Office: Focus - Q&A: Pernille Stafford, Resonate Interiors

Cathy Hayward talks to designers in the workplace design space and looks at some of the most exciting upcoming projects:

Edited By Cathy Hayward

What are your thoughts currently on office design and what do clients now require from architects and designers since Covid?

Workplace design has been turbo charged by Covid, we are now looking at a very different office landscape, one that is more fluid, flexible and cares for the wellbeing of its employees. The buzz word is ‘resimercial’, borne out of the fact that we all worked at home for so long and are comfortable surrounded by our home environments with personality quirkiness and character.

How proactive are clients on thinking ahead for projects for next year or beyond?

Clients are very cautious about making big picture decisions as they, like us, cannot predict the next few years. All we do know is that we need flexibility and that they may need to change their working practices and environment a few times over the next few years.

What would you say are the seismic changes from office design pre-Covid and now?

The office is going to be used primarily for collaboration and meetings, for creation of ideas and cross-fertilisation of ideas, for interactivity and serendipitous meetings. The endless rows of desks have been replaced and we are taking more space per person than we have done for years.

Pure comfort alone, however, will not get the job done, and therefore office designs need to be suited for employees to work

What have been the biggest design challenges and opportunities to emerge from the shift in the role of the office in recent years?

The biggest challenge is confidence in making decisions.We have never seen clients take as long to approve budgets, and to settle on layouts. The opportunities are also huge, we are seeing super flexible biophilic spaces that support wellbeing and mindfulness. We need to create end of trip facilities for bikes and showering as these have come into very sharp focus as people try and make their journeys to work greener. Furniture is much more mobile and sustainable being created from waste products or upcycled.

What key exhibitions, events or other sources help to keep you inspired?

At Resonate, we attend the workplace design show, BCO conferences, Clerkenwell, Stockholm Furniture Fair and generally look around Clerkenwell regularly. We love Instagram, Pinterest and many of the design magazines. We also as a studio have a full calendar of lunch and learns. Travelling is a huge inspiration too, seeing how other countries approach design problems; we are currently working in the US, India, Australia and Scandinavia which all adds a richness to our portfolio and our work.

Which office design, or other project, has inspired or influenced your own creative thinking?

I am a big fan of Bjarke Ingels BIG Danish Architects. Their work and their sustainability mantra I find so inspiring. Personally, I am highly inspired by my two sons – one a graphic designer and the other studying industrial design – and they are looking at problem solving in a completely different way, and understand the technology that is coming down the line much better than their old mum!

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