Teknion Wins Two Good Design Awards in International Competition

January 9, 2013
– Teknion Corporation today announced that its new Interpret desking system and Phonebooths and Mailboxes book were honored with 2012 Good Design Awards – The World’s Most Prestigious Global Awards for New Product Design and Graphics. The Good Design competition is sponsored annually by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design, and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

“Over the years, Teknion has continued to win Good Design Awards, an accomplishment that we are all very proud of. Competing in the Good Design Awards brings us up against the world’s leading designers and their clients, including many working for Fortune 500 companies,” said Steve Verbeek, VP, Design & Innovation.

Interpret Desking System
Interpret is a comprehensive desking system that works for virtually any person, any task, anywhere in the world. It is based on an innovative core platform frame and concise set of reconfigurable components that enables the user to make the office their own. Adaptable and scalable, the core structure can easily be installed, built upon, extended or fully reconfigured to adapt to new demands – changing demographics, advances in technology and evolving work patterns, also you can check this staff desk at Woodsfurniture.com.au. Interpret was designed by Teknion’s in-house design team.

Phonebooths and Mailboxes Book
Phonebooths and Mailboxes – Teknion’s 2012 marketing theme and supporting book – explores the pervasive use of technology in the workplace. The book’s design engages the reader and clarifies the concepts set forth in the text. It employs whimsical illustrations that recall the witty style of The New Yorker magazine, bringing lightness and humor to the subject – an approach often overlooked as a means of enriching serious content. Phonebooths and Mailboxes was written and researched by Teknion, designed by Vanderbyl Design and illustrated by Ric Carrasquillo. A digital version is available for downloading free of charge at www.teknion.com/ebooks

Teknion has now won 17 Good Design Awards in the product and graphics categories in less than a decade. Good Design award winners that are now part of Teknion’s extensive product portfolio include the District furniture system, Marketplace worktable, Dossier executive furniture, MAST monitor arm sale and accessories, Teknion dna modular lounge seating, Optos Curved Wall, W/R/S wall rail system, three seating lines and PolyBamboo polyester-bamboo panel fabrics.

About Good Design
Good Design is the world’s most prestigious, recognized, and oldest Design Awards program organized annually by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design in cooperation with the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies. Good Design covers new consumer products designed and manufactured in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. In 2012, over 700 cutting-edge products and graphic designs from design firms from over 38 nations were selected and awarded.


For more information Contact: TOTAL OFFICEPlanning Services – Professional Delivery & Installation 420 Banks Road Kelowna, B.C. V1X 6A3 Tel:250.717.1626 / Cell:250.869.5304 Toll Free:1.800.558.DESK (3375) E: info@TotalOfficeBC.caW:  http://www.totalofficebc.ca/

Teknion Awarded Architectural Wall Contract by ExxonMobil


January 17, 2013 – Teknion Corporation today announced that it has officially been awarded the architectural wall contract at ExxonMobil’s new campus currently under construction near Houston, Texas. The campus will house 10,000 employees and is located in north Houston.
“This contract represents not only one of the largest architectural wall installations for Teknion, but one of the largest in the contract furniture industry,” said Maxine Mann, President of Teknion’s U.S. operations. “In today’s highly competitive market we are pleased that ExxonMobil chose our Altos full-height, demountable walls. We were thoroughly evaluated on the product’s design and aesthetics, acoustics and technology integration, and the flexibility, ease of disassembly and future use capabilities resulting from its prefabricated assembly.”
For the new ExxonMobil campus project, Teknion will install over 98,000 linear feet (29,870 meters) of Altos beginning the third quarter of 2013. Altos will be used throughout the project to define individual offices, collaborative workspaces and meeting areas.

