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Conventional design method is strictly the most solid foundation for a designer to create a successful functional and aesthetical environment in the book 'open plan offices conducts ' by kraemer, sieverts and partner the authors conducted an enquiry into open plan office in Germany to allow to understand the advantages and disadvantages of an open plan and to remove the misconception of certain critics as to what actually is an open plan office. In the introduction the authors state many of the characteristics of a conventional box type office and the conventional open plan offices.
CONVENTIONAL DESIGN METHODOLOGY
WHAT IS CONVENTIONAL DESIGN AND HOW IS IT APPLIED IN COORPORATE DESIGN AND HOSPITALITY DESIGN?
Design is the soul and essence of a space. The most important element in a working space is the choice of design. The first design method that I am exploring is Conventional design. The proper definition of conventional is, 'in accordance with an accepted manner, model, or tradition, represented in a generalized or simplified manner. Of or pertaining to a convention, agreement, or compact'. (1)
The most important element in a working space is the choice of design. The first design method that I am exploring is Conventional design Conventional design is followed due to its tried and tested method, because we've seen and applied it all our lives. These designs follow a certain guideline for a type of space and turn up spaces that are similar in nature.
This meaning is applied in many designs that are defined by the same treatment in a particular space such as corporate design or hospitality design. Conventional interior design approaches the space with a single well used design or layout. The space layout largely depends on the design methodology, which is derived from preconceived notion of what the space should be. Through different literature and research methodologies I have gathered information on what these preconceived idea of designs are in corporate design and hospitality design.
CORPORATE INTERIORS IN CONTEMPORARY WORKPLACE
'Conventional offices are viewed more favorably by people occupying them than workers in either open or pooled office arrangements. The amount of workspace available to the worker is the most important factor associated with work station satisfaction,''''' It is also demonstrated that people's feelings about the ambience of the agency within which they work and the architecture of the building influence their reactions to the immediate workspace. It is suggested that space planners and designers who want their work appreciated by the user need concern themselves with the details of the workspace as well as the larger scale environment.' (2)
Offices are one of the most influencing elements in the cultural, social, and economical aspect of our lives. They now follow a path of modernization and technological advances. Yet some office designs exist the way they have existed for generations. A conventional office design follows a certain methodology, first is the box type working and second is open plan design. It follows a layout that is rigid and organized mainly so that the arrangement of surrounding, lighting and ventilation are easily done. The use of open plan does bring about more advantages in a conventional design but you can expect the same layout design for maximum usage and functionality and less aesthetics. ' In accommodating relentless demands of technology, all offices start to look the same, The lowest common denominator became the easiest design solution to implement and neutral benign aesthetic of endless repetition crept into the workplace'.(3)
The meaning of contemporary in this context is, 'existing, occurring, or living at the same time; belonging to the same time' (4). A design which is being used in the current or existing context, for a workplace.
For an efficient working office deign there are number of factors that come into play. One such is an office layout. An office layout is based on three factors, first is the employees, second is the flow of work and third is the equipments. Efficient office planning leads to effective use of floor space and provides employees with productive work areas. Where employee supervision is taken into consideration and expansion and rearrangement of work areas is possible. Flexibility in a design is a positive factor. There are two types of design layout considered. First is the box type planning and second is open plan design. But before that, planning the layout occurs in two steps, a preliminary stage and a final stage.
During the preliminary stage the following are taken into consideration:
Studying the flow of work vertically and horizontally between individuals and work units is very important. The aim is to design a layout in which work moves in with minimal crisscrossing patterns.
The organization chart visually depicts who reports to whom as well as the relationships among and between employees, is also considered. The organization chart helps determine which units should be physically located near one another. Also the possibility of expansion should be considered because it helps assure that layout is accommodating for future growth. Among the factors to be considered is the potential need for additional work units as well as the number of additional employees likely to be needed in both existing work units and new work units.
