The future of workspaces
WELL, design and art coexist during the Clerkenwell Design Week
The London Design Week, known as the Clerkenwell Design Week, closed its doors after the successful participation of major international furniture brands that presented their work through numerous events for three days. Clerkenwell is one of the most important design centres in the world, the area with the most architects and creative companies per square metre. The festival addressed the design of space as a tool for fostering the well-being and health of people in the spaces they inhabit.
For this design week, Actiu has transformed its London showroom into a new space designed to increase the physical and psychological well-being of the people who inhabit it. To do so, they followed some of the premises that the WELL certification evaluates, taking into account parameters such as comfort and design, healthy eating, mental well-being and quality in the use of light. In this regard, London is a pioneering city in this certification, as it has the first Well office in Europe accredited by the independent international body, the Well Building Institute.
The categories that WELL measures have been addressed from different perspectives through the different presentations and events that took place in the Actiu Showroom during the 3 days of the Clerkenwell Design Week.
PEOPLE AND THEIR PHYSICAL-EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING
First, people as the main axis for any type of change in the world. Elvira Muñoz, leader in international design and director of design at AECOM Spain, made several reflections during his speech ‘People First’, including people and their motivation and adaptation to technological advances, their emotional and physical well-being, and the role of the environment to promote changes in organizations. Several examples of the positive influence design and space can have were presented during the speech. One of these examples is taking place in Russia, fostering new concepts for education; much more communicative, collaborative and aimed at providing well-being to both students and teachers. Likewise, other success stories included the design of the new HUB of a prestigious insurance company as a driving force for knowledge, technology, collaboration and leadership in accordance with current paradigms.
As Well points out, design and art in the physical space directly influence people and their emotional-mental state.
To address this concept, Actiu has collaborated with the company Chrom-art, dedicated to the promotion of new artists, and has turned the showroom into an art gallery with striking and original sculptural proposals, as well as representative paintings of pop art culture, which left an impact on visitors.
ACOUSTIC, LIGHTING AND ERGONOMIC COMFORT
Comfort has been applied through the lighting solutions proposed by Lightnet and Fresco Solar Shading, as well as through acoustic solutions by the partners Panel and Acoustic Comfort, which facilitate both concentration and cooperation in common areas. One of the conferences that placed special emphasis on acoustic and thermal quality through the use of textiles and other resources was that of Jesús Benito, Gabriel’s Key Account Manager.
“Manufacturers must educate those who prescribe so that the product complies with ecological criteria”. Benito has also highlighted his commitment to manufacturing textiles that can provide credits to buildings that want to be LEED and WELL certified.
A HEALTHY MEDITERRANEAN DIET
The Mediterranean diet is an example of healthy eating habits, another of the Well requirements. Once again, the Spanish Mediterranean flavour has served as a reference for attracting London design and architecture professionals interested in both the new furniture that Actiu is manufacturing and in the already famous paella that the company offers every year at 28 Seward Street.
In short, as stated by José García, the UK and Ireland Director of Sales, regarding the past design week “after reviewing the conclusions from this design week, we can confirm that we are in the right position. Actiu has taken a very important step by betting on the well-being of its employees, and for that reason it has initiated the WELL process that will culminate next year, during the company’s 50th anniversary”.
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