For more information Contact: TOTAL OFFICEPlanning Services – Professional Delivery & Installation 420 Banks Road Kelowna, B.C. V1X 6A3 Tel:250.717.1626 / Cell:250.869.5304 Toll Free:1.800.558.DESK (3375) E: info@TotalOfficeBC.caW:  http://www.totalofficebc.ca/

DDM – The Evolution of the Urban Landscape

Design Does Matter is the theme we have been running with.  It takes this idea of design being something subjective and immeasurable, and turns it into something tangible and executable.  The embedded video of Google’s Toronto office takes a cue from our constant promotion of collaboration and engagement.

One thing that I constantly talk about is how we’re not trying to foresee what the future office is like by guessing what works best for us; we’re determining what the future office landscape will be by taking the best practices of today and applying them on a general-business level.  It starts with a great design.
“Although we can talk in lofty and abstract ways about design and sustainability, I think it is most productive to talk about and practice design at the very human level and to think about sustainability in terms of one’s day-to-day life…Design, in the end, is about creating better things for people.  Along the way, it can generate better profits as well. ” – Aaron Betsky, ‘Working with What We Have’

For more information Contact: TOTAL OFFICEPlanning Services – Professional Delivery & Installation 420 Banks Road Kelowna, B.C. V1X 6A3 Tel:250.717.1626 / Cell:250.869.5304 Toll Free:1.800.558.DESK (3375) E: info@TotalOfficeBC.caW:  http://www.totalofficebc.ca/

Ant Hill Collective Launch!


Last night was an amazing launch party at the Ant Hill collective.  Not only did they launch the forward-thinking co-work venture “Ant Hill Collective”, there was also the co-launch for the Okanagan Car Share Co-op!  This event had a great turn-out and everyone seemed engaged in what had to be said, truly a reflection of the sustainability-minded community.


We’re especially excited because this was an opportunity to partner with one of the many grassroots organisations in the community, in terms of supplying quality pre-owned furniture at a desirable price-point for non-profit organisations.  The line of furniture we supplied the Ant Hill collective was all manufactured in Canada, is GreenGuard Certified and came out of ISO 14001 certified facilities.  The amazing part is that we handled that furniture from its original installation now to this new home, which is a testament to its quality, durability, and our sustainability efforts as a dealer.

Find out more about the Ant Hill Collective at: www.anthillcollective.ca
Okanagan Car-Share Co-Op at: www.ogocarshare.ca


For more information Contact: TOTAL OFFICEPlanning Services – Professional Delivery & Installation 420 Banks Road Kelowna, B.C. V1X 6A3 Tel:250.717.1626 / Cell:250.869.5304 Toll Free:1.800.558.DESK (3375) E: info@TotalOfficeBC.caW:  http://www.totalofficebc.ca/

DDM – Make Your Move

I’m going to start this off by bringing the master-strategy game of Chess into the picture.  This is a game which requires the utmost analytical consideration, concise strategy with both immediate and long-term consequences.
If you study the game of chess, you will quickly find out that many of the pieces move different from one another.  At first glance, it’s baffling how someone can keep a mental record of these different moves; use foresight in their moves to augment the moves of other pieces; and still execute brilliantly on a strategy that had only formed minutes before in their head.
Chess – like many sports – also challenges strategy because the opponent’s move is a calculated guess at best.  You can plot, plan and scheme all day and night, however it’s impossible to mentally compute the end result of a game.  There are too many variables and calculations.
At first glance, chess seems like a behemoth of a challenge; however, clearly as proven by the world champions, it’s a skill that can be learned; and by the various clubs, it’s a game that can be fun.
The reason why I brought up Chess is because like Chess, your workplace has different generations – like different pieces – with different wants and needs, and just like Chess, your employees and coworkers can feel like a behemoth of a challenge to facilitate growth, so you just let them grow distinct from one another.
Two things, a poor chess strategy is worse than no strategy at all; and letting the pieces move based upon their available options rather than an overall strategy, opens up weaknesses and disconnect between the pieces.
How does any of this tie into office furniture and four different generations?  Simple, by understanding the dynamic of your workplace, you should be able to integrate a strategy (furniture or otherwise) that accommodates the different work-styles, yet still focuses on your brand strategy (not just marketing, but social interaction; productivity).
If I were writing this up fifty years ago, the chess analogy would be null: the office of 1960 had no computers, no fax, photocopier or teleconferencing equipment.  It was characterized by a strictly ordered plan that placed private offices at the perimeter and a warren of cubicles at the center.  People looked different, too.  Men wore shirts and ties; women skirts and stockings.  A hierarchy was securely in place from executive at the top through middle managers to secretaries and clerks. 

