Different Approaches to Commercial Interior Design
21 Sep 2021
The appreciation for office design is subjective and fulfilling the needs of different team members is a mammoth task. Exacerbated by the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to office design, companies in different industries may possess unique needs and preferences that require a more specialised approach to designing their workspace. A science and technology company, for example, may abide by a different set of rules as compared to a beauty and wellness company. However, although these industries are diverse and incongruous, they share one similarity – they can all benefit from a human-centric office interior design.
Although the purpose, experience and space constraints may vary with each commercial interior project, the objectives of a well-thought-out design should always be determined by those who will be using and navigating the space. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs defines that people have basic, psychological and self-fulfilment needs that must be met to achieve greater happiness. How can workplace design help to fulfil these needs? The key is to design with people in mind. Beyond aesthetics, interior design for commercial spaces is vastly different from residential spaces and should take into consideration space planning, understanding of human behaviour, brand identity and the appropriate interior design elements. Therefore, this article will explore and discuss the different types of approaches to commercial interior design and how it may vary across industries.
Types of Commercial Interior Design Approaches
Interaction and Sensory Immersion
This approach focuses on providing users with an immersive experience through crafting spaces that embody various brand touchpoints where both clients and employees will interact with. Playful interactions, graphics, textures and visual storytelling form the basis of the space and allow visitors to fully experience the brand concept.
For organisations that value attributes like vibrancy, dynamism and creativity, interaction and sensory immersion become the perfect approach in reflecting and portraying these characteristics. Office spaces that also function as a showroom or retail space have an added impetus to ensure that their brand identity is tangibly represented in the spatial design of the office. Consider the layout and how products can be showcased to impress and inspire customers.
An amalgamation of home and office design is also sometimes referred to as ‘resimercial’ design. This approach adopts layout and furnishing styles that incorporate the home ambience into the workplace. It celebrates commercial quality, residential-inspired features over corporate office interior designs.
Resimercial designs and furnishings revolve around creating a welcoming, comfortable space, something that employees – especially those from the millennial generation are increasingly demanding from offices. One way to do so is by incorporating lounge seating, flexible spaces and soft lighting. A quality workplace design leads to a less stressful and more productive atmosphere. Similar to the interaction and sensory immersion approach, this design style fosters creativity that is befitting for educational institutions or science and technology companies where innovation fuels their technological breakthroughs.
Asset Enhancement and Third Spaces
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people live, work and socialise. One such change is the increasing expectation of being able to work flexibly. In fact, a study showed that 79% of employees would like to work from a ‘third space’. Simply put, the third space refers to the third place in which people wish to perform work other than their homes and their offices.
The most important characteristic when it comes to adopting this approach for your commercial interior project is the provision of a comfortable and effective working environment away from the constraints of a working desk. Nearly 60% of respondents in this study said breakout spaces were indispensable and ranked it as the third most important feature after meeting rooms and speedy Wi-Fi.
Wellness and Playfulness
We have witnessed a shift in focus to mental health and holistic wellness as the new norm for workplaces. Fun at work is a key element that helps contribute to employee happiness, a more positive mindset, higher levels of well-being and better mental health. Ultimately, this leads to higher employee productivity levels and greater job satisfaction.
One way to incorporate flexibility and wellness into your commercial interior design project is the use of colour and playfulness to exude dynamism. Design strategies such as flexible floorplans, quirky furniture and vibrant materials and finishings can be used in office interiors to articulate corporate core values such as innovativeness and boldness.
Workplace Transformation That Serves the Company’s Objectives
Though there may be many different commercial interior design approaches, ultimately, they are dependent on the organisation’s design objectives, brand identity and most importantly, user experience. Here are some questions to ask before deciding on an approach:
1. What kind of user experience do you want to create?
2. How do you wish to translate the ethos of your brand into your space?
3. What mood/ambience are you trying to create?
It is ideal for companies to collaborate closely with their commercial interior designers to fulfil their work transformation goals. That way, functionality and safety can be achieved without compromising on aesthetics and brand identity.
As a leading commercial interior design & build firm in Singapore, ID21 has a team of multidisciplinary office interior designers who are experienced in understanding the needs of businesses and applying commercial interior design concepts to achieve their workplace transformation goals. Contact us today to learn more.