design

How Healthcare will Change the Future of Corporate Office Design

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon 2019

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon 2019

The world around us is quickly changing – people, technology, and medicine. The future of healthcare will focus more on maintaining overall well-being rather than masking illnesses. So how will this affect the corporate work environment? We can expect companies to begin integrating these health technologies in the future of office design.

 

Wearable devices

Advancing technologies will play a major role in the future of consumers health such as artificial intelligence and inter-operable data. Wearable devices like Fit Bits and Apple watches already have the capacity to track and monitor our steps, sleeping patterns, and heart rates. We can expect in the next 20 years to watch this trend grow according to Deloitte. Many medtech companies are already beginning to incorporate always-on biosensors and software into devices that can generate, gather, and share data (Deloitte). This will provide consumers with customized health plans and give them complete control over their well-being.

 

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon Chicago 2019

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon Chicago 2019

Supporting spaces

Today’s work culture is all about employee well-being and it goes beyond fancy amenities like a pool table or kegerator. It is important to promote movement and creative flow within the office. This includes creating both physical and mental supporting spaces. The wearable devices can provide active information to manage user’s health and wellness (WorkDesign Mag).

Physical supporting spaces can include sit-to-stand desks or defined walkways for “walk and talk” meetings. There is a serious lack of physical activity within an office environment which can lead to several health issues. It is important for workplace designers to find design solutions that promote health and wellness for employees.

It is also vital to create mental supporting spaces that goes beyond collaboration. Although the Open Plan concept promotes more collaboration between employees, it can be a distraction. Mental supportive spaces can include “quiet zones” which are separate rooms/areas filled with comfortable furniture and calming aesthetics to unwind and regroup.

 

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon 2018

image source: Kimball brand NeoCon 2018

The future of Office Design

We can expect to see a lot more changes in the office environment. As employee health and wellness becomes the center of a company’s focus, workplace designers will begin to incorporate technology into

into every aspect of the office from our chairs, monitors, and even computer mouse which will monitor vitals and let employees know when they should take a break or walk around (WorkDesign Mag). Office design will also begin to focus more on stress-management and promote more physical activity within the workplace.



https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/industry/health-care/forces-of-change-health-care.html

https://workdesign.com/2019/07/healthcare-advancements-that-will-redefine-office-design-in-2020-and-beyond/



New Employee Spotlight | Eric Yepiz

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Our newest design guru Eric Yepiz has just joined the b + c team! Eric has over 10 years of experience in the commercial furniture industry. He is a true expert in AutoCAD, CAP Studio and 3DS Max & V-Ray, but it doesn’t stop there! Eric’s skills also include 3D Visualization utilizing state of the art and advanced techniques. We are very excited to have Eric on board!

Can’t get enough of Eric? Let’s get to know him a little better…

Fun Facts…

What is in your fridge right now?

Coffee creamer and Diet Coke.

What is your favorite Christmas movie?

Die Hard (1988).

When things break, do you prefer to fix them or replace them?

Replace them.

If you had to work but didn’t need the money, what would you choose to do?

Professional race car driver.

What is your favorite non-alcoholic beverage?

Starbucks Venti Flat White with whip.

NeoCon Design Trend: Sophisticozy Spaces by Kimball

Image source: Kimball Brand

Image source: Kimball Brand

A blog by Kimball Brand:

Now more than ever, the lines are blurring between work and home. A comfortable ambiance and healthy environment is expected. Evoking a forward-thinking approach to products and solutions, we are changing the nature of workplace activities by creating environments that provide comfort and foster well-being in a space that makes everyone feel welcome and at home.

During NeoCon the Kimball Chicago Showroom illuminated with sophistication in design, exuding comfort and warmth as viewed through the lens of experience and knowledge of design and culture. Our emphasis on uniquely curated products created an inviting, comfortable space that was personal, relaxing and authentic.

Image source: Kimball Brand

Image source: Kimball Brand

A more tranquil, welcoming environment is paramount to the physical and mental wellness of employees in the workplace. By creating a sense of sophisticozy™, our showroom embodied a feeling of happiness and comfort, sparking creativity and intellect by featuring designs that inspire, spaces that provide comfort and well-being, and a focus on people with the goal of creating warmth and happiness in the workplace. In addition, we celebrated our design partnerships with Claudio Bellini, Pam Light and John Duffy, and Brian Graham in co-creating and bringing to life their designs that focus on bringing comfort, organization and design centric solutions into the workplace.

Image source: Kimball Brand

Image source: Kimball Brand

The creative process is almost unpredictable, and the mind has to stay free to experiment and suddenly change direction without prejudice. – Claudio Bellini

One of the newest products featured in the space, Debut, is a private office solution that supports the modern workplace with acoustic wall and privacy panels that provides both function and aesthetic. Another new product unveiled in this space was Work|Able, a new wall solution that maximizes space and creates an engaging application with acoustic softness and a personal level of materiality, tactile and differentiation.