Today’s workplace houses four generations of diverse workers – men and women of different ethnicities who represent cultures from around the world.  A successful workplace – one that is able to recruit, retain, manage and motivate people – must embrace diversity and take into account the different needs and expectations of people who do not see work (or life) in the same way. 

Referring to the master-strategy game of chess, looking at these different generations and how they operate differently, can be a difficult challenge at first.  But just like a Rook, Bishop or Knight – each generation can be defined into a distinct group.  Let’s first identify what the generations of the workplace are, and then we’re going to talk about why it matters: 

          Traditional       (1928 – 1945) 

          Boomers           (1946 – 1964) 

          Generation X    (1965 – 1980) 

          Millenials         (1981 – 1991) 

In general, traditional workers joined the workforce before the social upheavals of the 1960s.  Boomers arrived in the ‘70s when the proliferation of digital media was still nascent, while GenX and Millenials came of age in a Web-based world.  At work, these tech-savvy young workers exhibit high expectations of self, comfort working in teams and a fluid sense of space.  Everyone ‘owns’ all the space.  Work can take place anywhere.  It’s an attitude that appears to be analogous to growing up in a networked world where you can connect with others at any time and any distance; or access any information you need via your iPhone or BlackBerry.
By understanding what you’re working with, the creation of a brand strategy becomes simple.  Plan a course of action for overall strategy, with contingency plans and responses to dynamic changes in the environment.  Take into account the pieces that you have in play – your different generations – and how they best fit into your overall strategy.
A study by the Carroll Thatcher Planning Group, a workplace strategy and design group, identifies the different attitudes and expectations of these four generations in terms of: 

          Desire for color variety 

          Need for ergonomics 

          Want corner office with window 

          Noise tolerance 

          Expect professional attire 

          Expect supplementary amenities 

In order to address these vast differences in preference and need, office planning must provide for variety and choice.  A regimented, cookie-cutter approach cannot encompass such a wide range of what is deemed acceptable in terms of sensory stimulation or desirable in terms of amenities and behavior.  Success lies in finding a balance between uniformity – a degree of structure is necessary – and giving workers the ability to make choices.  The challenge is to design appropriate variation.
That is the ‘who’, the ‘what’, the ‘why‘, and the ‘what they want’ – but how do you translate this information into a tangible strategy that is good for business?  Just like with chess, there is no ‘end-all’ set of moves; you have an opening, mid-game and end-game, each of which will speak distinctively about your overall chess strategy, but each with an incalculable amount of moves and odds.  However what makes Chess an amazing game is that it highlights how an overall understanding, strategy and approach dominate the end-result.
When it comes to planning for the workplace of today, an overall understanding of the workplace, a strategy and approach, is key to tackling any moves, initiatives, or changes.  Two strategies I want to encourage have been executed by HP and IBM, and are managing your real-estate costs and embracing collaboration.
Manage your real-estate cost:  A lot of companies don’t have the analytical force like HP, but there are groups – even our dealership – that has the ability to assess and capture occupancy and space utilization.  That’s the first step.  If you take your understanding of your own workplace dynamic, and now the newfound information on occupancy and space utilization, you will be able to better determine the best possible way to layout your office and functions.
HP managed to reduce its real estate cost per employee by 55%, by simply managing their real-estate cost once they found out that employees were utilizing their dedicated space only 38% of the time.  They didn’t just cut space down, but they improvised and improved on it, managing to reconfigure facilities to use offices and meeting rooms differently.
How much is your real estate cost per employee?  Do you know?