Studying departmental organization also helps determine which departments should be placed in close proximity to one another. For example, those departments with significant responsibilities for the accounting and financial aspects of the firm should be located near one another; those with frequent contact with outsiders (personnel and sales, for example) should be located near the entrance to the structure; and noise-producing departments (copying/duplicating, loading dock, etc.) should be located near one another and away from areas where low noise levels are required.
Also we see many any organizations are opting for more general layouts and fewer private offices. This helps reduce the amount of total space needed, and it certainly facilitates the rearrangement of working areas. A number of advantages result from using general office layout. They are more economical to build. It is easier to design efficient heating, cooling, and lighting systems for genera offices. Although there is still hierarchical elements of the work space that needs to be taken in to consideration while designing. After this is the final stage.
In the final stage a designer can approach the office in two a, the box-type and the open general design.
A box type office is usually preferred to the alternative open plan office. It is the most acceptable working design method. It offers the maximum opportunities for arranging surroundings, lightings and ventilation to suit individual requirements. Not only that but many systems and services are organized accordingly. It also prevents disturbances due to noise or movement in the individual's field of vision. In some cases privacy is required so this type of layout helps in providing it. But it also has some disadvantages that are caused because it takes a lot of floor space and is inflexible and makes communication difficult. It also makes the space clustered. There is a feeling of a space within a space that comes with this type of design. In this environment we see that the interior of the space is dealt according to the individual's requirement and hierarchical importance. The interior is kept neutral by the use of neutral color scheme so the space does not seem visually small and minimal use of different materials and furniture. The use of glass as walls is used to make the office less secluded yet it provides protection from noise and unnecessary disturbances.
The open office design is a flexible working environment. Working position can be regrouped as needed. Groups or departments can be enlarged or reduced or just rearranged. People who are often in contact with each other are placed within a short distance of each other. People can see each other so there are no unwanted movements. Employees are not secluded in corners and desk placing is not dependant on window positions. There are minimum or no walls which helps in the communication between employees. Also supervisation of employee is easy and there is less space restriction. Working condition is same for all. The open office layout provide with ample opportunities for designer to explore different material and colors in the space. The accent could be either bold or subtle according to the office design scheme.
The main negative aspect of this type of design is such that due to the openness of the space employees have a hard time concentrating due to the noise and constant interference of other employees. It is also difficult to carry out confidential work. There is also a common arrangement of light and ventilation so for some who wish to work in a less air-condition space or with less artificial lighting, they are unable to do so due to the same treatment of the entire space.
''a variety of ambient environmental problems were present in these offices. Also, a clear relationship between job characteristics and attitudes toward the office was demonstrated. Employees who enjoyed performing managerial and technical tasks reacted more unfavorably to office conditions than did clerical staff, who generally viewed their work as undemanding. Loss of privacy and increased disturbances were consistently at the source of these negative reactions, and the interrelationship of these problems also emerged from factor analysis of the data. Although the office did create a favorable social climate, this did not offset employees' negative reactions to work conditions but rather appeared to exacerbate the problems. Consequently, no evidence was found to support the claim for improved productivity in open-plan.'(5)
Beside the positive and negative aspect an open plan office takes into account the organization of the space into great detail, meaning that information flows and processes are considered in the design process. Information flows such as paper flow, telephone communications, and face-to-face individual interaction, as the space is not restricted by walls.
There are three different alternatives that are used in designing space around the open office concept. These include the modular workstation approach, the cluster workstation approach, and the landscape approach. In each case, panels and furniture components comprise work areas. Typically, the panels and furniture components are prewired with both electrical and phone connections, which considerably simplifies their installation. Panels are available in a variety of colors and finishes, including wood, metal, plastic, glass and fabric.
A prime characteristic of the modular workstation approach is the use of panel-hung furniture components to create individual work areas. Storage cabinets and files of adjustable height are placed adjacent to desks or tables. Modular workstations are designed according to the specific job duties of their occupants.
