Happy offices that reflect company values
New research shows that design has a greater impact on us than previously thought. There is a clear link between efficiency and how much you appreciate your environs. By investing in the design of your working environment, you are investing in both internal pride and attraction value for new talents. A highly functional and interesting office environment is therefore critical for expressing the identity and brand of the company and for rallying employees around a common vision. Read more about offices of the future and how to use design to express your brand and identity in Kinnarps Trend Report No. 1.
At Kinnarps, we have solid experience in creating offices with strong identities and functional working environments together with customers, retailers and architects. Creating a functional, comfortable, brand building environment that appeals to customers and employees starts with a thorough needs analysis. This allows you to create an environment that bolsters work tasks and working methods while promoting wellbeing and creativity.
An interior designer's take on functionality and brand building
"Many customers are clearly requesting an interior design that expresses the company's brand and identity,"
"We always start by mapping customer needs. It is becoming increasingly common for customers to want an interior design concept that will reflect their company identity. More and more people understand the connection between design and identity. They also know that it is possible to work actively to create an interior design that enhances company values, not only externally on the part of customers, but also internally toward employees. White Arkitekter works in cross-functional teams in which various experts collaborate. For example, lighting designers and social anthropologists may be brought into a project. It is primarily in activity-based working environments that a company's brand and identity have become increasingly important. In cases such as these in which we are bound by this work method, it is easier to enhance particular expressions if we have access to a broad range of materials and colours. It is great if there is a variety of choice in the basics and not only in the 'eye-catching' products." Functionality must come first if we are to be guided by customer needs. "In these cases too, the type of environment is decisive. For public spaces that endure a lot of wear and tear and for which there are a number of requirements to be met, I first select the materials and then select from the colours that are available for these materials. For private spaces, there is sometimes room to choose colours first and then materials."
Important to have a wide selection of materials and colours
Ingrid Ehrnebo is one of the designers who has collaborated with Kinnarps to develop new materials and colours. Amongst these is stained veneer in varying colours that can be paired with various types and colours of fabrics. In Ingrid's opinion, it is not only important for the creative process that a supplier provides a wide range of colours and materials but also for her to fulfil the task she was given by the customer. "As a SIR/MSA interior designer, I cannot show preference for or advocate a particular material or product selection simply because I am partial to it. My position entails an undertaking to be impartial and financially independent in my recommendations. I am responsible for proposing the best possible solutions to meet customer needs, a fact I'm not sure everyone knows about. In my professional role as designer, I aid customers by proposing the best solutions to meet functional, aesthetic and legal requirements."
Having the opportunity to work with a number of colours on the same colour scale and to match them up with various types of materials and products enhances creativity. "This allows me to go all in, which can have quite the impact under the right circumstances. When you have a large environment that needs to include many different elements, my experience tells me that it is often better to split the area up a bit and to work with colours tone on tone." It bears repeating that the environment and customer's needs determine how much freedom there is to play with colours and materials. "Interior design is a complex puzzle in which aesthetics and brand building need to unite with functionality, as well as with safety, ergonomic and accessibility norms."
"Having more options makes the process of realising your vision a much more creative one. Stained veneer gives a more genuine wood feel, because you can still see that it's a natural material. I think it's easy to harmonise the stains with other furnishings, find the base of the stain and combine it with other materials."
Genuine material choices create an environment we can relate to
As far as possible, Ingrid avoids using materials that imitate other materials. What she means by "genuine material" is material that tells of its contents, that is, if it looks like wood, it is either solid wood or veneer.
Rather than trying to find the same colours in different materials, Ingrid prefers to use similar colours on the same scale.
Stain and lacquer
Stained wood and lacquered wood give very different impressions. Stained veneer on furniture gives a softer impression than a covering lacquer. The wood grain comes through, giving the piece a visual depth.
Discovering identity and functionality in your choice of material
Interior design and the choice of materials and colours are vital for the identity and functionality of the office environment. This is why we offer our Kinnarps Colour Studio, a deep and extensive collection of materials, structures and colours (fabric, leather, laminate, veneer, metal, acrylic, plastic and glass). Our materials have been tested and certified to guarantee quality and functionality for a variety of environments, whether you require washable fabrics, desks that can be wiped down or furnishings that have high fire safety. The materials that we choose to include in our standard range are developed in close cooperation with architects and interior designers to ensure that Kinnarps Colour Studio can continue to boast variety and functionality that inspire and facilitate the creative process.