United House, Notting Hill: the latest offering from The Office Group
TOG’s Head of Design Nasim Köerting tells Mix about the 40th space from the flexible workspace providers.
This experience promotes mental wellbeing, giving employees a chance to switch off, reinvigorate and take time for mindfulness in their busy everyday lives.
Perkins and Will designed the MINDFULNESS experience in 2019. We spoke to Associate Principal and Design Director, Mijail Gutierrez about the inspiration behind their experience.
What has been your inspiration for the project?
I am interested in mindfulness – in its truest sense it involves being actively present in the world and this really inspires me. For this experience I aim to bring a connection with the here and now, through a dynamic design that engages the senses and creates a space for visitors to reconnect with their own selves and the world.
As a designer, Mix Design Collective offers me a great opportunity to explore ideas and create an experience beyond the usual constraints of commercial practice. It is a fantastic platform to experiment with materials and products from the Product Partners, and I love how it challenges me to present these to visitors in unexpected ways.
What are you working on right now?
I am excited to be working on a huge mix of projects of various scales that include a coworking community for non-profit organisations, the new home for a publishing company and reimaging the workplace for a building contractor. I am also doing some research on inclusion in the workplace and the workplace of the future
What’s the quirkiest thing you’ve been asked to put in a project?
I was once asked to replace a couple of meeting rooms with a puppy nursery in an executive conference suite! The executive team resisted the idea and it never happened…
What trends are you seeing within commercial interiors at the moment – and what do you see for 2020?
I see clients putting greater emphasis on the wellness of their staff and embracing biophilia as an important part of their environments. In addition to greenery and natural materials, the provision of places to focus and get away from technology are becoming an essential part of the workplace and commercial interiors.
Demands for spaces to think and focus will continue in 2020. The current climate change emergency will bring manufacturers and designers together to create products that are sustainable and resilient. As we search for responsible design, upcycling, recycling and bringing the life cycle of products to the forefront will become more prominent – shifting the look and feel of places to a more understated and honest aesthetic.
How can we fuse mindfulness and design?
Mindfulness is key to our mental and physical wellbeing; we can support it through the designs of environments that allow us to connect with ourselves and our surroundings in a positive way. Spaces to decompress and focus, meditation zones, engaging with nature through biophilic design, access to fresh air and light and tech free zones are all strategies that we can integrate into our designs to promote being present and enjoy our experience of the world in the here and now.
Mijail Gutierrez, Associate Principal and Design Director, Perkins&Will London
With an MPhil in architecture from the Royal College of Art, Mijail’s curiosity drives his constant pursuit for innovation and the exploration of ideas that lead to the design of purposeful and inclusive environments. He brings storytelling and narratives to his design thinking to create experiences that express the vision and aspirations of his clients, foster emotional connections and create transformative places. Mijail’s clients list includes amongst others, Google, The Economist, Microsoft, News UK and Rothschild.
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