Embrace Collaboration:  A major global architecture, design and consulting firm recently published its 2008 Workplace Survey for the U.S.  Among its salient points, the survey noted that success in a knowledge economy requires a workplace defined by varied and dynamic interactions.  Productivity is no longer characterized by long hours of solitary research, analysis, writing and creating with the occasional break to confer with colleagues.  In today’s most successful companies, more time is spent collaborating, learning and socializing.

IBM recently produced a white paper entitled, “The New Collaboration: Enabling Innovation, Changing the Workplace.”  According to the IBM document, “People increasingly work in places other than their offices – and on teams that draw expertise from virtually anywhere in the world.  They access applications, data and subject matter experts live and across networks – and others tap into the same information.  They employ whatever end-user device is right for the job to improve productivity –while enhancing the work experience for themselves and their employees.  Today, collaboration is the name of the game.”

It’s not always easy to balance the desire for privacy with the need to collaborate.  Interaction has to be “designed in” not only as discrete areas for large and small meetings, but by creating an entire environment conducive to communication, creativity and innovation.  As an example, if one has to book a conference room in order to meet with fellow team members, the opportunity for collaboration may be lost.  Companies require design that invites contact and participation throughout.

To summarize this report, the best chess players don’t accidently become the best.  It’s through constant attention and growth; understanding how to use their pieces most effectively; and how to plan through losses and changes succinctly that make them the best. 

A huge shout-out to Teknion and their investigative prowess in ‘Workplace One’.  Checkmate.

For more information Contact: TOTAL OFFICEPlanning Services – Professional Delivery & Installation 420 Banks Road Kelowna, B.C. V1X 6A3 Tel:250.717.1626 / Cell:250.869.5304 Toll Free:1.800.558.DESK (3375) E: info@TotalOfficeBC.caW:  http://www.totalofficebc.ca/

Have some FUN!

I attended a ‘townhall’ meeting yesterday; this was not one of your municipal townhall meetings, but a forum put on by the entrepreneur’s society that I am a part of.  The topic we wrestled with, is putting the ‘fun’ back into entrepreneurship.  Even beyond that, I think we all need to inject some of that fun back into our lives, whether we’re entrepreneur’s or not.


Our three guest speakers had diverse backgrounds and an extensive amount of entrepreneurial knowledge.  The main theme that kept resurfacing was: Focus, focus, focus; which makes sense, because both Bill Gates and Warren Buffet contribute their success to ‘Focus’, above all other characteristics.
But how exactly do you distill a single word such as ‘focus’ into something executable in your life?  That’s the part we wrestled with, and here are some of the answers (not all of them, but some good ones).
1.      Remember what you got into the business for, and get back to that.
2.      Develop a ‘Personal Growth Plan’, because you’re not your business, embody whom you are, and grow that unique and amazing individual!
3.      Schedule in some time, every day, to do something that you enjoy and has absolutely NOTHING to do with your work.
4.      Try to interact with people more, and less on a business or ‘selling-them-something’ level.
The easy thing to do is talk about doing something, the hard part is actually integrating it into your life, however.  Make time, figure out what’s important and stay focused.  Implement one or two things – not as a gimmick – but as a genuine reminder of why you made the decisions you make, and why you’re going to make more of the same decisions moving forward.
One takeaway I really appreciated was to dream a hundred dreams, not any less, and write them down.  Either plaster a wall with those dreams, or write it on a piece of paper, or on your computer.  Every chance you get, cross them out as you achieve them.  These are your milestones and these are your reasons for what you’re doing!
Until next time, go change your world.

