Shift seen in approach to office design
Dubai, January 26, 2012
A younger world and social media are transforming how people think about their relationships to work and the office environment must respond accordingly, said an interior design expert.
Cheryl Durst (Hon. FIIDA), executive vice president and CEO of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), was speaking to a group of senior architects and designers in Dubai as part of an industry gathering organised by dmg :: events, a major events management company.
As organiser of The Office Exhibition 2012 and the Index International Design Exhibition 2012, dmg :: events invited the US-based professional association to deliver a global perspective on the business of interior design and what this means for practices in the Middle East.
“Worldwide, design is responding to a youth culture,” said Durst. “The world is getting younger and the youth are more visually literate than their older counterparts. Lighting and colour are design priorities; as is speed. This demographic consumes their information in 15 second newsfeeds. Design must not only look great, it must function quickly.”
While architects and designers have always been trained to create spatial environments in the context of the end user’s experience, IIDA said the influence of design in commercial environments is more pervasive than it has ever been.
“Design has always been about the experience, but that also extends to marketing. Brands these days are focused on experiential marketing and interiors are a big part of that visual language. It is no longer enough to just know design. You have to understand its place within the marketing mix; its influence on organisational behaviours. Designers today would benefit from broadening their education to include subjects like marketing, psychology and anthropology,” said Durst.
Despite a younger, more digitally savvy and connected world, Durst added that the fundamentals of workplace design remain unchanged.
“Ultimately, design is about people. It’s not just a facade or decoration. We will always need to consider the whole end user experience and so space, security and privacy are basic needs that a designer must always meet,” she said.
As the official knowledge partner for The Office Exhibition 2012, IIDA will return to Dubai later this year to deliver design seminars during the show, taking place from May 15 to 17 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
“We are really pleased to have renewed our knowledge partnership with IIDA,” said
David Wilson, event director of The Office Exhibition. “As a global association they facilitate important dialogue between the local design community and product manufacturers to ensure the regional industry keeps pace with these trends.” – TradeArabia News Service