Designing in any capacity is an art form. The creativity behind each aspect of design sums up its value. The parameters of design are essential for any successful project. Establishing parameters and effectively implementing them tests the designer prematurely before the execution of an actual design.
The step by step approach taken up by design-based organisations definitively affects the final outcome. Factors associated with peoples’ perceptions and productivity are limited.
Office designs are defined by the clients’ requirements. Understanding and translating clients' needs into the design inadvertently becomes the core of the project. Through an effective process, the clients’ requirements can be quantified and perceived before any actual work is carried out.
Most offices in India follow simplistic planning with a particular colour palette in mind. This cuts costs while helping employees to move around seamlessly. However, the finer aspects of design are left untouched by conventional offices.
Figure 1: Schematic of design parameters
Conventional design process
The general format usually involves client integration at the beginning to create a design brief which includes the needs, wants and budgetary restrictions of the client. The design process can be summed up in the following points.
Getting to know the client. This requires a series of conversations to understand who the clients are, how they live and how they want to be perceived in the world.
Budget fixing & allocation
Establishing a common language to communicate spirit, concept, and nuance. This involves an exchange of rich and detailed imagery along with commentary and conversation to determine the values that matter.
Space planning -to determine scale and traffic flow as well as what specific furnishings are needed. Bubble diagrams are used along with colour-coding to understand the circulation of the office to be constructed. These diagrams are the essence of design as they help connect the designer to the project. Mere functionalism is focused on with aesthetics deemed secondary.
Categorising the spaces as private, semi-private, public and utility-based helps the designer truly understand the project.
Using different line strokes light and air ventilation can be accounted for. Rooms that deserve natural light can be identified and placed accordingly.
Figure 2: Bubble diagram
Architectural Detailing or interior architecture –refers to creating the palette of materials and finishes that will define the personality of the spaces and designing how they will be constructed and applied.
This phase is shown in entirety to the client before finalisation in most cases. The aesthetic appeal is then brought to light to interest the client in the design. After a few variations in the overall proposal, the project gets approved for detailing. This phase is utilised by most office designing companies as a means to “sell” or “pitch” their efforts to the clients.
Furniture designs, finds, and selections.
Figure 3: Furniture, lights and fabrics
Client proposal & review and cost sheet. In some cases, the client will not pay their dues until design discrepancies are sorted. Furthermore, the final budgeting is reviewed for finalisation of the deal. The cost sheets and paperwork are referred to once again to find ways to cut costs.
Clients might suggest some last-minute design changes which need to be incorporated before execution. The client's understanding of their own needs can prove beneficial to the final outcome of the design.
Buying, ordering and commissioning the production of furnishings. The process from order to completion of a single piece of furniture often takes 6 months or more. Every piece ordered requires much thought and many decisions all of which have to be effectively communicated to the artisan, craftsman or supplier.
A predetermined timeline is scheduled for the entire project. The procurement of furniture and fabrics can often be delayed due to unforeseeable circumstances. This often leads to hefty fines and friction between the two parties.
Modelling Tools and Renders
Figure 4: 3D modelling software
3D modelling allows designers to create objects rotate and examine them from all angles. The designer observes and checks all angles of an object and sees which part of the 3D model needs changes.
Thes tools are used by all sorts of designers like architects, interior designers, product designers and furniture designers.
Advantages of 3D modelling
Execute Control and Accuracy
One major advantage of 3D modelling is the designer’s ability to maintain accuracy. Each component of a product, building or machine can be measured and analysed separately. The use of a 3D mouse can make the designing process even more accurate. With it, you have complete control over your designs since you can zoom, pan and rotate 3D models or camera views simultaneously. With increased control comes affectivity
Avoid Costly Mistakes
3D modelling solutions give you the ability to check any flaw on the 3D model before finalizing them. You can view the end result before the actual product is created and then remedy component issues before completing the final output. This saves time, money and resources.
No need to build furniture prototypes
Creating 3D interior renderings is easy on the pocket of the stakeholders for so many reasons. It becomes quite convenient and economical to design 3D visualizations than to actually build that interior furniture. In most projects, clients want to suggest changes while on the job and it leads to the added expense. 3D interior rendering can create multiple designs and then re-work on them without spending money on the actual material.
Data - friendly
Modelling tools today store data as the designs are executed. Materials and measurements can be stored instantaneously for future use. Access to such in-depth knowledge can open many avenues for development and research.
