Space Of Mind: Empathic Design WELL Building Standard Space Planning

2020 has been a year of reflection and re-calibration. And while we find that quite a bit has changed, our outlook is an optimistic one on what the future will bring and how interior design trends are moving in a positive direction. We’ve highlighted four key areas that we see being dominant drivers in projects through next year and beyond.

Spaces themselves have not changed radically this past year, rather we have changed drastically in the way we see them and interact with them through functionality and how they are configured. Moving into the new year, it is critical we understand the way we connect to environments is not just physical its emotional.

We see a large focus on health and wellness heading into 2021, but maybe not in the way most would think. And while the built environment has been giving wellness more of a focus in the past years than ever before, elective offerings are now essential. We reference well building as an overall growing trend, but it acts as a main driver, influencing all aspects of the built environment. And it’s not going away any time soon.

Empathic Design
Our Private Label team has held the targeted consumer in a prime level of importance for some time, but as our world shifts even more into a global community where physical barriers make way for virtual bridges, emphatic design is the difference between a 1-dimensional design statement and something with an authenticity that is in tune with the humanity that will interact with it.
What does this have to do with health and wellness? While the world is experiencing record levels of mental health discord, the design community has a responsibility to react as contributors to the built environment.

WELL Building Standards
The International WELL Building Institute, or IWBI, was started in 2014 as a resource for professionals to better educate themselves and their clients and employees on the importance and implementation of wellness into the built environment.
This research and implementation that may have been considered a benefit in the past will be vital in our progression over 2021 and into the future. This is more than a trend, it’s a shifting state of mind. Healthy buildings will be a combination of not just building envelope function, but space planning, FF&E, and overall look, feel, and intention.

Space Planning
In a direct response to the growing consumer interest in wellness and wellbeing, design will continue to find organic ways to integrate programming within spaces that promote a well rounded lifestyle. Office spaces with yoga studios, art studios and meditation spaces will become critical instead of quirky. Increasing the connection points from indoor to outdoor and biophilic design will also be considered integral.
Ergonomics and promoting physical activity in a natural way such as adjustable furniture, treadmill desks, flexible office spaces as well as treehouses, gardens, walking tracks and hiking trails will become more frequent in commercial spaces.

State of Wellness Activities, choices and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health and wellbeing. Considered an essential element of a brands strategy by 73% of consumers