September 23, 2012
Being London interior designers it is always a thrill when we see our interior design work featured in reputable industry publications. INTERIOR DESIGN TODAY is the trade only magazine for “interior design professionals” so it was an absolute honour when they asked our very own interior designer Mark Howorth to be interviewed about Callender Howorth’s approach to the redesign of Flamingo International‘s London offices.
Below follows an extract of the printed feature and interview. If you are interested in interior design and would like to know more please feel free to read the full article.
“It is really exciting to see companies such as Flamingo International, embracing the ideas behind promoting healthy working environments as it allows designers to express more creativity and employ their understanding of environment when working on office designs. For Mark and the team, the Flamingo interior design project in London was one of three that they have completed for the company, the first designed 10 years ago and their fantastic relationship has continued on.”
The magazine then asked a few more in depth questions about the changes and developments in interior design…
Interior Design Today: “Why do you think that office spaces have, for so long, been designed in clinical neutral palettes and with little sense of the people occupying them?”
Mark Howorth: “If you think about how much time you spend in an office, it is incredible to think that only now are we embracing a new, freer way of working, with environments that encourage creativity and a relaxed atmosphere. There has certainly been a shift in the way we now use office space and what we demand of it. People are now starting to realise that you can create these environments and that it’s ok. It’s healthy to operate in bright, open and humorous spaces. Offices that you would have considered formal and ‘serious’ are embracing this trend and becoming more ‘trendy’ in their approach. Charities and the like are following suit and creating environments that balance corporate with fun elements. They are challenging preconceptions of these typical spaces and it is great to see. It is not just a passing trend, but a change in life and work style choices”
Interior Design Today: “What makes office spaces so fascinating to design?”
Mark Howorth : “People are more in touch with themselves now and this means that we can reflect it in the interior scheme. Loose, fluid designs reflect the idea of sharing, sharing spaces and sharing information for a better work environment. I love designing offices spaces. The opportunity to deal with board directors and focus groups and really get to the bottom of what the client wants for their company. It is really exciting to be able to reveal the personality of a company through the design. By talking and interacting with the client, you can get a good idea of what they want, even if it may seem like a challenge to begin with. You want to make people love the space so this provides a starting point for any project – create a space people will love to be in.”
Interior Design Today: “How do you approach office design/ what are your requirements from the client before you can begin?”
Mark Howorth: “Taking Flamingo as an example, they have three offices and we at Callender Howorth have been working with them for the past 12 years so we understand their wants and requirements and are able to work flexibly around the company because we have seen them grow and understand their ethos. Understanding what is required of the space is crucial – do they entertain other clients? Hot desk? Is it open plan? Are boardrooms central to the companies working style? All of these things need to be considered and noted in the brief at the start of the process. From then on it is the designers’ responsibility to encourage creative ideas and it is exciting for us to think ‘how can we radically change the way they work for the better?’. At Flamingo we created a chill out area where employees can take time out and relax on the loungers that we have placed facing a view of the river – It gives people the opportunity to brainstorm in a relaxed environment – you almost feel as though you’re not at work”
Interior Design Today: “What was the brief for the project and what does the design say about the company?”
Mark Howorth: “Flamingo International is quite unique in its approach. They wanted a very chilled environment, they place a lot of importance on green living and sothe green theme was central as well as the idea of understanding what people want and the trends that are currently influencing lifestyle and work choices. Hot desking is something that Flamingo employees do on a regular basis so that, in an open plan environment was important. Personalising the space was also integral to the overall design. The employees of Flamingo International are creative people so we wanted to reflect this. The office has a global company feel to it but in a fun and dynamic setting. It is forward-thinking, young, smart, trendy and reflects the presence of individuals who all make up the fabric of the company. We had the aim to always encourage creative thinking and to energise workers when they arrive in the morning and keep them going throughout the day. The pop art worked to do this to a certain extent, injecting colour into the scheme and giving the walls personality.”
The article ended by discovering that if he wasn’t an interior designer, Mark would be a landscape gardener. We think Capability Howorth has a nice ring to it don’t you ?
Callender Howorth is an interior design studio in Clerkenwell, Farringdon, East London. Our team of London based interior designers specialise in beautiful interior design, architecture and efficient project management for living spaces and office environments.