For more information Contact: TOTAL OFFICEPlanning Services – Professional Delivery & Installation 420 Banks Road Kelowna, B.C. V1X 6A3 Tel:250.717.1626 / Cell:250.869.5304 Toll Free:1.800.558.DESK (3375) E: info@TotalOfficeBC.caW:  http://www.totalofficebc.ca/

St. Georges School

Every once in a while you do a project that makes you want to smile. It touches a spot within you, one deeper than financial gain or professional satisfaction. That feeling knows that in some way, you’ve consciously helped to shape our future generations.  That’s the way I felt when I looked at the completed classrooms at St. Georges School for boys in Vancouver (www.stgeorges.bc.ca).  There was something about having the classroom furniture set-up in those majestic halls, which spoke volumes over what you see in the brochures and even our own showrooms.  There is something real about it.
Let me fill you in on where I’m coming from:  At the 2000 World’s Fair, held in Hannover, Germany, they showcased different ways to improve the relationship between humankind, nature, and technology. Interestingly enough, one of the questions this state-of-the-art event asked was what the school of the future will look like. The answer:
The Fridtjof-Nansen Study
To measure the benefits of a more ergonomic classroom – with its pedagogical possibilities and new motion-friendly teaching methods – this acclaimed primary school hosted a four-year study dedicated to exploring the relationship between a student’s opportunity for in-class motion and their health, well-being, and classroom performance. VS provided all the ergonomic furniture for this “school of the future,” including flexible, movable seating, height-adjustable desks, and versatile, easy-to-reposition work surfaces.
After the installation at St. Georges School for boys, and looking into the Fridtjof-Nansen Study, I realised the school of the future was a lot closer to today than we may have thought ten years ago.


Furniture isn’t just a capital purchase anymore, to lay bricks and mortar for education to take place in a space.  It’s a part of that space, and as much as anything else, it’s a part of the education we provide.  The leading innovation in the furniture that St. Georges School selected, communicates through the quality and design that they are a forward thinking organisation. 
We’ve seen the studies encouraging movement in the classroom, and speaking about total cost of ownership, but being able to put that into a simple, straight-forward specification isn’t always easy.  With help from Fielding Nair International (www.fieldingnair.com – architects and change agents for education design, and internationally acclaimed educational facilities), we were able to deliver a solution that incorporates forward-thinking design and promotes the best value of total cost of ownership.
For more information Contact: TOTAL OFFICEPlanning Services – Professional Delivery & Installation 420 Banks Road Kelowna, B.C. V1X 6A3 Tel:250.717.1626 / Cell:250.869.5304 Toll Free:1.800.558.DESK (3375) E: info@TotalOfficeBC.caW:  http://www.totalofficebc.ca/

DDM – The Truth about Architectural Walls

The Truth about Architectural Walls:
I’ve talked about architectural walls before; compared them to conventional construction, and provided insight to their fiscal depreciation benefits.  However, in this series we want to challenge our readers, more than just provide them with industry specific details; we want to provide useful information that applies to whatever industry you work in. 

Will you ever buy architectural walls?  Maybe your business is such that you’re never going to be in a position of need to construct new office space, so the idea of architectural walls doesn’t quite relate?

