Ambius started the year off strong with the Future Offices Winter event in New York City. Our Head of Innovation, Kenneth Freeman, spoke alongside Beau Wilder of Plantronics (one of our core BRE office research partners) and Jeannine Eicker of LendLease Americas (an Ambius national account). Their session, entitled Enhancing Human Experience Through Biophilia And Technological Nature, focused on the importance of integrating natural design elements into your workplace to increase employee productivity and well-being. With the likes of Bloomberg, Charles Schwab, and Unispace in the audience, the interest, questions, and conversations around biophilia were encouraging for the industry. The forward-looking impact of this enthusiasm inspires us to continue our work in the biophilic design space.
The Winter Future Offices conference provided an enlightening opportunity to network with others in the industry. All participants are at the cutting edge of office design, and together, we fostered an invaluable learning environment.
If your office could use some work and you’d like one of the leaders in interior landscaping to see what they can do to enhance your office, contact your local Ambius office.
Kenneth Freeman, Ambius Head of Innovation, provided the following takeaways from his discussions and experiences at this event.
Modern workplaces treat employees as if they were customers of their workspace.
This means making sure that employers understand the customer journey and personas of their staff. The same methodology used for our customer journey research is employed by companies with their staff..
The human-centered workplace.
Design and operation of a workspace is much more about the understanding of how people really work, rather than how designers, facility managers, and the human resource department think they ought to work. Evidence-based design is really coming to the forefront, even if many people don’t recognize the term.
This is a number 1 priority. There is an increasing understanding of the difference between “wellness” and “well-being.” Wellness relates primarily to the physical environment and physical symptoms. Well-being is a more holistic concept and covers the whole person.
Data and sensing.
Using AI and big data to really understand how offices are used is of massive importance to all workplace stakeholders. The data helps show strategic impact areas.
Equitable workspaces and Universal Design Principles.
Ronald Mace and his research team at North Carolina University developed The 7 Principles of Universal Design to guide the design process toward a more “usable” product. The principles are as follows:
Principle 1: Equitable Use
The space should be useful for individuals of all ability levels.
Principle 2: Flexibility in Use
The design of the space accommodates the abilities and preferences of a diverse population. This includes provisions for left and right-handedness as well as varying pace.
Principle 3: Simple and Intuitive Use
Employee knowledge-level, experience, language skills, etc., should not affect one’s ability to use the space. Employers should eliminate any “unnecessary complexity” from the design.
Principle 4: Perceptible Information
Any necessary information should be communicated clearly to the user, regardless of sensory abilities.
Principle 5: Tolerance for Error
Employers should minimize the opportunity for accidents and hazards with safety measures and adequate warnings.
Principle 6: Low Physical Effort
Use of design should not cause undue fatigue. The user should not have to deviate from a neutral body position.
Principle 7: Size and Space for Approach and Use
Size and space should accommodate all body types and mobility levels. This is especially important as it relates to any sort of mobility assistance device.
Plants almost everywhere.
From desk plants to green walls and green wall dividers that help with productivity, there are options for any and every space.
Biophilic design research
Our past research has accurately predicted many of these trends and suggested the solutions. At the beginning of 2018, Ambius teamed up with BRE and a core group of industry partners to take our research a step further. Together, we embarked on the world’s first study into the effects of biophilic design.
By the end of 2019, Ambius will have an abundant set of data that will help us to develop tools for interior designers and building operators that will benefit both organizations and the building occupants. Healthier, happier and more productive workspaces are on the horizon!
To find out how Ambius can transform your space, contact our design specialists here. We will work with you to develop the perfect design, customized for your needs. From blooming plants and floral design to green walls and exterior landscaping, Ambius has the solutions to empower your workspace. Let’s get started today.
Find out more about our ground-breaking research:
Empowering Workspaces Part 1: Behind the BRE Biophilic Office Research Project that’s Breaking New Ground
Empowering Workspaces Part 2: Real People, Real Results, Real Promise