In certain situations, the modular workstation approach is preferred to either of the other two open-space concepts. It is especially well suited for those situations that require considerable storage space, and the work area can be specifically designed around the specific needs of the user. Also, changes in layout can be made easily and quickly.
An identifying characteristic of the cluster workstation approach is the clustering of employee work areas around a common core or datum, such as a set of panels that extend from a hub, much like the spokes in a wheel. The panels define each employee's work area, which typically includes a writing surface, storage space, and filing space. Cluster workstations work well for situations in which employees spend a portion of their day away from their work area.
Originally developed in Germany, office landscaping is now used extensively throughout the United States. In a way, it is a blend of the modular and cluster workstation approaches. One significant difference, however, is the abundant use of plants in the decor.
These three factors not only help in the organization of the space but the aesthetics as well.
Thus the two design method, the box type and the open plan bring with them elements that not only enhance and improve the functionality of the office but also aesthetics accordingly. With each method the use of material, color and space arrangement is derived according to design needs.
HOSPITALITY DESIGN IN CONTEMPORARY CONTEXT
In the current context a conventional restaurant is one which is treated and designed in a similar manner of that same restaurant type. For example all fast food restaurants will have the same design layout and will have the same interior elements such as the table and seating arrangements or the use of colors in the interior.
The trend now days have change to an extent that we see less of conventional restaurants and more of unconventional restaurants which will be discussed later in the dissertation. This is due to the fact that each space has a different design methodology according to the type of restaurant for example Chinese restaurant or fast food or sea food. In local context we see that we have more restaurants which are conventionally designed that is, they have different labels and food type but each space is somewhat similar to each other.
There are factors that describe a conventional space and these factors are dependent on layout of the space or the use of material and color in the space.
Designing an*d laying out a restaurant, bar or other food-service space, can (literally) make or break operational. Diner, server and busser traffic patterns should be considered when designing restaurant table layout. That number of passes (volume), speed of travel (rate), distance traveled to and around restaurant tables and direction of flow are mapped and considered in restaurant design.
If fast service is more critical to restaurant success, paying attention to distance from the back to the front of the dining room layout and vice versa is important. Quick service restaurant and cafeterias have at least a partial focus on access and speed of accessibility. These fast-paced operations have clear paths for travel with optimal economy and as little crossing as possible. In slower paced environments, hostess stations are be close enough to the front door so that they are easily visible and obvious but not so close. If large parties are promoted and desired, the size of and flow through the waiting area can become crucial. People waiting should be steered towards the bar by the design, the noise level, congestion and smoke level should be considered while designing. The waiting area should be comfortable but not too much so as you don't typically want people to sink in as resist or resent being seated at their tables.
For a cafe, the top considerations are different - you don't want people too comfortable or private as you want them to move on after a meal.
These are the basic functionality points that are a must in any restaurant design thus making it a conventional element in the design. But designer have been found deviating from these guidelines and create another method which is sometimes successful and sometimes not.
The rest of the chapters elaborate the enquiry done by the authors as to which factors determine a successful open plan design.
For example the room size governed the design of the space in relation to the space required by each employee, by how close they were seated. The ceiling height is closely linked with acoustics of the space, the screening of work stations and the staff density. While reading I also found office organization requires the utmost importance while designing. For example sections which work together needs to be in close proximity, such areas should be centrally placed if most visited.
With a conventional office I found that a designer can easily categories aesthetic and functions, by following the basic rules in deigning offices which have proved to be a solid foundation for many designers. But just as easily the guideline help in designing an office, they also become impersonal in some cases to the type of company or offices they have been implemented on. We see a major disadvantage in finding to different corporate offices being treated or designed in similar fashion and not in accordance to the type of corporate office. Thus making the working experience for some a great treat and for others a massive annoyance. Because not all guidelines work similarly for every and any office.
