When you think about the office, you see it in your mind as a pretty serious setting where man and nature do not interact. You think of an elegant, non-pretentious space whose sole responsibility is to make sure that work gets done. There are stiff chairs, fancy tables, even a shelf stacked with books. However, that image of the office has changed drastically over the years, and modern interior design firms have had to find ways of making the working environment way less serious and more laid-back in a bid to enhance performance and built an environment where employees want to keep going. These changes are becoming even more necessary in a world where the lines between nature and the office are becoming more blurred as a result of urbanization.
How does urbanization fit into the equation?
In rural areas, people have lots of space. Ideally, they are able to enjoy nature and the indoors separately, and they are just fine with that. This is not the reality of urban areas. You see, as cities grew, people had to learn to live with each other in confined places. They had to find ways to enjoy nature and still thrive in the indoor environment. This was not an easy transformation, because it meant accommodating people you didn’t know, didn’t like and didn’t even care about within the same confines. The complex dynamic gave rise to shared behavioral patterns as well as a need to belong and fit. At the core of it all was a struggle to be able to accommodate the outdoors and the indoors in a cramped cavern and still get some thrill out of it. The result was the evolution of spaces that allowed a little bit of both these things, and while these spaces have taken time to evolve, nature has surely made its way into our working stalls.
How has urbanization influenced interior design approaches?
Interior design firms have come to understand one thing; that whether people are in rural or urban areas, they want to exist as a community. They want places that foster social and professional interactions. Urbanization has made it easier for companies to build spaces that are more nuanced in nature and design. For example, Silicon Valley companies such as Google and Facebook have tended to move away from the conventional statuesque office plans to campuses in which employees, who are integral members of the community’, can thrive. In a nutshell, the modern office mimics the outdoors in a number of ways. In the aforementioned campuses, you will find little creeks, water fountains, grassy meadows and all the bells and whistles that blur the lines between the office and the outdoors. This is exactly how urbanization is ripping apart stereotypes and creating a modern blueprint for the design of outdoor and indoor spaces.
Even the small office is getting looped in Interior design approaches that mirror nature are not the preserve of Fortune 500 companies, or so it seems. Look at the modern office. You will find employees thriving in shared environments. Whether they are meeting at the coffee dispenser or the small golf island in the office, urbanization has allowed for the growth of approaches that push humans close together and nudge them to become better working as teams and getting relationships as well as conversations started. Looking around the hallways, you will see them start to look like well-lit streets where people walk hurriedly past each other, flash smiles or even throw in a short greeting. Urbanization has also led to people in cities to miss the presence of greenery, and that is why there are now potted plants tucked away in semi-open places in offices around the world. It’s man’s way of trying to appreciate nature and find a way for it to exist and thrive alongside modernity.
As the office makes massive strides in providing the ideal working environment, interior design firms will continue to find themselves heavily involved in the process. Mitra Consultants is one of those companies, and we continue working hard to make sure that the intricacies of office interiors match with current market needs. If you are looking for turnkey solutions to boost the outlook, style and functionality of your office, reach out to us right away.