Contract - November/December 2011 - (Page 22)
Contract Design Forum 2011 focuses on research
With a focus on applied design research, Contract magazine held its annual Design Forum with its editorial advisory board (see masthead), event sponsors, and a select group of invited guests in Key Biscayne in mid-November. The event kicked off with an architectural boat tour of Miami guided by Miami Herald architecture critic Beth Dunlop. Speakers Vivian Loftness and Darrel Rhea each spoke about the relationship of research as applied to the work of commercial architects and interior designers.
Caption here Forum attendees, including Bill Bouchey (with flip chart, left), held focused small group discussions. They brainstormed ways that designers can apply research to better meet client needs.
Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture professor Vivian Loftness, FAIA, LEED AP, gave the first presentation on how design and architecture factor into the true cost of doing business and promote productivity. Based on her research with the Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics at Carnegie Mellon, Loftness illustrated tradeoffs and redistribution of cost cutting to enhance work environments and simultaneously solve issues many corporations face.
Twelve Major Decisions for Interior Systems Impacting Health and Productivity Outcomes
1. Design neighborhood clarity & shared spaces, with flexibility Major decision: built-in/custom or relocatable community spaces 2. Design “layers of ownership,” multiple work environments 3. Ensure ergonomics/functional support for shared work processes 4. Ensure ergonomics/functional support for individual work processes 5. Design “layers of closure,” privacy and acoustic control Major decision: closed offices or open plan reconfigurable to closed 6. Design “layers of mobility” for workstations and workgroups 7. Provide levels of personalization 8. Ensure environmental infrastructure to support changing densities 9. Ensure technical infrastructure to support changing densities 10. Select interior system/components for material & energy conservation 11. Select healthy, maintainable interior components 12. Design for access to the natural environment
“On average, several governments spend over $10,000 per worker per year on technology: desktops, printers, hardware, management, software, and connections. That’s a huge budget,” said Loftness. “Wouldn’t you like to have that for the physical space? How much is going into plugging in office equipment that can be invested in more efficient office space?” Other suggestions included ergonomic furnishings and dedicated outdoor-air circulating ducts for better airflow to increase productivity by reducing building-related illnesses and health conditions. Loftness stressed the significance in planning a space’s circulation aisles, gathering areas, and layers of privacy to maximize collaboration, concentration, and energy savings. Darrel Rhea, CEO, North America, for strategy firm 2nd Road, focused on innovation and value of the design profession in the event’s second presentation. Rhea pointed to our industry as lagging behind other design professions in being agents of change. “Design research was clearly embedded in the advertising world 40 years ago. Thirty years ago, it became a standard in packaging design. All the top graphic design firms included that competence 20 years ago and there’s a strong consulting network to support that,” said Rhea. “Industrial design generally rejected the role of customers, consumers, and design research, but about 15 years ago, it became standard. Where is architectural and interior design in the adoption of design research as a set of best practices?” He emphasized that research and metrics provide some standards of what good design might be, but that goodness shouldn’t constrain creativity and that designers need to anticipate a world that doesn’t yet exist to give them a leg up. Designers gain value to a client when delivering baseline results, plus financial and functional results, and, most importantly, emotional experience and meaning.
Photos by Sheila Kim
Source: Vivian Loftness, Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics at Carnegie Mellon.
Following both the Loftness and Rhea presentations, Forum attendees discussed the issues in greater depth in small-group breakout sessions. The Forum was made possible by the support of sponsors Bolyu, Haworth, Humanscale, Inscape, Milliken, Shaw Contract Group, Steelcase, and Teknion. —Sheila Kim
contract november/december 2011
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - November/December 2011
Contract - November/December 2011
Product Focus: Classic Touch
Product Focus: Generating Buzz(i)
Gelfand Partners Architects Office in San Francisco Designed by Gelfand Partners Architects
Sorg Architects Office in Washington, D.C. Designed by Sorg Architects
Sauerbruch Hutton Office in Berlin, Germany Designed by Sauerbruch Hutton
Roth Sheppard Architects Office in Denver Designed by Roth Sheppard Architects
AOL West Coast Headquarters in Palo Alto, California Designed by Studio O+A
Red Bull Canada Office Expansion in Toronto, Ontario, Canada Designed by Johnson Chou Inc.
Goods Shed North in Melbourne, Australia Designed by BVN Architecture
Bota Bota Spa in Montreal, Quebec, Canada Designed by Sid Lee Architecture
A’maree’s in Newport Beach, California Designed by Paul Davis Architects
2011 Contract Brand Report Awareness Survey
Designers Select: Building Products
Contract - November/December 2011