect them from the elements. More than half of Americans, 55%, say they would like to walk/ride rather than drive more throughout the day either for exercise or to get to specific places. (http://brspoll.com/uploads/files/walkingrelease.pdf)

2. Showcase the stair not the elevator. When designing, we often consider the stair for code purposes only, tucked in the back corner and used only in emergencies. The elevator is the main means of transportation between floors. In buildings of two to four floors, occupants will often feel more compelled to take the stairs knowing that the task is not overly daunting and would be faster than waiting for the elevator. Not true for skyscrapers.

  • LEED v4 Pilot Credit 78 Design for Active Occupants gives credits for design considerations that encourage users to take the stairs.
  1. Providing at least 50% of tenant floors access to a “primary stair”
  2. Locating the stair within proximity to the lobby edge
  3. Making the stair visible before the elevator
  4. Providing generous width to this stair over the code minimums
  • Highlight Circulation Paths: Making circulation paths more stimulating visually/aesthetically helps to encourage movement throughout the day. Adding visual stimulation such as artwork, views, and amenities along the circulation paths makes movement more enjoyable by allowing the mind to wonder instead of focusing on the end destination.

3. Provide Workstation Options –If you’re like me, sitting all day is tough to do. I need to move. I get up and walk around, do some stretches, then return to my seat. I would love the option to work standing up or sitting down. When choosing furniture, consider a blend of heights. Standing or variable height workstations facilitate standing meetings, conversations, etc.

4. Outdoor Walking Amenities/Site Destinations – Adding an outdoor amenity or destination helps in welcoming visitors and encourages passing through or to these items. This could be a water feature, a plaza, a garden, outdoor walking path, or just as simple as a bench or cluster of table and chairs. A walking path trail is a nice addition to any outdoor space.

5. Incentivize – Engaged/healthy employees often participate in extracurricular activities focused around fitness. Consider supplementing the cost of programs like gym memberships to show as an owner/employer that you are devoted to their health and well-being.

6. Provide a Dedicated Activity Space – Sometimes people can’t make it to the gym and would prefer to participate in activities with their coworkers. Providing a dedicated space for recreational activities and fitness facilitates movement in the design. WELL design also gives credit for dedicating such a space for exercise over 200 square feet.

 

 

 

Interior Design /

Salmon Fillets and Clay Bowls Oh My

SHERWIN WILLIAMS COLOR OF THE YEAR 2019: CAVERN CLAY SW 7701 (290-C6)

Now I know that designers and fans alike get excited about the color of the year announcements from their various color institutions. I am no different, I love to see what the taste-makers think is the hot new thing. As we’ve talked about before, the “colors of the year” announcements generally are in design but eventually work their way into all facets of mainstream design. Sherwin Williams has just introduced their color of the year 2019, and it’s a little hue called “Cavern Clay” . . . and I am not a fan. I might even say that I hate it. I know, strong words for some pigment squirted in a can.

When I first saw Cavern Clay, all I saw was end of summer sun-burned skin . . . that fleshy peachy tone that really is flattering on very few people. It’s reminiscent of those memes of people wearing skin colored jeggings, not a good look. Possibly, it’s more of that southwestern, Tuscan feel, but I just can’t see through the almost orange, not quite there, shade. Sherwin Williams coins it as: “Forged by sun. Fired by desert . . . . Ancient, yet fully alive. Bohemian, yet totally refined.” A little Google search with the color found me in the land of clay bowls and salmon fillets, all tones that Google Image thought I would like from searching Cavern Clay.

I will admit that as we wind down the summer season, I am as basic as the next person awaiting all the fall colors. Autumn tones start to magically work their way into our palettes without us even realizing it. We start to work some of those burnt oranges and dusky red hues into our scarves and boots attire, wishing the season in with our wardrobe. I guess I could paint my whole house (or worse yet a client’s space) with this tone to really surround myself in the autumn glow, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. (more…)

Architecture, Interior Design /

Lighting: A Path to Health

Sleep is essential to health and just plain awesome. It regulates hormone cycles, recovers the muscles, and promotes rejuvenating and balancing effects on the digestive system, immune system, and nervous systems. Chances are you are not getting enough of it. This could be caused by many things, but one of the most overlooked factors affecting your quality and quantity of sleep is light.