Image Source: Kimball Brand

Image Source: Kimball Brand

With materials like pegboard, chalkboard, and cork, the aesthetic is simple and honest, yet effective and progressive. – Brian Graham

Guests entering the showroom were greeted by the beautiful new seating collection, Whittaker – an elegant, timeless lounge offering that combines light and slender volumes with a sophisticated industrial aesthetic in both modular and stand-alone seating.

Image source: Kimball Brand

Image source: Kimball Brand


This trust makes it easier to push the envelope and know that your partner will go there with you—“just to see” if the direction has merit. – Pam Light & John Duffy

Other new seating products included Nate and Natty, which blend appealing style with comfort and versatility to provide a welcome new arrangement to today’s work and health landscapes. The newly released Niles chair is a natural choice for furnishing office, meeting and conference spaces with a timeless style and is available in classic black or ivory with a chrome base.

The latest offerings from Kimball Health included Aiden, a height adjustable, mobile clinician table that allows for greater patient interaction. Whittaker Health’s comfort and style, along with limitless configurations, meet the rigid requirements of today’s healthcare landscapes with both function and cleanability. The Wilder collection has been expanded to include a rocker, loveseat and ferrule options, and our popular Tucker seating offering expanded to include a guest, bariatric, patient, and hip chair.

Healthcare-collage-1-version-2-web.jpg
Image source: Kimball Brand

Image source: Kimball Brand

“With our continued desire to be human-centered, purpose-driven, and modern, we create flexible and relevant environments that provide users a space they enjoy while having choices in furniture and technology applications to better support the changing nature of workplace activities,” explained Wendy Murray, Director of Product and Brand at Kimball. “Health and wellness are essential to engagement and productivity. That’s why we have a continued commitment to not only be a company that focuses on innovation, knowledge, and adaptability, but also one that is committed to well-being, offering products and solutions that provide comfort and encourage movement.”

Visit www.kimball.com/chicago/2019/ to take a 3D tour of our sophisticozy showroom, explore the showroom map for the different products and finishes, view more photos of our new introductions, download our Fresh for 2019 Brochure, or listen to our new Work Your Way podcast with designer, Brian Graham.  

Workplace Trends for 2019 | Kimball

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

While some of the trends that experts are predicting for 2019 are a continuation of what some workplaces were already doing in 2018, there are still a number of new ones. Some that might even raise a few eyebrows.

Here’s a quick preview of the trends that experts believe will be popular for workplace design in 2019.

Different work settings for different tasks.
Okay, technically, designating different areas of the office space for employees to work alone, in collaboration with others, or without distractions, isn’t new. But utilizing furniture options that can be easily rearranged to an employee or team’s liking does take the concept further. The furniture buzzwords moving forward are “minimal restrictions”.

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

Multifunctional rooms.
An adaptation of the designated space for 2019 will be to create small, multifunctional rooms that can be rearranged depending on the function. These rooms can be used for informal meetings, quiet spaces, interviews, or to relax with a cup of coffee. Versatility is the key — that includes the furnishings.

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

Space that contributes to employee well-being.
Employee health and psychological well-being will play a bigger role in office design for 2019. Research shows that people who experience higher levels of well-being are more resistant to colds, have a quicker recovery time from illness, a greater life expectancy, feel less pain, are more creative, and are better at problem solving. Literally, there’s no downside for a company to create a space that makes people feel good about working there.

Blurring the lines between the workplace and the comforts of home will also continue in 2019. For example, relaxation spaces will be a big plus to employees. Comfy seating, mini fridges stocked with cold beverages, and coffee machines will be a must.

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

Experience-driven spaces.
Another trend that experts expect to see among companies other than the high-tech and startups is something called experience-driven spaces. These spaces could include such features as massage therapy, yoga studios, meditation areas, virtual reality gaming spaces, espresso bars, and even rock-climbing walls or music stages.

The melding of furniture design and technology.
The introduction of laptops, cloud, and mobile phone technology into the workplace has increased the demand for more creatively thought out workstations. In 2019 expect to see more desks and workspaces with built-in technology like air-charging ports for mobile devices, under-desk mounted CPU holders, tabletop-embedded “personal assistant” touchscreens, electronic cable management systems, even Bluetooth-enabled standing desk controllers connected to mobile apps.

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

Abstract patterns.
Plain walls are so 2018. Abstract patterns and geometric shapes will be the thing for 2019. In the halls, lobbies, and conference rooms, you'll start to see the use of bold shapes, colors, and patterns accenting the walls. Handcrafted, artisanal, and earth-based products will also be making their way into the office and wood furniture will be moving towards darker, more elegant tones.

The Second Nature trend.
The use of plants and biophilic design in office space will continue to grow. (Sorry, for the pun.) Living green walls, plants, trees, and flowers will be used more and more to bring the outside in. This once trendy fashion statement is now considered by many companies to be a “must have’ in 2019 workspace design.

