Even amidst a raging pandemic, our team delivered Wawanesa’s new US headquarters one month early with significant rent savings.

Wawanesa offered us two challenges. First: reduce their total area by half. Second: help staff and visitors better understand the concept of mutuality,” their auto insurance brand message.

Mutuality is how Wawanesa’s customers own the company and support one another. The office space shows how this relationship is woven together. The prairie sky” is recreated with 5,000 yards of blue seat belt material woven into the break room ceiling. Another installation of auto mirrors reflects” the connection between the driver, the company, and the entire community. Wawanesa loves the way the convex mirrors change the perception of the space and the people within it.

In competitive markets, a great office space makes a huge difference in attracting the best talent.

Aya Healthcare asked us to install some new workstations into an existing small suite. Two years later, we are renovating their entire campus and working hard to keep up with their growth. In a competitive market, great office space makes a difference in attracting the best talent. We updated Aya’s furniture standards which improved functionality and reduced the cost beyond what Aya was paying for refurbished furniture.

Aya Healthcare places traveling nurses in hospitals. Their recruiters create webs of relationships matching the nurses’ capabilities with the hospitals’ needs. Orange ropes on the wall and ceiling represent their incredible success at finding great nurses (each rope) and the right placements (each intersection). The installation reflects the energy with which their team builds these connections.

Access to fresh air to support respiratory health in the workspace was also improved through the design process. Existing roofs were converted to outdoor work environments. The volume of fresh air was increased to levels similar to those at critical care environments. Integral UV sterilization was also added to all new equipment.

Each project is custom-designed for our individual clients, and no two of our projects look the same.

NuVasive is the perfect microcosm of what we do: a high-end demonstration area, a super-technical surgery training suite, an operating room, and 100,000 square feet of workstations. The first thing you’ll notice about the demonstration area is how everything revolves around the central hub, all the way down to the circular carpet.

We applied our experience in hospitality to the world of corporate offices to design and custom fabricate 20,000 feet of circular carpet. Without this design decision, the room would not have been as effective or as focused on the central hub.

We also designed a surgery training suite. NuVasive invites surgeons from around the world to visit and train on their products and systems in this space. It is a perfect blend of technology and hospitality. As you can imagine, getting that technology space to work required a tremendous amount of coordination.

For the work area, we were able to redistribute their workstations in such a way that gave them amenity spaces they never had before. We showed them how to get the same number of people into 23 the space. That gave them 13 of the area for less programmed space (open meeting areas, lounges, pantries, etc.). We showed them how to do this by making their workspace planning hyper-efficient and then redistributing the leftover space all in one area so they could have a large area we named the central park.”

Incorporating our clients’ interests into their workspace can lead to exciting and unexpected combinations.

CV Sciences is a wonderful blend of science and design. In this one space, CBD products are developed, manufactured and marketed. The mix of scientists, artists and sales staff make an interesting mix of function and fun. Teams meet and mingle at the Chicago-style cocktail bar filled with the owner’s collection of rat pack and sports memorabilia. Playful touches abound. Architectural forms float within a large volume to create neighborhoods and separate teams that require quiet from teams that are more energetic.

Workplace transformation is a thorough process of observation, planning and testing. Working more effectively drives business success.

GreatCall designs and markets the Jitterbug smartphone that allows our aging parents and grandparents to live safely on their own with confidence. This corporate headquarters houses their software and hardware engineering teams as well as general administrative functions and a backup 5‑star emergency customer response center.

During focus groups and on-site observations, it became very clear that GreatCall’s standard office environment was working against the needs of their product teams. By reworking the plan to use semi-enclosed suites rather than rows of workstations, GreatCall became the first of its kind for Agile teams.

Agile teams are able to work more effectively, with frequent quick meetings, progress-sharing and the ability to make space for visitors. The semi-openness fosters a sense of connection between teams and displays their unified mission: Let’s do something meaningful together. The new suites layout has helped GreatCall substantially reduce their product development time.

Many of our investigations lead to unique installations that become part of the architecture and speak specifically to who our clients are.

BKM is a local Steelcase dealer. We designed a map of their customers that we plotted onto the wall and ceiling in which each customer is represented by a chair caster.

The graphic is beautiful and fun, but imagine the interaction with the client. You’re a furniture dealer. You just sold a new client. You hand them a caster and a drill and say, Go put yourself on the map.” Now you’ve created an engagement with that client that’s going to last forever.

After our installation BKM’s business grew by 300%, in part because of their new showroom.

We’re fortunate to live in Southern California, and we’ve created many outdoor spaces that are also working spaces for our clients.

Pirch is a lifestyle retailer that celebrates the joy of family and home. They asked us to express the four pillars of their business: kitchen, bath, outdoor, joy. Three of the four are easily represented in an interior headquarters. The fourth — outdoor — was a little harder.

So, part of our design was to remove 14 parking spaces and open up the side of the building so that they would have an indoor-outdoor workspace that is connected to the outdoor” pillar of their business.

We felt it was incredibly important that they incorporate this into their space because it reflects who they are as a retailer and is integral to their business. The two decision makers went away for the weekend and battled it out. In the end, they came back and said, Okay, we’re going to spend the extra money, but I hope it’s worth it.” We knew it was important, and we knew that it would be game-changing for them.

When it was all said and done, they said it was the best money they had ever spent. They use this space regularly — it became the center of their daily rituals.

We also reconsidered what their reception experience should be and placed a coffee bar where you would expect to see a receptionist’s desk. This turned the whole experience of entering an office on its head. Instead of a receptionist saying, Whoa, whoa, whoa, you’re not allowed past here until you’ve signed in,” you’re offered a cup of coffee. And by the time you are in the space for a few minutes, you are immersed in their culture.

The new headquarters brought the team together in a way that allowed Pirch to build 10 new stores in the first year.

The things we push for are things that we believe are critical to support an organization’s culture and its business goals.

Kidder Mathews didn’t tell us in the design brief that brokers hang out out in the doorways of their offices. But we observed it happening regularly. Someone would stop by, but they wouldn’t quite go in because they didn’t want to interrupt. So they would stand in the doorway for a moment to talk. We asked ourselves, How do you reinforce that behavior in a way that makes the company better?”

Our answer: use glass office fronts and wider door frames to facilitate these casual interactions. Move desks forward and closer to the door so that these discussions can be more direct. And have monitor arms that can spin 180°.

We developed five offices across the Southwest for Kidder Mathews. Each office has its own personality within the larger corporate standard. Featured graphics focus on the brokers’ in-depth knowledge of their market. In the downtown Los Angeles office, a series of street maps visualize the various neighborhoods represented. The brokers don’t need street names to read the maps because of how well they know the area. Colors and finishes are tailored to each location within an overarching color palette — San Diego and Phoenix are brighter; the Los Angeles office is a little deeper.

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