Our bodies have evolved to tune into the rhythms of day and night. This biological rhythm, or internal clock, is called the circadian rhythm. It tells your body when to be awake and when to sleep. The primary control of the circadian system comes from an external source — light. We wake up to bright sunlight, are awake during daylight hours, calm down at dusk as light levels decrease and rest during darkness. You may have noticed how your mood can vary greatly from sunny to overcast days.  During fall/winter months, people often complain of seasonal affectedness, with symptoms similar to depression, due to the short duration of daylight. This is due to the diminished amount of light received at the eye during these times and can have negative effects on a person’s health.

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Inspiration, Interior Design /

Into the Deep Blue Hue: Deciphering the Sherwin Williams Color of the Year 2018

Ask people what their favorite color is and a clear majority of men and women will answer: “blue!” Maybe not that enthusiastically, but we designers generally get excited about color. Each year, top paint manufacturers issue their color of the year, and I always find it interesting to see what they think we should be buzzing about in the next year. It’s no Pantone Color of the Year, but when Sherwin William introduces its Color of the Year, we run the proverbial color up the design flag pole and dissect it for a hot minute.

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Interior Design, Projects /

Reimagining the Working Environment with Cushman & Wakefield

Lawrence Group recently partnered with Cushman & Wakefield to complete their newly renovated 46,000-square-foot Portfolio Service Center situated next to the Maryville University campus in Town & Country, Missouri. The 6th floor suite boasts spectacular views of luscious trees, a lake and walking trails; numerous amenities; and modern finishes. The Cushman & Wakefield brand is reflected throughout the space as it fosters both a “work, live, play” culture and the firm’s forward-thinking vision.
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Architecture, Interior Design /

Healthcare Looks to Provide Great Guest Experience Through Design

Hospitality environments continue to influence trends in architectural and interior design projects within the healthcare market. What was once designed with a sterile, institutional feel now includes visual elements to increase patient satisfaction and enhance the overall patient, visitor and staff experience. The challenge is no longer just to design a space where patients are treated, but to provide environments where patients can heal and recover with their family members by their side, and where staff can provide the optimum care-giver experience.

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Interior Design, Projects /

A Deeper Look at the Historic Lennox Hotel

Appearing on the National Register of Historic Places, the Lennox hotel was built in 1929 and recently renovated into a creatively designed Courtyard by Marriott hotel with new lobby space, bistro, and business and fitness centers. Featuring key design elements inspired by nineteenth century conventions and materials, it is one of the area’s only examples from this time period. The goal of the project was to reflect the owner’s affinity for mid-century modern design, resulting in an intentional contrast of 1920s exterior aesthetic with new modern interiors.

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General, Interior Design /

Another Perspective on Millennials

If you read any reports on Millennials in the workplace, you’ll probably see the phrase “entitled.” But, people often forget that Millennials were raised in a different time than Gen X or Y and went to school under a different style of learning than most of us.

Back in the early 2000s, a style of learning and teaching in primary schools was introduced called the Individual Education Program or IEP. This program was introduced to combat the issues that children with learning disabilities experienced in the standard classroom. The most basic definition of an IEP is a customized learning plan. It was the first type of pedagogy that worked to tailor the learning experience to the student’s individual learning style. (more…)

Interior Design /

Sitting is the New Smoking? Meetings Are the New Second-Hand Sitting

I recently attended a WELL Building seminar and was reminded of the importance of this mantra in workplace design:  “Sitting is the new smoking.” It’s not exactly a new idea; you probably first heard it with the Steelcase introduction of the treadmill desk in 2008. The term actually originated from Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and the inventor of the treadmill desk. Although the treadmill desk may seem like a novel concept, the science behind it was quite ahead of its time.

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