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From the Community Blog

Being Simply Sustainable with Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG)

Mar 29, 2023 by Paul Pierroz, Principal, Springboard Impact Advisors

In most recent years, business finds increasing shareholder and stakeholder demands for a stronger commitment to corporate responsibility including the adoption of environmental and social policies incorporated into their corporate governance. These expectations are defining corporate success with a measure of corporate values tightly connected to outcomes. Governments and communities realize the power of business to influence change and are leaning into organizations to play a greater role in progressing both environmental and social issues. Under the framework of ESG, business leaders are asked to address these larger societal concerns. ESG connects the success of their strategy to long ...

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Rethinking Office Buildings as Multi-Functional Destinations

Mar 06, 2023 by Steve Sutton, Design Director, Benoy

Just as retailers vie to lure shoppers from making their purchases online to visiting their stores with the promise of real-life experiences, landlords and employers today have inherited a very similar challenge and must now strategize on how to attract workers back to the office. Thus, commercial landlords find themselves in an entirely new domain of a competitive market—and the plot continues to thicken. Decades of quiet evolution of the office environment have achieved lightning-speed level of acceleration in the past couple of years. Since the dawn of 2020’s infamous Q2, workers’ expectations from their workplace took a left turn to ...

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The Workplace is Back in Session

Sep 16, 2022 by Alexis Kim, Principal and Workplace Practice Strategist, SmithGroup

As summer came to an end and I prepared my son to head back to school, my thoughts drifted back to a time when my work was focused on designing schools. No matter if the project was for a higher education or grade school client, even decades ago we spoke of the need to create environments that would better serve learners of all types and styles. The wish was to one day help institutions break away from the traditional “sage-on-the-stage” educational model and embrace an approach that is more engaging – one that offered greater connectivity with students, promoted enhanced ...

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Agility is Critical in the Hybrid Workplace

Aug 26, 2022 by Chen Hui Spicer, Regional Design Director, Nelson Worldwide

After taking a brief hiatus from attending NeoCon in the wake of the pandemic, I was thrilled to be presented with the opportunity of returning to the show as a first-time Best of NeoCon juror. I’m pleased to say the experience did not disappoint. As I arrived early to the show, I was able to get a sneak peek and in-person look at a plethora of innovative solutions and discover the commercial design industry’s biggest trends. Throughout the show floors, the emphasis on workplace agility in particular struck a chord with me, as it’s the answer to a challenge ...

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Three ways to optimize office design delivery amidst volatility

Jul 29, 2022 by Alex Dupnik, Design Associate, Unispace

Too many thoughtful designs are diluted by the time they’re built. Yours needn’t be. Visionary design always means taking risks. Traditionally, the riskiest step is handing off the design documents to let the construction team take over. However, by ensuring breakthrough design solutions can stay intact for your clients, you’ll help shape environments and experiences that deliver on the full potential to spark brilliance. Surprise costs and technical issues throw a wrench into any plan, which can result in design changes that impact the design vision – and not always for the better. Rising materials costs, economic volatility, supply chain challenges ...

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Let's eat, meet, meat, and everything in between

Jul 22, 2022 by Miko Mendoza, Associate, STUDIOS Architecture

The Power of Well Designed Workplace Dining Areas At work the other morning, an announcement came over the office P.A.—a vendor was giving a presentation in our library. The world is healing from the Pandemi Moore! I thought. (Because who calls it the Pandemic anyway?) Expecting pastries as we learned about new design products, I rallied a few new co-workers: “Come on! There are usually snacks for these presentations!” We arrived, and…betrayal. No food! I was now a liar, and my dear mother would be so disappointed. I turned to the younger staff and profusely apologized that I had bamboozled them into ...

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Designing for Neurodiversity that Advances the Workplace

Jun 06, 2022 by Georgia Metz, Interior Project Designer and Associate, Perkins&Will

What is neurodiversity, and why will we continue to hear more about it in our industry? Judy Singer, Australian sociologist, coined the term Neurodiversity in 1999.1 Neurodiversity describes the different ways our brains are wired, leading to unique skills, needs, and abilities. Individual differences shape social dynamics, cognitive functioning, motor skills, attention, sensory stimulations, speech, language, and learning. Like biodiversity, the term neurodiversity does not intentionally define a certain subgroup of individuals, but rather speaks to the infinite variations of the way people think. In contrast, there is a movement utilizing the term neurodiversity to empower select subgroups with diagnoses. ...

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Designing a Circular Future by Rethinking Office FF&E

May 31, 2022 by Daniel Kietzer, Director, Ecosystem Growth at Rheaply

As a major launchpad for ideas and introductions that shape the built environment, NeoCon illustrates the tremendous amount of energy that goes into designing, manufacturing, and installing every component of any given space. What happens to these materials when it's time for a renovation? Embodied carbon consists of the carbon dioxide emissions generated by raw material sourcing, supplier processing, and manufacturing, building construction and demolition. The beneficial recovery and reuse of architectural materials also encompasses all of the interior furnishings such as furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) that are a major source of embodied carbon emissions. This includes everything from office ...

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Work Pods Enable All 3 Essential Elements of a Hybrid Office

May 27, 2022 by Robert Korpacki, Product Manager, Hushoffice and Mateusz Barczyk, Senior Brand Manager, Hushoffice

No doubt, one of the most valuable understandings we’ve gleaned over the past 2 years is that we do, in fact, need the office. It gives us people and variety. Without enough of either, work suffers, and mental well-being declines. Yet employees across the board want the freedom to work from home roughly 2-3 days a week for good. Hence the broad consensus. Hybrid is the future. Naturally, the success of hybrid working hinges on the office’s effectiveness. To facilitate hybrid working, the office must first of all be flexible – that is, outfitted with mobile furniture that makes it ...

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Purposeful Design Starts with the Materials We Use

May 19, 2022 by Giulio Bonazzi, Chairman & CEO, Aquafil Group

Why do we design? For art and beauty, yes. But also for purpose. A well-designed chair offers comfort and stability, while an imaginatively created rug brings warmth to a home. Good design improves quality of life. However, beyond the functional purpose of design we must also consider the intention behind all of our design choices. While the chair may provide comfort and the rug creates warmth for five, ten or so years, what is their next purpose? Unfortunately, in most cases, these beautiful, functional pieces end up as waste. Four billion pounds of carpet are discarded in U.S. landfills every year. Renovation projects ...

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