On the site www.office-ergo.com/ it summarizes some of the new research in office ergonomics. The site explains misinformation persists due to the ignorance, mass agreement lack of scientific developments. It explains the disadvantage of conventional ergonomics and persists on the recent developments.
There are examples of conventional ergonomic wisdom that are being disproven. It encourages variety and movement rather than an exact posture.
For conventional monitor distance 18-24 inches away were claimed to be appropriate which is proven wrong because the best distance is "as far away as possible while still being able to read it clearly." Longer distances relax the eyes. The conventional 18-24 inch recommendation is unnecessarily close. For conventional keyboard distance, it should be at the front of the work surface. This is limiting. Pushing the keyboard back farther if the forearms are supported that is the wrist is kept straight and the elbows aren't resting on anything hard or sharp is considered better.
The chair should be at a height that allows the feet to reach the floor when the legs are at 90 degrees. 'The ninety-degree knee posture is not "correct" ergonomics although it is not a harmful position. The legs should move very often, not stay fixed in the ninety degree position. The chair should, if possible, be low --- low enough for the feet to rest on the floor, even when extended.'
However, if the chair is at a good height but the keyboard height can't be adjusted to elbow height or lower, then it's necessary to adjust the chair upwards. In this case, a footrest is an option.
Also a great deal of research supports the idea of a much wider hip angle -with one hundred thirty degrees or so as an "optimum" angle. The reason is that when the hips are straightened, the vertebrae of the lower spine are aligned with each other in a way that reduces and evens out pressure on the intervertebral discs. Further, sitting upright is less desirable than reclining. When reclining, the lower back muscles work less and the spine supports less weight, since body weight is held up by the chair's backrest.
On the same site the characteristics of a conventional restaurant are discussed. All which is explained in the chapter conventional design.
For international project the site interior design.net explains that
Gisue and Mojgan Hariri is designed in a manner which is simplistic in its open plan design yet with certain elements such as the elevated floor plane and the full length windows give a lighter feeling to the space. It also states that it gives a feeling of stability in the space due to its conventional aesthetics and function
The space was designed to attract creative employees and induce them to work ever longer hours. "The CEO said to make it so nice that no one would want to go home," Mojgan Hariri reports. "
Another requirement was to increase interaction between four divisions of employees .Bright shades and tints of white, silver, gray, and some taupe are punctuated by dark weng'. "We used color more as an accent, for energy in specific areas," Mojgan Hariri explains. Between this open area and a row of private offices and meeting rooms runs a long freestanding volume containing two additional offices, the kitchen, the copy and supply room, and the research center, laid out one after the next. Only the ends of this volume are opaque, veneered in weng'; both sides are sliding glass doors.
THE UNCONVENTIONAL APPROACH
The Google offices were designed by Swedish Architecture firm, Camenzind Evolution. When beginning to design the office, it was learned that the employees wished to maintain a small-company atmosphere and leave a Swedish fingerprint on the space, all while combining several Swedish offices into a centralized location for engineers and the marketing and sales divisions.
The conference rooms are themed with famous Swedish inventors like Linne, Ericsson, Nobel, and Bohlin. Several of the other rooms have unique themes as well. Google just seems like a fun company to work for, and this office doesn't change that belief in the slightest. Plenty of places to play on different games, a great looking kitchen area, and of course many places to lounge make this Google office one of the best.
AN UNCONVENTIONAL OFFICE:
In the book 'the 21st century office' by Jeremy Myerson and Philip Ross the author describes an unconventional office on the other hand can be anything and everything. But it is particular in mastering four basic features:
The narrative represents office design no longer as blank boxes of work, they tell a story about the company and its brand.
The nodal office is a response to hierarchical importance in a workspace.
The neighborly office is a reaction against command and control office, it inclines towards interactive spaces
The nomadic offices are geographically disturbed workspaces. Spaces which are inappropriate for an area or sector.