VC On: Developing a Workplace Design Strategy

A priority at Visnick & Caulfield is for our team to stay on top of the latest design innovations and filter through these trending ideas in order to create spaces that are not only functional, but also represent the personalities and missions of the companies we work for.

We thus work closely with our clients to develop individualized workplace design strategies that serve as the guiding principle throughout an entire project, as well as ensure an understood and well communicated design process.

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The VC approach to developing a workplace strategy is one that is collaborative . Our goal for every project is to learn and study the brand and culture of our client in order to create an environment that reflects their personality and corporate philosophy.

We rely heavily on client feedback and interaction: as the designer, we share our knowledge of the industry and current trends, while our client partners educate us on the vision they have for their future space and provide insight about their brand and corporate culture.  By making the process a partnership, we are able develop a strategy that is customized and embraces the vision of the client company as a whole.

Understanding Brand and Culture

The first step we take in developing the workplace design strategy is to really get to know our client partner.  We work with corporate teams to gather qualitative information in order to gain a full understanding of the company’s culture and brand.

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Utilizing a suite of customizable schematic programming tools including focus groups, electronic surveys, and workplace observation techniques, we immerse ourselves in the company culture, learning the internal systems and working to embody the same perspective a member of our client’s team has about their company. Through this, we are able to take the philosophy of the company and give the workplace a specified personality that genuinely reflects their culture and brand.

Providing Education and Inspiration

As we gain an understanding of who our client is, how they work, and what they believe in, we are also simultaneously imparting our knowledge of industry trends and sharing our design experience with them. We work hard to inspire and educate our client partners about the design process.

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Another part of our profession is knowing what questions to ask to help our client partners really think about who they are, how they work, and what they need in their space that will help to provide a sense of ownership and community within their workplace. Our goal is to inspire and engage them, through the built environment, to live their brand.

Developing Strategy

At the end of this process, we establish a succinct design strategy and approach that takes into account our client partners vision and mission. With a strategy that serves as the guiding principle, we are able to embark on a design process that is logical, tailored, and efficient.

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By taking the time to understand our client’s brand and culture as well as to pull comprehensive inspiration and education, we find that our projects turn into workplace environments that reflect the desired image and culture. By the same token, we believe that taking this route to develop a workplace design strategy for each client helps to facilitate and ensure a smooth transition when organizations choose to make large-scale workplace changes.

Written by Isobelle Hemmers
Edited by Marilyn Shen, Senior Associate at Visnick & Caulfield, LEED AP, IIDA, NCIDQ Certificate 025271
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