If you don’t have any design experience of your own, the work that’s done by our specialist in-house design team can seem almost mystical: how can they transform a room so completely by rearranging the layout and bringing in some new colours and shades?
However, if you spend your down time watching movies, browsing art galleries or even visiting the theatre, there’s a strong chance that you know a little bit more about interior design than you might have thought…
Think back to the very first time you saw the very first Star Wars film: whether you were lucky enough to catch it on the big screen or not, we’re betting that the opening shot had the same magical effect on you: a single moment, the flickering of the screen and then suddenly you’re in space. Nothing could have better prepared us for the world we were about to see and, while you probably don’t want your office to transport people another world, there is something to learn: you need an establishing shot.
This is the first thing that visitors and employees see: the exterior of the building and the lobby. This is where you tell people exactly what they need to know about your company – you establish who you are and what you’re offering, before any other impression starts to form.
In art, cinema and photography, composition refers to the way in which separate elements of a scene or shot are set up and arranged. If you’ve ever seen The Third Man then you’ve also seen, by way of its ending, one of the best composed shots in cinema history.
The scene is arranged to be almost, but no, not quite symmetrical – our eye is constantly drawn to the side of the shot, making it as interesting as it is beautiful. Your space should be equally well composed, with items of furniture carefully selected to draw the eye to different key points of the room.
Good composition can both create a wowing tableau for visitors, and ensure that the space is balanced and relaxing for those who visit every day.
When directors talk about ‘blocking’, they mean working out where actors are going to be moving throughout a scene, ensuring that the cameras are positioned properly and everything is laid out to ensure smooth movement.
‘Blocking’ in the Office means thinking about the flow of your staff – how will they move around the building throughout the day? This can inform everything from the placement of different spaces, to the type of space that you include in a refit. For instance, if your employees are constantly up and about, collaborating, then think about the placement of dedicated break out areas. Alternatively, if you frequently find yourself making a big impression on big clients, a prominent board room will have the best impact.