To make sense I’m going to bring this home and talk a little about myself, please bear with me.  I’m a boxer; boxed competitively and hold the Golden Gloves championship as well as the Middleweight Belt for BC.  I love my cars; it feels good to have that much engineering in the palm of your hands.  As well, I try to be active within the community; I’m a member and proud supporter of different groups and societies.  How does any of this matter?  All of the different experiences that I have, and have gone through and go through on a regular basis, make me a better-rounded individual.  Things I’ve learned in boxing – about reading the competition, waiting to strike, discipline – have all been extremely beneficial to my career in office furniture.  Same is said for every other aspect of my life; they complement one another.
I made the case about my own life, because even though you may never be in a position to buy architectural walls, there are aspects of the industry that may augment your other initiatives or practices.  This is that ‘Aha’ moment for me, when I’ve hopefully communicated to you that this message is far from a sales-pitch.
Manufacturers and dealers alike will stretch the truth when they’re trying to sell you something.  When the pressure of business mounts and a deal needs to be closed, I’ve seen the sweat beads on foreheads and the battle between doing what’s right and what might seal-the-deal.  These little-white-lies have been floating around the industry, and depending on whom you’re speaking with, are declared as true by the unsuspecting, or uninformed.
Direction of Industry:
First, let’s talk about the direction the industry is going.  Architectural Walls are capturing a large chunk of the market-share from conventional construction.  The amount of projects in the last four years have grown exponentially, cutting into the norm of conventional construction, and challenging the way we view our options and plan our spaces.
This growth of walls has eluded to many statements and idioms floating about architectural walls.  I’ve heard cost brought up quite often; or that reconfigurable walls didn’t make sense to most organisations; or how the ability to dampen sound is worse, rather than when conventional construction is used; all of these are concepts of misinformation that I will speak to below.
The Bottom Line:
Truth is, we’re all in business to succeed, so whether we’re number-crunchers or savvy-minded-businesspeople, the bottom line matters.  Because of the strength of cost in any acquisition, this has been a tool used by benefitting parties to discredit architectural walls.  However, let’s start to examine how this misconception has come to be:

1. Glass – the largest contributing factor has been the argument that drywall (or conventional construction) is cheaper than architectural walls.  However, every time this argument is used, it is against a standard drywall application versus either clerestory or monolithic glass options.  To put that into perspective, imagine being told to stay away from tablet’s because your smartphone is capable enough – that’s not an apples-to-apples comparison:
a. If glass is being used, it has to be compared to conventional alternatives to glass-walls, either demountable walls or a framed glass application; when you use similar options, the hard-costs – glass – end up being the same or similar, so the price gap has been extremely reduced.
b. When just a bare surface wall is being specified for an application, this changes the most significant factor in the price; glass.  Owners, general contractors, architects and designers alike, need to be concise when asking for specifications.  If they know that price is an issue, they should compare apples-to-apples, rather than test the waters and ask for a glass-walls quote to versus a typical drywall application.  The industry would flood if people understood there was a cost-competitive alternative, and that architectural walls doesn’t always mean glass walls.

