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Design from the roof down and the ground up

Posted on Thu, 2017-11-02 23:11 by Jim Divine

I’ve just enjoyed a long weekend in Paris and having never visited before, I was blown away by the beauty and splendour of the city. The opulence and craftsmanship that appeared to be on every face and corner gave me with the distinct feeling being in the city and that there was a ‘masterplan’.  My design colleagues have kindly, since, referred me to some resources on the work of Napoleon III and Haussmann on the lengths gone to, to establish the great city as the heart of its Nation.

This grand scale, considered and intelligent design is wonderful to experience and to be part of, but perhaps the most delightful moment was spotting the most intricate, detailed stone carving on a rooftop from the window of my hotel. It was probably never intended for consumption at the time of construction, this was design and creativity simply just for the craftsman’s love of it and the pure joy that it sparks in others.

In last week’s blog post, Martin discussed first impressions and the fundamental role a space plays in communicating the values of an organisation to new visitors. Anyone who has enjoyed Amelie, Last Tango or The Da Vinci Code knows how stunning Paris is and could easily speak of the romance, the culture and the dining...

Though, as I learned this past weekend, striving beyond that first impression, is when truly great design does its work. That’s when the “master plan” kicks in and you experience it at every level, from the joy at the smallest feature to the atmosphere of the grand scale.

Our environment has a significant impact on how we feel and act, how we communicate and collaborate. Performance, motivation and productivity can be greatly enhanced or diminished by even minor changes in our surroundings. The value of great design in the workplace can be demonstrated in headline figures and graphs but when you’re in it, you feel it.

Now we’re deep in the throes of the working week once again and while I’m maybe not feeling quite as romantic, I’m still feeling pretty inspired. Perhaps I’ll go carve something into the roof of the Edinburgh office…


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