Many people look forward to the change in seasons or maybe their favorite holiday but in the design community, a new year means one thing: the announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year. As designers, we have to admit that the Pantone Color of the Year is an important piece of interiors trivia. The Color of the Year is a clear indicator of what we will be seeing in the next few years not only in design but in fashion, graphics, branding and retail environments.
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…)
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.
One of the latest trends I’m so excited about is adult coloring and – more importantly – adult coloring books. I know it may sound risqué, but it’s really quite PG. These physical coloring books and even mobile apps consist of ready to color pages of complex patterns, delicate florals, organic mandalas and stunning graphics that are aimed at an older population. Who wouldn’t love an opportunity to revive a great memory of your childhood with a little stress-free coloring?
This latest creative explosion is certainly a means to relax and unwind. I adored coloring as a child, even as young adult, and frankly in my profession, I still love it. In lieu of coloring my favorite Lisa Frank posters, my “coloring” now is a bit more tangible and involves various colorful selections for clients and projects. Nevertheless, any good designer or architect probably has a minimum of four random colored pencils or Prismacolor markers lying on their desk at any point in the day. There is something relaxing about coloring, and based on the fact that seven of the top 10 best-selling books on Amazon right now are Adult Coloring books, it shows that there is a large segment of the population who could use a break from all the stress of the day and a break from feeling of digital overload.
Northwestern Mutual recently engaged Lawrence Group to design their new St. Louis offices. This was not only a change in venue from downtown St. Louis to Creve Coeur but also a shift in their Workplace Strategy. Northwestern’s business model is unique in that each financial representative operates as their own business unit. Their former space was nearly 100% offices and made for a compartmentalized, isolating layout. Managing Partner Gerard Hempstead first described their business structure as: “a friendly competition, but competitive nonetheless.”