Here are some other characteristics of this Second Nature trend:
• WELL certification
• Fitwell certification
• LEED certification
• Natural materials - biomorphic forms and patterns such as wood and stone
• Natural lighting
• Thermal comfort and high-quality ventilation
• Visual connections with nature

photo source: Kimball

photo source: Kimball

So, if you’re designing a new space or giving your old space a makeover for 2019, make sure you keep these new trends in mind. If you need furniture to fill that space, we know a great place where you can look.

Living Coral | Pantone's Color of the Year 2019

Image source: Pantone

Image source: Pantone

It’s that time of the year! While everyone is giddy over the holidays, we’re gushing over the Pantone Color of the Year for 2019; 16-1546 Living Coral. The Pantone Color Institute is the business unit within Pantone that highlights top seasonal runway colors, forecasts global color trends, and advises companies on color for product and brand visual identity. Every winter, Pantone announces a “color of the year” - a retinal reflection of the cultural moment.

“Color is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities and this is particularly true for Living Coral. With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial PANTONE Living Coral hit a responsive chord.”

- Leatrice Eiseman

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE PANTONE COLOR INSTITUTE

Image source: Pantone

Image source: Pantone



So…why coral?

We live in a digital world. Our lives are constantly consumed by technology + social media which leaves us wanting more authentic + intimate experiences. PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral’s social spirit engages nature while encouraging lighthearted activity. It evokes a playfulness that we so desire in our every day lives. The Color Institute states that it “symbolizes our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits.” Originally, the Greek word Coral corresponds to the element of the ocean + means ‘daughter of the sea’. It supports creative energies + displays a lively presence.


Coral in the Workplace

Generally, we tend to see more neutral colors in the workplace. With the recent focus on employee well-being, most work environments try not to visually overwhelm staff. The main goal is to provide employees with a healthy, appealing environment to increase productivity. Some might think coral is an overwhelming color to use. However, if used correctly, it can provide us with comfort + buoyancy.

Image source: https://www.decoist.com/2014-07-16/hot-color-trends-interior-design/

Image source: https://www.decoist.com/2014-07-16/hot-color-trends-interior-design/

Living Coral is the perfect bold statement for 2019. Use it in communal spaces such as pop-up installations + interactive areas. The Color Institute also adds, “As a color linked to tactility and human connection, PANTONE Living Coral in shag rugs, cozy blankets, and lush upholsteries create a warm, comforting, and nurturing feeling.”

Image source: Kimball

Image source: Kimball


Use PANTONE 16-1546 in your designs!

Curious in how to use the 2019 Pantone Color of the Year? The Color Institute has created five different color pallets that feature Living Coral to help you bring this year’s special shade into your designs + illustrate the dynamic nature of this color within various combinations.








Sources:

https://www.pantone.com/color-intelligence/color-of-the-year/color-of-the-year-2019

https://colourpsychologytoday.com/colour-meanings





Ergonomics 101

How to sustain ergonomic habits at your workstation:

SIT

1. Raise or lower the seat to ensure your thighs are parallel to the floor with your feet flat on the floor or a footrest.

2. Adjust seat pan depth to maintain two inches of clearance between the back of your knees and the front edge of the seat.

3. Adjust backrest height to comfortably fit the small of your back.

4. Adjust the recline tension, if necessary, to support varying degrees of recline throughout the day. Avoid the use of recline locks.

5. Lean back and relax in your chair to allow the backrest to support your upper body

Type

6. Use an articulating keyboard support and position it 1 to 1.5 inches above your thighs. Angle the keyboard away from your body to keep wrists straight while typing. Rest your palms—not your wrists—on a palm support.

Mouse

7. Position your mouse close to the keyboard or over the numeric keypad to minimize reaching. Avoid anchoring your wrist on the desk. Instead, glide the heel of your palm over the mousing surface and use your entire arm to mouse. 

View

Position the monitor at least an arm’s length away with the top line of text at or slightly below eye level. Tilt the monitor away from you so your line of sight is perpendicular to the monitor.

Illuminate

Position a task light to the side opposite your writing hand. Shine it on paper documents but away from computer monitors to reduce glare.

Align

Align the monitor and spacebar with the midline of your body and arrange frequently used work tools within easy reach. Prop reference documents between your body and the monitor with an in-line document holder.

Rest

Take two or three 30- to 60-second breaks each hour to allow your body to recover from periods of repetitive stress.

Brought to you by:  

The Big Apple

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Over the holidays, I ventured out into the  concrete jungle of Manhattan. I chatted with the locals, enjoyed the sights, smells, and delectable eats.

A Spark of Inspiration...

NYC inspired me with its structural elements and sporadic greenery. Here is my lookbook into the heart of the Big Apple. 
Cheers!
Samantha Nguyen