Oct 11, 2018

Interior Design Relevance

Terry De La Cuesta
Executive Director Healthcare
Image by Steelcase

Three Relevant Design Trends Q1 2018

1. Redesigning Gender/Inclusive Design

In October of 2017 California became the first U.S. state to recognize non-binary gender on birth certificates. In July, Target announced the release of gender neutral clothing for children and in London, Topshop has instituted gender neutral fitting rooms.

It’s not just about designing gender neutral bathrooms anymore. As cultural conversations shift beyond the binary ideas of gender, designers are starting to reconsider what makes a space inclusive that also meet the needs of businesses.

Example: The UK department store Selfridges launched a genderless shopping experience called Agender across fashion, accessories, and beauty lines.

2. Safe Spaces

As the fear of violent incidents around the world increases, designers face the challenge of protecting the public from threats while still bringing beauty to interior spaces.

Designers who are used to using constraints as design opportunities (especially true of healthcare designers,) are thinking up ways to create spaces that dazzle visually and functionally but also deter terror, crime or emergency situations. Designers understand if you don’t bring the security, access, and pathway consultants in at the concept stage, it can get more expensive afterward.

Example: As part of Dubai International’s security apparatus, it will be replacing a traditional ID checkpoint with a beautiful virtual aquarium. This will be an immersive tunnel you walk through, recalling a walk on the ocean floor. What people won’t see are a network of 80 cameras using facial recognition software.

3. Data and the Deep Dive

Designers are turning to data and employee input to hone the programming process. Armed with information, they are creating custom spaces that fit the true needs of the business.

Developments on the tech front are happening so regularly it’s hard to keep up. Behavior tracking mobile apps and sophisticated survey methodologies are becoming a standard part of the pre-design process.

Our Healthcare designers can relate to this because of our knowledge about Evidence Based Design and our association with the Center for Health Design, where scientific research is always a part of the design process.

Example: One Workplace Project URTO: Current refresh of our One Workplace Santa Clara location with design decisions informed by results from surveys, Steelcase Space Analytics and Steelcase Workplace Advisor.

Dubai International Smart Tunnel