By Roxane KANDELL
Project conceptor at ISSADESIGN
It is during a sunny autumn day at the Cataraqui estate in Quebec City that the bright orange and red leaves reveal the view of the river. It’s this view that made the wedding I was invited to last week so perfect and unique. Without the sound of the creaking old wooden slats, the antique chandelier hanging from the ceiling of the great hall and the details of the architecture dating back to 1831; we would not have kept the same memories and would not have developed the same emotions during the event. It was this anecdote that made me want to express what could make the design of the environment so intuitive; closely related to our senses.
- GOOD DESIGN SHOULD REFLECT A SENSE OF HUMAN HISTORY
SOME ASPECT OF WHERE WE'VE COME FROM.
Harmutt Esslinger, Founder of Frog Design
Our environment has an impact on our everyday feelings. This emotional connection between a place and our emotions can be perceived in an obvious or subtle way; depending on our sensitivity or on our state at the moment. What counts for a designer is to provoke this link between the human and his environment. We can organize this concept under five major themes (selected from the book The true measure of spaces) that have been used to create the corporate universe of Soleno's head office employees in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. The mandate was to enrich the new headquarters space by translating their environmental values and their brand image into a spatial concept.
- THE TRUE MEASURE OF A SPACE IS HOW IT MAKES US FEEL.
The impact of the first impression when entering a place for the first time is certainly the most striking of the feelings one can feel for a space. We wanted to replicate this instinctive sense of discovery every time an employee goes to work. At Soleno, the imposing double-height entrance hall is the heart of the project, it invites colleagues, collaborators and friends to visit the place that employees proudly call their "Soleno museum", telling the story of the family business.
A performance-related emotion may be aroused in a worker when using space, among other things, with efficiency, ergonomics and comfort. The multiplication of spaces conducive to the meeting is in order to provoke exchanges between colleagues. His impromptu or planned dialogues will be the source of new ideas that will probably solve a problem. At Soleno's head office, we have designed different formal and informal areas for the employees, focused on collaboration, performance and innovation.
The sound and texture of materials are related to well-being when creating a corporate environment. The fact of proposing some open offices and others in open spaces allows the users of a place to find isolated, productive, stimulating space ... But the choice of materials for its different zones is crucial. For example, in order to reduce the sound in the open areas at Soleno, we proposed to insert a felt divider so that the material can absorb the sound of the voice.
The connection between an individual and his space may be the expression not only of a feeling of discovery but also of belonging. A place that represents what we imagined to be beautiful, the ideal for a specific type of activity is what unites us to this one. This context is often represented by different details such as the choice of colors. Soleno's solo or collaborative workspaces are punctuated by green walls, the company's iconic color, to increase employees' sense of pride and belonging to their workplace.
Close your eyes and think about a place that makes you calm. Doesn’t it have a view of the mountains or the beach? Is it not tall, with lots of lights? We all have different images of what calms us, but when creating a concept of corporate design, calm is also a factor. For example, we can provoke this feeling, as a designer, by letting employees enjoy an outward view towards nature; like those at Soleno.
In conclusion, it is the general layout of a space that allows one's emotions towards a place. Guided by ISSADESIGN, it is mainly the different decisions taken upstream that influence our behavior. It is during the creation of the design of the environment that the details, the sizes, the color, the light, the sounds, the materials and the shapes are guided intuitively by our sensations, our emotions ...
Be curious, play the game, and analyze what makes you feel good in your work environment!