Our initial meetings with the client are for the purpose of assessing their criteria for considerations such as: location, square footage, function, workflow, technology interface, communications, and image. During this step special emphasis is placed on identifying and prioritizing the outcomes the client seeks. This may involve some elements of education regarding workplace trends and research that are relevant to the client’s particular industry or profession. One example of this involves the current trend to encourage and develop highly “collaborative” office environments. While there is much value in this approach for some organizations, studies have found that in others, at least from an office planning standpoint, it can actually be detrimental to productivity. Planning for various “zones” is one way to address the varying needs that workers have for both team building and privacy. The key is to know what is best for an organization based on corporate culture, work processes and individual needs.
Through management interviews and employee surveys OFCworkscapes identifies opportunities to enhance our clients’ culture, productivity and image. Best Practices and available resources are identified and applied where appropriate. This serves to provide the client with an understanding of their existing culture, strengths and challenges. Comparative research is often used to identify opportunities for improvement and to make recommendations that could impact facility selection and design.
Critical to the success of any project is pulling together key decision makers, stakeholders, consultants and strategic partners that the client identifies in order to establish or confirm objectives, prioritize desired outcomes and provide valuable insight. A critical path schedule is developed defining what decisions must be made, when, and by whom. The products of the Assessment and Research stages are also reviewed and evaluated by the project team and any necessary changes or clarifications are made.
From the initial Proposal for Services through final working drawings, specifications, schedules, and procurement – design is involved. Our designers and consultants are experts at translating the information obtained during the process into a responsive plan that addresses the desired client objectives and priorities. Design is a process within a process that results in the creative output of an in-depth programming effort. The Design Program is the foundation for addressing functional requirements and the development of space plans, aesthetic choices and occupancy strategies for the client.
OFCworkscapes consults with our clients to make sure that the design of the facility, the aesthetics and the products selected provide the best possible solutions to the particular needs of the organization. The full benefits of quality design cannot be realized without the proper application of the elements that make up a facility. Ergonomically correct furnishings, proper lighting, attention to acoustics, environmental comfort, technological interfaces, color and aesthetics, facility life cycle and sustainable systems – all must be considered and evaluated to provide effective and economical design and product applications. Each relevant element requires investigation to determine the impact on the desired outcomes of the project and alternatives need to be evaluated for effectiveness and economic justification. Our design process helps to qualify design and product applications as early as possible in order to establish realistic budgets and avoid costly changes and delays.
The office building is a building for work, organization, lucidity and economy. Light, spacious working rooms, undivided, only organized according to the pattern of the firm.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
“FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION”
This quote, rightly attributed to the groundbreaking architect Louis Sullivan, was shortened from the quote “Form ever follows function” which Sullivan coined in his article The Tall Office Building. Sullivan in turn attributed the concept to the Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Polliothe.