2. Soft Costs – they’re called soft costs, but their definitely not soft!  The methodology of architectural walls and conventional construction are just different.  The walls business is at heart a furniture baby, it wants to go through the standard acquisition process and be handled just once.  Conventional construction, on the other hand, ties into a bill of materials, where the hard-costs are calculated through materials, and labour is encapsulated throughout the breadth of the project. 
The methodology of conventional construction calls for the studs and the drywall, yes, but also the spackled and sanded surfaces; the hardwiring of electrics; the surface or paint coating; the additional materials and labour force the cost to be what it is, which is higher than just a materials cost-comparison.
3. Poor Sales Education – whether it’s through us dealers or through competitive parties on the side of conventional construction, a poor and biased opinion is often close at hand.  If someone is unable to break out the true costs, and stake their hat at them, be cautious.  The same is true when buying a used car, stay away from the shady dealers that paint every car on their lot to be a dreamboat, and bring a mechanic.
Employee Churn:
Whenever people are asking why to use architectural walls, I start to list reason upon reason.  However quite often, an argument that is raised, is why do we need the configurability anyways?  I have to take it right back home and ask, why do we need to recycle, anyways?  I mean essentially, whether you throw it in the garbage or throw it in the blue bin; you’re doing your responsibility and removing it from your possession, right?  That’s the ideology behind the question.  Even if you don’t have employee churn or never reconfigure the walls, the sustainability impact is quite the same as comparing it to throwing out a pop-can or recycling it.  The excuse is used to help conceal the daunting ‘how much is it going to cost?’ question, which is only daunting if you’re not willing to do the math.
Sound Transmission:
Simple math is, the STC rating of standard drywall is 38-40 (without insulation).  The standard STC rating of (I’m going to pick the Teknion Altos system, so I do not generalise walls; there are inferior products out there) is 40 (without insulation).  With insulation, drywall typically will jump up to 43-44, and Altos utilises a standard sound-deafening insulation that will jump its rating up to 48.
Even with a high STC rating, any penetration, air-gap, or “flanking” path can seriously degrade the isolation quality of a wall. Flanking paths are the means for sound to transfer from one space to another other than through the wall. Sound can flank over, under, or around a wall. Sound can also travel through common ductwork, plumbing or corridors. Noise will travel between spaces at the weakest points. There is no reason to spend money or effort to improve the walls until all the weak points are controlled. *
With the average commercial space using T-bar ceilings, whenever architectural walls are brought up, people are looking to cut corners.  The questions are quickly asked, can we pressure fit between T-bar?  Yes we can, but that’s the same as framing a wall right up the ceiling with drywall.  Once we start to make architectural decisions based upon cost, we’re pretty much saying that we can do the architect’s job better than they.  We need to provide an architect with the vision, and let them work out the details, because addressing STC is more than just putting a thick wall in-between offices, and part of their job is knowing that.
The Impact of Architectural Walls:
We’ve been waiting for you to ask!  The picture of our cover for this article is ‘The Bow’, which is the home to one of the world’s largest installations of full-height demountable wall products. In fact, if all of the Teknion Altos demountable walls were assembled in a straight line, they would extend about 32 km (20 miles). Altos will be used throughout the 58 floors to define individual offices, collaborative workspaces and meeting areas.
Once The Bow is open for business in Calgary, Alberta, the flexibility and reconfigurability of the Altos wall will quickly become apparent. Not only can Altos be easily moved, but the wall fascias themselves can be easily switched out to meet changing functional or aesthetic requirements. For example, the walls’ glass fascias can be switched to wood with no disruption to the space. The inherent flexibility of Altos is a testament to why demountable walls have become the fastest growing segment of the contract furniture industry.
“The scope of The Bow project is unprecedented,” says Frank Delfino, President of Worldwide Markets, Teknion.
The true impact of architectural walls can be seen in case-study over case-study.  We’re increasing the market-share, and we’re going to aggressively encroach on conventional construction through means of education and strategic implementation. 


For more information Contact: TOTAL OFFICEPlanning Services – Professional Delivery & Installation 420 Banks Road Kelowna, B.C. V1X 6A3 Tel:250.717.1626 / Cell:250.869.5304 Toll Free:1.800.558.DESK (3375) E: info@TotalOfficeBC.caW:  http://www.totalofficebc.ca/

Design Does Matter – Intro

Design is intelligence made visible.

We’ve talked about the future office, now we’re going to talk about why Design Does Matter.

We’ll address trends that are influencing the spaces we work and changing the way we live.  The furniture industry follows a pattern, one that is influenced by home interiors and ultimately by our individual taste and preference.  That means that in order to predict what the future office may look like, we cannot just look at towers of offices, we need to look inside homes, at fashion and technology.  Design is all around us.

To start off this new series, have a look at an interesting article drawn up by CNN.com:  http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/20/business/generation-y-global-office-culture/index.html?goback=.gde_3467132_member_150155985

This article covers a trend that we have numerous studies on and have been following for the last few years; the generational gap in the workplace.  This is something that is inevitable, but good.

“Design can be used to solve business problems, build customer relationships and create products that people find meaningful, engaging and a pleasure to use.” – Peter Lawrence, Design and the future of business.

The merge of generations in the workplace can only me one thing – a positive adaption in design.  The same way that technology has been able to adapt to an almost universal standard in user interface, furniture is making extraordinary leaps from a cookie-cutter and traditional floorplate to one that is adaptive, functional and personable to the end user.  Design is playing a key role in taking what is usually a very static item and breathing life into it.

That’s all for today, but check back next month as we take the four generations in the office and peel each layer away carefully to identify what are the key influencing factors and what you need to know right now to optimize your workplace growth strategy.

