6 Iconoclasts on Adapting for the Human Experience
Architects and designers are being called on to create and adapt space at an unprecedented pace. We spoke to Gensler, ThinkLab, Box Clever, and leaders from interior design, city planning, and organizational strategy on adapting for the human experience.
Commercial real estate leaders, designers, and general contractors are being called on to create and adapt space at an unprecedented pace. This series features six provocative perspectives from leading minds representing the fields of architecture, industrial design, research, and interior design. They share insight on how — and more importantly, why — adaptability in design is of paramount importance when creating individual and shared space.
Amanda Schneider Founder of design research firm ThinkLab
Researcher Amanda Schneider sits in her home office in the Greater Chicago Area thinking about a word: work. “When I say to my kids, ‘I’m going to work,’ it’s no longer a noun — it’s a verb,” says Schneider, founder of design research firm ThinkLab. “And, to our kids, it looks like we all do the same thing — stare into Zoom. I’m Zooming about legal things, and he’s Zooming about marketing things, and she’s Zooming about product development things. Younger generations are going to have a fundamentally different view of what it even means to work.”...
Cheryl Durst Executive Vice President and CEO of the International Interior Design Association
When Cheryl Durst, Executive Vice President and CEO of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), was six years old she visited a museum with her parents. Turning a corner and coming across two divergent pathways, she asked how people know which direction to take and was thus introduced to the concept of design...
Benjy Ward Principal at Gensler
Rico Quirindongo Interim director at the City of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development
When self-described recovering architect Rico Quirindongo talks about creating enriched built spaces, he frames the conversation — and his design solutions — around the people who will inhabit them. Throughout his 27 years practicing architecture, and now in his role as interim director at the City of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development, Quirindongo bases his approach to design on the incorporation of community-based perspectives...
Diana Rhoten Organizational Design Strategist
When it comes to the open office floor plan, there are typically two types of people: Those who enjoy working in big, open spaces with the opportunity to bump into colleagues and make small talk, and those that hate every second of it. The fact that there will be differing opinions is an important consideration, says Diana Rhoten. As an organizational design and innovation strategist, Rhoten says it’s important to look at people’s behaviors to understand how to design and adapt the workplace...
Bret Recor Founder and Creative Director of Box Clever
Designing for the modern human? Personalize, customize, and make it sustainable. When Bret Recor was brought in by Away to design a new suitcase, he wanted it to be more than mini storage on wheels. To Recor, the founder and creative director of San Francisco-based design firm Box Clever, the product also needed to be functional for living as a human on the move in our modern world...
Adaptability is Key to Resilience
When we listen to each other, embrace diverse perspectives, and co-create space that encourages individuals to be themselves, then collaboration, creativity, and culture thrive. And, great conversations follow.
Last year, DIRTT spoke to six big thinkers who provided insight on the future of space and its impact on people. These iconoclasts shared thoughts on how the construction industry would be more efficient and sustainable if it embraced the inevitability of change by applying productization, uber flexibility, and technology to construct positive experiences and build relationships.
This installment of the Iconoclasts series features some of the brightest minds from the worlds of architecture, industrial design, research, and interior design. They share insight on how — and more importantly, why — adaptability in design is of paramount importance for everyone in our industry and critical to inviting people into spaces that are intentionally designed and purposefully constructed.
These leaders speak about the hybrid workplace and how human-centered design thinking helps organizations be more adaptable. They say culture and needs of the community are the most important context for any project getting built, and there is a pressing need for cities and their spaces to be more welcoming. They share examples of how configuration forms the foundation of design, but customization and personalization make it successful. And we hear about creating environments that amplify our humanity in a way that is inclusive, equitable, empowering, healing, and functional.
The needs and expectations of people and organizations have shifted dramatically over the past two years. We’ve reached a turning point where design resiliency is dependent on being adaptable, agile, and approachable.
We invite you to explore the new era of space.
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