Equitable design amplifies the human experience

Equitable design amplifies the human experience When Cheryl Durst, Executive Vice President and CEO of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), was six years old she visited a museum with her parents. Turning a corner and coming across two divergent pathways, she asked how people know which direction to take –– and was thus introduced to the concept of design. “That was such a phenomenal moment, because it later helped me understand that design isn’t accidental. That it is intentional, it is a power, it is a force, it is a thought process,” Durst says. For her, this power is imbued with a sacred trust to craft moments that amplify the human experience of a space. Thanks to her long-standing leadership role at the IIDA, Durst has honed unique insights on the impact of design. “Design inherently has the power to make something better,” she says. Creating deep meaning for people is what space stands for. That is its purpose, or its “why.” “The more that design can craft adaptable spaces, but also spaces where the purpose is clear, the better.” - Cheryl Durst When she talks to designers, she asks: “Is your consideration ...

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Adaptable organizations invest in empowered collaboration

Adaptable organizations invest in empowered collaboration When it comes to the open office floor plan, there are typically two types of people: Those who enjoy working in big, open spaces with the opportunity to bump into colleagues and make small talk, and those that hate every second of it. The fact that there will be differing opinions is an important consideration, says Diana Rhoten. As an organizational design and innovation strategist, Rhoten says it’s important to look at people’s behaviors to understand how to design and adapt the workplace.  In a world where adaptability is a key ingredient of resiliency, companies need agile environments and teams who are deeply collaborative.  Workplace design can be the make-or-break factor. With an open office floor plan, a common misconception is that “if we have open space work environments, people will naturally bump into each other and suddenly will have serendipitous, simultaneous explosions of innovation. It just does not work that way,” Rhoten explains. Instead, many people wear headphones or walk the long way around an open space office, rather than take a direct route that might require engagement with colleagues. Rhoten says this is the opposite effect of what ...

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