Figure 5: Design data and design
Figure 6: Rendered 3D view
3D rendering is a creative process that is similar to photography or cinematography because you are lighting and staging scenes and producing images. Unlike regular photography, however, the scenes being photographed are imaginary, and everything appearing in a 3D rendering needs to be created (or re-created) in the computer before it can be rendered. This is a lot of work, but allows for an almost infinite amount of creative control over what appears in the scene, and how it is depicted.
The three-dimensional data that is depicted could be a complete scene including geometric models of different three-dimensional objects, buildings, landscapes, and animated characters - artists need to create this scene by Modelling and Animating before the Rendering can be done. The 3D rendering process depicts this three-dimensional scene as a picture, taken from a specified location and perspective. The rendering could add the simulation of realistic lighting, shadows, atmosphere, colour, texture, and optical effects such as the refraction of light or motion-blur seen on moving objects - or the rendering might not be realistic at all and could be designed to appear as a painting or abstract image.
Advantages of 3D Renders
Visualization Before Construction
The architects and designers involved in the 3D interior rendering process for any type of construction project are able to visualize all the specific intricacies, such as estimated dimensions and scales, using a 3D rendering software.
Perfect Lighting Every Time
3D renders give one complete control over outdoor and indoor lighting. With 3D rendering, one has control over the time of year, the time of day, the angle of the sun, and the intensity of the sunlight.
Branding and Marketing: Streamlined
One of the most striking advantages of 3D rendering is its unique capacity to maintain marketing and branding consistency over time. For example, if you want to maintain your brand's hallmark look and feel throughout all of your marketing materials, then it's important to consistently use your brand's precise colour scheme
Crystal clear communication is another area where 3D rendering shines. People have trouble understanding what they can't visualize. This is where 3D rendering comes in. A high-quality 3D render can swiftly solve the communication problem by giving stakeholders, employees, customers and clients a breathtaking 3D visualization that facilitates understanding while bringing a project's complexity together in a singular, unified way. Depending on the situation, getting the message across may call for photorealistic rendering.
Figure 7: Rendering parameters
Figure 8: Schematic of Methodology
Habitaction is a UK-based company dedicated to designing innovative offices on large scales. The company relies on intensive research at every stage to help the designers create the best designs for their clients.
The company has recently adopted a technology-friendly philosophy to promote productivity. Automation in lights, drapes, and basic appliances end up saving electricity while adjusting the users’ behaviour in any given space.
Workplace Consultancy & Research
Workplace consultancy backed up by research helps to inform business decisions at any given time. Similarly, the financial, operational and people-related challenges can be overcome or assisted by an intelligent approach to workspace and property needs. This can facilitate people to perform at their best, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing operational costs. Data-driven analysis is a crucial part of any consultancy package, sadly often overlooked in the office design industry.
ROI (Return on investment) is the focal point of research and consultancy before any initial work is done. Things are changing fast in the world around us. By undertaking the necessary research one can ensure the respective office is adapting to changes in the marketplace. In the long run, office designs are used as ways to save money rather than spend it. Creating an adaptable model that can fit more people when needed is essential in terms of office design. Understanding the goals set by the company can help create an office design that can be adjusted as in when required.
A detailed analysis of the office employees activities in the office are taken into account. Meetings, huddles, and other interactive encounters between employees are studies and analysed. The storage needs that need to be met and their categorisation is done in-depth, for furniture design processes to begin. At this junction, the type of furniture to be used is decided even though the detailing is done much later.
Evidence-Based Office Design
Evidence-based office design uses research and data to ensure the longevity and success of your workplace changes.
An evidence-based office design takes data from the organisation’s working styles and patterns, and converts it into a tangible workspace design scheme. Once the scheme is built, it allows your team to work at their most productive. The data is gathered in a number of ways at the workplace consultancy and research stage, in order to be interpreted and translated into an interior design scheme by their team of office design experts.
Evidence-based office design guarantees the success of any significant workplace redevelopment/ development allowing a fresh build based on the foundation of data, knowledge and a detailed understanding of unique working habits.
3D modelling is used as a tool to bridge the gap between the designer and the clients. A detailed office room can help a designer express himself to the client. Clarification on previous conversations is an important aspect of office design. Ensuring the client is completely understood is vital to office designing. 3D renders remove any doubts that may have existed. The need for 3D renders extends to even helping the marketing tool.
Showing the potential of Habitaction to create and procure elements is important to acquire any client. Fabrics, woods, metals and even lights can be displayed to give anybody a clear idea of the design before it is created. The aesthetic aspect of fabrics and colours can be understood and justified properly by the designer before the execution of the project.
