What are the latest influences in workplace design? OfficeMax Workplace℠ Interiors' A & D Market Manager, Jill Stewart, takes time out to chat with Carlos Martinez, one of Chicago’s leading designers and principal of Gensler, one of the nation’s top architecture and interior design firms.
JS: What developments have you seen in the A & D marketplace these past few years?
CM: The value of design is understood and expected. Client needs today are more complex and sophisticated and require smarter solutions.
JS: Regarding interior build-outs, in which areas do you feel clients are seeking the greatest impact?
CM: Clients are increasingly seeking to create compelling spaces that attract and retain the best and brightest employees. Architecture and interior space are being used to drive the client’s brand and culture, and are strategic components for relationship building, business development, recruitment and retention.
JS: What changes do you see in the office real estate market and what impact has this had on projects?
CM: Our clients are planning further in advance, changing the complexity of the real estate market. In large markets, working on projects three to five years out has become standard. Design is playing a key role in real estate decision-making, and clients increasingly realize the value of advance planning in order to secure the right location, customize base building new construction, or analyze options with a more comprehensive and holistic process.
JS: As real estate costs continue to rise, are you being asked to make adjustments to lower build-out costs, or is price not a concern?
CM: The value of real estate is achieved by capitalizing on its expense, not just by cutting costs. Clients are much more educated and are willing to balance costs. Investment on return is a big factor, and design solutions that positively affect business development or human resource performance can often justify a front-end investment for meaningful long-term gain.