Until next time, change the world…PH

For more information Contact: TOTAL OFFICEPlanning Services – Professional Delivery & Installation 420 Banks Road Kelowna, B.C. V1X 6A3 Tel:250.717.1626 / Cell:250.869.5304 Toll Free:1.800.558.DESK (3375) E: info@TotalOfficeBC.caW:  http://www.totalofficebc.ca/

The Future Office – VI

“MasterFormat and Office Space”
The Future Office is one set in a very competitive space.  As business sectors grow, so do ‘me-too’ organisations and the harder it is to identify a genuine business from a shark.  Organisations have experienced the set-backs that being persuaded by the wrong businesses can create and for years have been searching for ‘competitive’ quotes in order to sift through the options.  However, ultimately this can lead into either greater transparency or isolate a purchase in one specific party’s favour – which eliminates the reason for the process to begin with.

Dealerships are primarily ‘service-driven’ organisations; we act as the third-party for manufacturers and end-users. The nature of our business puts us in a unique position, demands that we understand the standards and language used by the end-user –their project and interior teams –as well as being able to interpret the resources provided by our several different manufacturers in a way where we provide clear, correct, complete and concise information consistently and on call.


MasterFormat (www.masterformat.com) is the standard universal language for construction specification and therefore influences the majority of bids we partake in. It has been the recognized construction industry standard for more than 40 years, therefore is a very solid and reputable resource for office furniture dealers to understand in order to properly bridge the communication gap between available resources and end-user requirements.


However necessary as MasterFormat is to ensuring the end-user ultimately receives their requirements, without due care –because of the complex and sometimes political environment dealt with in office furniture bids –it can also facilitate the elimination of competition, which in turn distorts total cost of ownership projections.

If a bid is written up with the proprietary method of prescriptive specification –unless the specification writer has a broad understanding of the office furniture industry –it can discourage competition and in turn allow higher margins and a lower value to the end user. There are other suitable types and methods of specification (e.g. non-restrictive, reference standard) that allow competition for the best value package whist still maintaining the end-users performance standards.


As professionals in the industry, it is not only our job, but our responsibility to ensure that we continue to advocate the highest value and total cost of ownership to our end users at all costs. This means understanding standards and how to utilize them to the end-users advantage to present them with the best total cost of ownership package, as well value-added or value-engineered alternatives dependant on the project.

“Workplace design is undergoing a revolution, but there is also a sense that some people have been carried away…” Roger Whitehouse – Design as a Business Tool. We must still realize that design is a powerful business tool that we can use to create acceptable alternatives in specification. Only when we understand what the standards that the end-user utilizes to relay their needs, can we then use design as a tool to specify acceptable and performance-driven alternatives; fuelling competition and a higher value to the end-user.


Until next time – go change the world. P.H.


Sources cited:

1.       Design Does Matter Vol. 2 – Published by Teknion
2.       Books Referenced
• Professional Practice for Interior Designers 3rd Edition – Christine M. Piotrowski, ASID IIDA
• Building Construction Illustration 3rd Edition – Francis D.K. Ching and Cassandra Adams
• Architectural Graphic Standards, Student Edition – Bruce Bassler, Student Edition Editor; John Rayhoke Jr, FAIA, Editor in Chief
• Interior Graphic Standards Student Edition – MaryRose McGowan; Kelsey Kruse
3.       Websites Referenced
4.       • www.csinet.org, www.garyschuman.com, www.micainsulation.org, www.thenbs.com, www.selector.com, www.fedgreenspecs.wbdg.org, www.wdbg.org, http://workflow.den.nps.gov, www.tech.mtu.edu


For more information Contact: TOTAL OFFICEPlanning Services – Professional Delivery & Installation 420 Banks Road Kelowna, B.C. V1X 6A3 Tel:250.717.1626 / Cell:250.869.5304 Toll Free:1.800.558.DESK (3375) E: info@TotalOfficeBC.caW:  http://www.totalofficebc.ca/