An intelligent approach to your office fit-out lets you overcome challenges and shift culture patterns in your workspace too. Furniture, light fixtures and other appliances are placed and designed to accommodate change whenever necessary. The research phase of habitaction also draws up a chart which analyses the future needs of the company in question. The chart acts as guidelines for furniture and interior design. Pointing out features and utilities that need to be focused on for the near future is a large part of Habitactions’ approach to design
At the design phase, figuring out the costs and deductibles are key before any real execution. The Budget at this point is revised. The categorisation of designs for particular organisations are done to further the project. The categorisation is done based on budget and company profile.
Cat A Fit-out – including items such as raised access floors, suspended ceilings, mechanical & electrical services, washrooms to core areas, carpets and finishes to perimeter & core walls.
Basic fit-out (low complexity & specification) – £30 per square foot
Mid fit-out (medium complexity & specification) – £50 per square foot
High fit-out (high complexity & specification) – £85 per square foot
Cat A costs are very subjective to the existing building infrastructure and complexity.
Cat B Fit-out – including items such as internal partitions, suspended ceiling modifications, specialist lighting, M&E alterations, enhanced wall & floor finishes, teapoint installation, bespoke joinery & graphics.
Basic fit-out (low specification & simple design) – £30 per square foot
Mid fit-out (mid specification & design) – £50-60 per square foot
High fit-out (high specification & design) – £100+ per square foot
Our in-house project managers will keep your project on track, remembering that your reputation is as important as our reputation.
Chippendale University of Design
Figure 9: Design Approach Diagram
Unlike most design methods, Chippendale university approaches commercial design in a different way altogether. Emphasis on furniture is given even before the layout is even started.
Chippendale university believes that design begins from a single individual. Creating an experience for an employee from the moment he enters the office till he leaves is the philosophy followed by the University. The data collected is mainly from each person.
Apart from understanding the company's profile and needs, importance is given to the employees’ thoughts and habits. A standardised questionnaire is given to each employee. The MCQ’s provided are to understand the employees’ favourite areas of their current offices. Furthermore, the time frame in which the office is occupied is identified. Any particular dislikes are also brought to light in order to fix or mend. Effect of office policies on the employees is yet another aspect this questionnaire looks at.
The culture and interests of the employees is also data that is exposed by the questionnaire. For example, the type of food and beverages commonly consumed is noted. This information can be used while managing the cafeteria of the new office. Furthermore, food habits can help identify the seating requirements of the cafeteria at any given time.
Elements and their proportions.
From the research done, a concept is developed which suits the culture exhibited by the employees. The kind of company also influences the concept of office design.
Functional elements are designed roughly by sketching & rendering on paper. Perspective drawings are used to understand the size of the element with respect to the room it is in. This method is swift allowing the designer to create multiple alternatives in a short time.
After brainstorming between designers choices are made and improved. This helps create authentic furniture adding class and beauty to the design. The designers have experience with making furniture. Durability, tensile strength and other such physical properties of materials is an important part of the final design.
Similar to a person using a web page, the way an employee uses his office spaces is also an important factor while designing.
Understanding how and when an employee uses the different parts of the office to complete his/her tasks is a challenge on its own. Once identified a seamless experience is created for the employees.
The sketches and illustrations which are finalised are detailed out and digitalised. Using software available on computers design elements are detailed out and placed 3d layouts.
This is done primarily to show the client and upper management the designers intentions. The look and feel of the entire office can be clearly defined by the designer while completing a design in every aspect.
Formulated Design Process
From the design processes examined, it is clear that there is no clear-cut way to go about designing. Office designs revolve around the wishes of their shareholders, even though it is the employees that will be utilising the space. This poses a unique challenge for designers as they look to create sustainable offices for the future.
Holding information-gathering meetings to completely understand the scope of the office designing project is unquestionably the first step. This includes understanding the brand, the look and feel, all employee functions and needs, and any special industry compliance requirements.
After a budget is set, a space planning document is created based on the project’s scope. The space document highlights the given building chosen along with details about the area. The idea behind selecting the area and building is expressed in detail.
After the location of the office is agreed upon, a rough layout is agreed upon between the client and designers. This layout helps the designer understand the spaces needed for different zones. A great degree of research is carried out by a team to create logistics and statistics that can form the parameters for the given design.
Computerised drawings are then introduced to create the spaces hypothetically. 3D modelling is used to express the exact intentions of the designer. Using standardised furniture blocks, the designing team expresses how they intend to proceed.
A communication of sorts is established between the designing team and the clients. This is imperative for office designing, as the designers look to get into the minds of the stakeholders to truly understand the requirements of the project.
A field measure can be completed onsite to show the office furniture “footprints”, and exactly where and how they’ll be placed in your new office space. This is another step introduced to get the stakeholders closer to the designers.
