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Explore the latest projects from the UK’s commercial interiors industry, featuring the best of workspace, hospitality, residential and public sectors.

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Mix at 20: 20 years of projects, products and changes

An awful lot has happened to the interiors world since the inception of Mix Interiors. Here, we’ve asked a selection of industry friends to tell us their favourite projects, products and major changes in the workplace over the past 20 years.

22/01/2020 5 min read
Mother, London by Clive Wilkinson Architects

Deborah Allen
Director & Co Founder, AAID London

Project

Mother at the Tea Building – a really inspirational working environment. This is a solution to arrival, flexible central working space and an advocate for coworking developed with landlord, designer and end-users.

Product

Freedom to roam. Laptops, mobiles, Zoom technology – allowing effective sustainable communication, reducing travel and carbon footprints.

Change in the workplace

The art of the reassessment of architecture is a palimpsest to an interior’s adaptive use. Technology allows freedom, creates cultural significance with the redistribution of work, rest, and movement.

 

Jason Brown
Director of Design and Development, Knightsbridge Furniture

Product

Parcs by Pearson Lloyd for Bene – now 10 years old. I believe the initial launch of this range was a catalyst for new workplace design and influenced the increasing demand for ‘acoustic’ seating and localised booth working in open plan working spaces. Their design research and subsequent design brief was excellent.

Change in the workplace

I am increasingly impressed by our awareness of the environmental impact of the work we do and the materials we use. The structures and legislation that have been introduced to improve and control this are more relevant than they have ever been.

 

Jamie Beighton
UK Sales Director, modulyss

Project

Palestra London, designed by Alsop in 2006. For me it was the moment I saw modern architecture and design move in a new direction.

Product 

The rise of the pod! Many of the furniture pods are striking, visually, and a great place to work or meet. A real fit with the focus on agile working.

Change in the workplace

The focus on people, their health and wellbeing – and the fact that mental health is openly discussed. People matter more than anything. I love the fact that this is visually happening within our industry and the wider world.

Wendy Graham
Sales, Workbench

Project

Great Glen House, Inverness – the first BREEAM ‘Excellent’ office in the UK.

Product

Pixel Unit by Office Electrics. This cute unit captured the direction of integrated power in furniture. It boldly sat on the desktop, shouted ‘tah-dah’ and led the way.

Change in the workplace 

The home has moved into the workplace, and the workplace has moved into the home. Couple this with the constant access to email through mobile devices – are we now always at work?

 

Rodney McMahon
Managing Director, Morgan Furniture

Project

The Rio-Antirio Bridge, which is the world’s longest cable-stayed suspended deck bridge. It is a technical masterpiece.

Product

The iPhone – which changed the communications paradigm.

Change in the workplace

Mobility – which has been the greatest change in the workplace as technology has allowed people to work remotely and seamlessly on different continents.

 

Jonathan Hindle
Group Managing Director, KI

Project

British architect Thomas Heatherwick’s Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, in South Africa. The inspiring conversion from concrete grain silo to museum is a great example of adaptive reuse architecture.

Product 

The Dyson Open Bladeless Fan – both the innovative engineering technology and sleek design make it a revolutionary piece.

Change in the workplace 

The user experience becoming the top priority when creating happier, healthier working and learning spaces – and rightfully so!

Anna Hart & John Miller
Directors, MARK Product

Project

Vitsoe Factory – rarely do we see factory spaces that are such important workspaces. Vitsoe have created a stunning, flexible and light working environment.

Product

TipTon Chair for Vitra, designed by Barber Osgerby. This chair is democratic, affordable and 100% recyclable, with the forward tilt encouraging movement – a key factor in ergonomic wellbeing.

Change in the workplace

Working environments now address a more blended balance of work and life with the influence of millennials and tech-enabled self-starters looking for more from the workplace than just a 9-to-5.

 

Friedrich Wilhelm Dauphin
Managing Director, Dauphin HumanDesign

Project

Automotive Industry, Salzburg.

Product 

Bosse human space.

Change in the workplace

The open plan office enables today’s collaborative work. Although effective, it can be noisy and have a negative effect on employees’ wellbeing and productivity. Large and small companies across the world are now investing in solutions that create quiet work zones to overcome these issues.

 

Sarah Booth
Design Manager, Kinnarps

Project

WWF’s exemplar headquarters in Woking set the bar for sustainable thinking in every aspect of a building. From raw materials and construction, to furnishing and use.

Product

Although sit/stand desking is relatively new to the UK, it has been the norm in Scandinavian workplaces for far longer. The evolved innovation is the height-adjustable meeting table, such as HAL.

Change in the workplace

Activity-based working has evolved from an emerging trend to become common practice. Consequently, how we use workspace and how it is perceived has changed dramatically.

Lauren Barwick
A&D Sales Manager, Carl Hansen and Son

Project

Maggie’s Cancer Centres, each one is unique, wholesome and beautiful. Their support centres are open to all and you always feel welcome, with each centre across the UK having a warming aesthetic and an open door policy.

Product

I’m probably biased as I used to work there, but the Mater Ocean Chair is a product that has always really excited me. Having such an iconic designer, like Nanna Ditzel, who has always been known for her innovative designs and has taken this to the next level by producing the chair using ocean waste plastic. It’s so simple – and well priced too.

Change in the workplace

Sustainably minded furniture dealers as well as responsible furniture manufacturing. We as manufacturers need to think about our environmental impact, A&D need to specify smarter, but we also need dealers to help facilitate all of this. Dodds & Shute are paving the way within the industry and have been building a collection of brands over the past few years they wish to work with due to their environmental policies.

Andrew Jackson
Marketing, Opus 4

Project

The Manchester Rentalcars project was a standout when it happened. There was the size (38,000 sq ft), the challenge from the CEO to create the coolest office in the UK, and the change in culture and behaviour that it brought.

Product

I think the perfect product that stands out in the last 20 years is one which shares its 20th birthday, just like Mix: Humanscale’s Freedom chair. Most great product designs are born out of simple ideas. Even today, when we take the chair for clients to trial, they love the design and the comfort and think it’s a brand new model. It’s a true design icon.

Change in the workplace

Agile working has been the standout change in the workplace in the last 20 years. Giving people the freedom to work flexibly, in any way they choose, has now become the norm, and is expected, rather than hoped for, by GenZ graduates coming into the workplace. Technology, especially wireless, super fast connectivity has been one of the key drivers that has brought this change.   

 

Andy Barnard
Managing Director, Techo UK

Project

The recent Tottenham Hotspur stadium redevelopment – which many distributors and manufacturers were part of – definitely stands out due to the sheer scale of the project and its iconic nature.

Product

The shift from static desking to sit/stand desking has been dramatic and reflects the vast change in attitude towards health and wellbeing within the workplace over the last 20 years.

Change in the workplace

The technological advancement has been the biggest change, making every facet of the industry faster and more streamlined. It has also fundamentally changed the way people work and the products they require.  

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