#Floorcore

#Floorcore. It’s a new hashtag obsession that is spreading like wild fire among design-loving Instagrammers. It’s tough to get enough of the inspiring tiles, antique rugs, inlaid hardwoods, and more people are sharing from around the world. Here are some of Lonny’s favorite snaps:

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The retro fabulous carpet at Portland International Airport even has its own Instagram account: @pdxcarpet.

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In the artist enclave of Sidi Bou Said in northern Tunisia.

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Lonny editor on a hex-happy carpet by Kinderground at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York.

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Lonny editor following a yellow brick road.

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This fashion photographer found some cool tiles

 Images: Lonny

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2014 Market Winner: DIRECTV by AECOM

As the winners of the 2014 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 40 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.

Cathy Pack, Senior Associate, spoke with us about the presence of technology, opportunities in interiors work, and hearing & working with many voices.

Describe the project in one word.
High-resolution!

1_AECOM DIRECTV_Lobby Living Room

How does this project demonstrate the power of design to impact users in a space?
Before this project, DIRECTV did not have a campus – it was just a collection of buildings close to each other. With the addition of a cafeteria, gym, interactive lobby, conference center and courtyard, the 4,000+ employees engage with their environment and each other much more than ever. As far as the personal work areas, 30 floors were gutted and reconfigured so all employees enjoy daylight and a high ratio of collaborative space. Technology is present everywhere, with flat panel displays in every office and customized workstations with racks for equipment. Even in the ‘soft seating’ spaces, the material palette is sharp with contrasts of texture and color, reflecting the DIRECTV brand.

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Design is a process. Explain your journey.
Before any design took place, interviews were conducted with 42 departments and over 1,300 individuals! DIRECTV encourages all employees to have a voice, which is wonderful for the company, but challenging for the designers and the project management team to synthesize. The other challenge was convincing many of the employees to embrace the open, collaborative office space and, in some cases, relinquish private offices. The first build-out reflects some of this hesitation, but as the second and third buildings have rolled out, workstation panel heights have come down even lower, colors have become more vibrant, and teaming areas more prominent.

3_AECOM DIRECTV_Cafeteria

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?
The DIRECTV Headquarters is my first large-scale Interiors project, having come from more of a core-and-shell Architectural background. I feel that every architect should take opportunities to work on Interiors. In my experience, Interiors offers:

  • More exposure to clients and user groups
  • Faster decisions and increased design opportunities
  • More female leadership
  • Fine-tuned coordination of AV/Technology/Furniture
  • A highly engaged network of professionals and product representatives with year-round social and charity events
  • Opportunity to be on the front-end of our changing world and how technology is changing the way we work

Images: Interior Design, AECOM

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2014 Market Winner: TenneT Headquarters by Studio Groen+Schild

As the winners of the 2014 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 40 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.

Sanne Langenhof, interior designer on the project, talked with us about connecting employees, using pure & honest materials, and planning for the future.

Describe the project in one word.
Cradle2Cradle

7.SG+S - TenneT MCE restaurant 2

How does this project demonstrate the power of design to impact users in a space?
TenneT, a utility company for electricity transmission has evolved from a company with a technical identity to a people oriented organisation. The interior of its head office in Arnhem seamlessly matches its new identity. The open and transparency of the interior is designed to improve the mutual connection between all the employees working within this building. Pure and honest materials ensure a timeless base. Meeting places have been given their own look & feel based on three themes: people, nature and technology. This is expressed in colours, materials and signing. The diversity within the themes, brings more diversity within the users minds. The interior is extremely sustainable, even circular: the complete interior package can be dismantled. No glue, silicone kits or other toxic substances were used. The users understand that the whole interior design is specifically chosen for their health being, not only on the short turn, but also on the long run. The end result is a healthy interior that energises the employees of TenneT.

15.SG+S - TenneT MCE meeting office 1

Design is a process, explain your journey.
Disassembling is key within this project. It was our journey to design and connect the whole interior by keeping with this base, easy possibility for future disassembling, with 100% recycling possibilities. We feel that we only are part of the journey. What will be the journey of the selected products? They are here now, in which building will they be 20 years from now. How excited is that! Nothing needs to go to landfills, the selected interiors has many lives.

3.SG+S - TenneT MCE coffeebar

What are the most important lessons that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?
Design with the future in mind.

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A Simple Design Fix to that Awkward Public Bathroom Moment

One of the worst things about public bathroom stalls is how hard it is to tell when someone’s in them. A lot of people end up resorting to that not-at-all awkward practice of peeking under the door, looking for feet.

A company called Tooshlights is promising a way to end this embarrassment and make that line of desperate people move more quickly, too. Its simple LED light sensors turn green when a stall is free and red when it’s occupied.

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The company just installed its technology at The Hollywood Bowl, which claims the lights have “improved the flow of traffic.” The company says its lights are appropriate for basically any venue where bathroom queues often form. According to Tooshlights, more than 66% of the time, facilities do have vacant stalls, but guests are not aware of them or are not moving to them quickly enough. Could an idea so simple be the future of public bathroom design?

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Images: Fast Company

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2014 Market Winner: Jones Lang LaSalle by H.Hendy Associates

As the winners of the 2014 Design is … Award Market Award, Shaw Contract Group winning firms interviewed as part of a section of Shaw Contract Group blog which will last a year. Throughout the year, readers can learn more about the 40 winning projects and the individuals who perform them. These are their stories.

Shaw Contract Group spoke with Julie Laurin IIDA CID LEED AP – Design Director, Kerry Wilson, AIA, LEED AP – Principal/Architect, and Heidi Hendy, CID, LEED AP – Principal about high expectations, encouraging new interactions, and future success.

Describe this project in one word.
United

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How does this project demonstrate the power of design to impact users in a space?
When these two companies—one from a more progressive open environment and one traditional office layout—merged into a single corporate entity, everyone had heightened expectations that something was going to change. Maximizing this opportunity of expectations, we were able to design a space based on how the employees migrated through the space, unlike typical office layout norms.  The hub, great room, and casual conferencing were all placed directly adjacent to the main lobby.  This location supported a “first place to stop” behavior that encourages cross-cultural and team-centric connections between the newly merged companies.

The strategic  placement of these spaces for employee  engagement , individual focus and telecommuting  touchdown stations has proven to encourage new interactions with all and is quickly uniting the organizational cultures into one. When the managing principle was asked , “what element of design has had the most positive impact on the organization?” He quickly replied,  “ The Great Room. If I’m ever looking for an individual that the first place I go. It is always in use!”

JLL (6)

Design is a process. Explain your journey.
A new workplace strategy can change only as fast as its organizational threshold and leadership expands their views, which at times can be a painfully slow process. This design had to support new ways of working into a team-oriented space without diminishing the positive qualities of either corporate culture.  The project  was polarized between the traditional and  open layout norms , each  had to buy in first, and each carefully considered step forward seemed to be followed by a step back. After several open-plan iterations followed by complete conceptual reversals, the client saw the advantages of leaning toward an environment  that would connect and engage the staff.

JLL (5)

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned through this project that you’d want to share with the designers of tomorrow?
Today, there is too much focus on design trends and not enough on sound business principles. The designed space should be a tool for the client’s future success. This is possible only when you understand the client’s current and future goals, organizational process, culture, and leadership dynamics.

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