A finish schedule is created that outlines all of the materials that can be used.
The office design and planning proposal, with multiple quote options, includes:
Colour palette and product options for the products and services included in the proposal. Each piece of furniture can be modified if demanded.
A menu-oriented format showing the available furnishing and material options, so it is easier to make selections.
At this junction, an additional step is introduced to help finalise the design before execution. Using 3D modelling software views are created, with the selected product. This digital medium is introduced as a data storing and analysing method. Through modelling software, all the necessary data like material, length, width, height, volume, the surface area can be created and recorded.
The data can be linked with scientific studies like volumetric analysis & indoor air quality to enhance spaces one step further.
When approval is received, the proposal is sent to the project management team for implementation. This means:
The team works closely with selected contractors to implement the chosen design elements in a timely and efficient manner.
The project is carefully tracked with attention to all the details, so nothing is missed. This includes the given furniture order and interactions with contractors and all other parties involved. A timeline and schedule are created by the team to minimise delays.
Frequent communications are sent to keep the client up to date on the project’s progress.
Estimated delivery dates are shared with the client as well.
The project components are ordered, received and stored together before the project installation begins.
The implementation of the components overseen till fruition.
Once the project is completed, one of our specialists walks through your office space with you to ensure your new interior design has been implemented as expected and to your satisfaction.
The conventional design processes follow a systematic approach to designing office spaces. The parameters set by the client are identified after which a schematic layout is created. The composition and ideas are relayed through drafted layouts and sketches. Though this design methodology might create a satisfying output, there is an apparent lack of detailing that cannot go unnoticed.
Habitaction Pvt Ltd focused on research more than anything else. As expressed earlier, design is merely a derivation of research and analysis. The direction taken by habitaction ensures the clients’ satisfaction at every step of the way.
Chippendale University of Design follows an intriguing design process worth looking at. Their ideals are focused on the employees in order to optimise each individuals performance at the office. The employees’ usage of space at a given time is detailed out in order to chart out a user-friendly experience.
Each of these approaches to design show merit. However, in today’s data-driven world, nothing can be left to chance. With advancements in technology, the means to obtain knowledge and data have become fairly easy. This holds true for designing as well. The introduction of modelling software gives the designer access to many different types of data. While access to the internet promotes the sharing of knowledge like never before.
WORKAMP- Zilingos’ Workspace Simulation
Zilingo is a commerce platform that is making the fashion and beauty supply chain more efficient through technology. Zilingo was founded in 2015 by Ankiti Bose and Dhruv Kapoor with a vision to use technology to put fair and efficient business within everyone’s reach.
The office designed by Workamp Pvt. Ltd is in Marathon FutureX at Lower Parel. The building is a well equipped Class A building with all the necessary services provided
The office consists of the workstations, meeting rooms, pantry, game room, phone booth and reception as well.
Workamp Digital Design Approach
Figure 10: Meeting Rooms
After understanding the need for private spaces in the office, additional private discussion rooms were created. The office needed these spaces for interdepartmental communication and small scale meetings with vendors & designers. Using 3D modelling as a tool, compact spaces have been fitted with proportionate furniture. The furniture pieces used were fluid as to pose a minimum strain on an individuals perception.
Figure 11: Gaming Room
A relatively large space for gaming asked for different design components. As a commercial building, the ceiling height extends to over 4m in height. The volume created was massive, allowing the designers at Workamp to create components that perceptively occupied space. A hammock hanging from the ceiling, ornamentally arranged bean bags, suspended lighting and even the splash of colours are all designs that 3D modelling helped finalise. These design choices are proportionate to the space they occupy. They are segregated across space and are placed perfectly through the visual aid provided at the modelling phase.
Fig 12: Gaming Room 2
Phone Booths are provided for a sense of absolute privacy in the workplace. The minimalistic approach has been utilised along with a photo frame to provide a balance between the small space and designing components. The details of which are created and quantified with software to allow accurate usage of space. Though the area is equivalent to a storage room, the intelligent use of colours and components can bring real quality to the given space.
Figure 13: Phone Booth
The attention to detail has been clarified as the way forward to achieve the best results. The prolific use of technology and software is vital in today’s day and age. The data analytics and visual aid provided has untold potential. With research studies in place, these software’s can enhance space in a scientific manner as well.
Habitaction and Chippendale University of Design illustrated different sorts of research that need to be carried out for a design project to work. Additionally, the transition of design into a 3D model was concluded as the final stage of design.
The use of modelling software as a designing tool is also an important revelation from the above research.