We endeavour to make design more objective than subjective

We endeavour to make design more objective than subjective
16/04/2019 , by , in Interview Old

Realty+ talks to Jaiprakash Aildasani and Akshay Lakhanpal, Regional Managing Directors India, Space Matrix – a leading multinational design consultancy firm headquartered in Singapore with a specialization in workplace design. Across its 14 international offices in India, Australia, China, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, and the United States, Space Matrix has an impressive track record of creating and delivering profitable, sustainable, and futuristic workplaces. 

  1. What has been the USP of Space Matrix?

Space Matrix is a global design and build firm creating award-winning corporate workplaces inspiring people and impacting business. We are headquartered in Singapore and have 14 international offices across the globe. Our worldwide presence has enabled us to cater to a wide spectrum of clients across varied industries and create and deliver profitable, sustainable, and futuristic workplaces. From aerospace, consulting, e-commerce and education to information technology, media and advertising and healthcare, we integrate our designs with the clients’ vision, philosophies, values, and work culture. Our USP is that we endeavour to make design more objective than subjective in appeal and to treat it as a problem solving mechanism rather than a mere translation of an artist’s expression. We intend to be a benchmark in office design and implementation not by virtue of scale, spend or glamour but pure impact to business through design.

We believe in workplace data generation and analytics to drive data driven design decisions through latest technology tools, which help us create impactful design solutions. The fact that we integrate experiential technology into all our design solutions makes our designs last longer and they are more adaptable to changing needs of the workforce employed by the client. This gives a more organic and scalable design solution, which our clients appreciate. Towards this endeavour, we are in the process of testing an application that will make the whole concept more personalized according to every employee’s needs and requirement at the client’s office. We have already deployed this application at our Bangalore office to beta test it before rolling it out for our clients.

Understanding the gap between design and delivery, we have been delivering design-build solutions for over 15 years now, which helps clients get a comprehensive solution and which enables them to focus on their business rather than managing a multiple set of suppliers / vendors / contractors. Space Matrix is truly an integrated design cum project delivery partner for all its clients.

 

2.What projects are you working on currently? Elaborate on the most challenging and biggest project of yours.

Currently we are working on a slew of very interesting projects across the region including India. We are working on a 120,000 sft office for a global management consulting firm in Gurgaon, where we are creating a work environment which exemplifies their global. Some of our large and interesting projects have been those that we undertook for clients like LinkedIn, Astrazeneca, Piramal, Superdry, and Airbnb. LinkedIn’s Bangalore office is designed to provide an immersive environment with many amenities that offer an employee a balanced work-life experience. The colourful and eclectic design moved employees from one unique spatial experience to another, at the same time it’s woven together by a common design thread that reinforced LinkedIn’s brand identity and culture.

Superdry is an exciting contemporary brand which focuses on high-quality products which are an output of the fusion of Japanese graphics, fine British tailoring and vintage Americana styling. Space Matrix helped Superdry design an office that showcased their work, core values and philosophy.

An industrial warehouse was the chosen location for Airbnb’s new global facility in Gurgaon, India. They wanted to retain the industrial look and feel of the warehouse while assimilating the company’s values and philosophy into the space. Using Airbnb’s core identity and “Belong Anywhere” brand philosophy, Space Matrix design partners successfully transformed this warehouse into an innovative workspace.

We worked with the Piramal Group to create a facility that would meet the demands and visions of their different business units that had previously operated independently of each other. Their new space is a balance of both formal and informal settings to cater to both to their clients and employees.

Pharmaceutical giant Astrazeneca partnered with Space Matrix to create a Global Technology Centre that halved its IT budget and reduced its reliance on outside support by 40%. Unique design solutions needed to be evolved to minimize productivity loss through multiple shift-changes, and to introduce the Activity Based Working philosophy, a first for a technology centre. A post-occupancy surveys showed that 93% employees perceive higher productivity in their new facility.

 

3. What are the trends in modern workplace designs in India as compared to a global platform?

 Over the last 5 years, the work and worker profile has changed significantly. This has led to a transformation in workplace design as well and we see this getting fortified in 2019. The trend of a purely “cool looking” office space will fade away and give way to a more “people-centric” design that caters to worker wellness, overall visual/sensory experience, and functional needs. These aspects along with “Instagrammable” features of the office would help organizations build a strong bond with the employees.

Top 5 trends we see are as follows

  • There will be a lot of focus given to employee wellness through features such as better indoor air quality, lighting design, and creation of rejuvenation pockets.
  • Future office designs will be enabled to meet business objectives such as employee retention and engagement, creation of the organization’s brand name, and increasing productivity.
  • Technology will be used extensively in office designs to enhance user experience and make features more personalized.
  • Interior design trends will translate into how an office space looks. This essentially means blending hospitality and residential elements into office design to create a warm and homely ambience.

 

  1. What projects are you coming up with in the future?

 One of the key focus areas in the near future is our Bengaluru office, which we have recently inaugurated. This office will serve as a use case for all potential clients since it will be a live example of how we intend to integrate technology into workplace design. Rather than explain the concept theoretically to them, our clients will be able to live and breathe the ideas and solutions. This will give them a better understanding of what we are about to offer.

 

  1. What are your international expansion plans in 2019?

Expansion is definitely on the anvil and we are looking at targeting the market in Sri Lanka. We see real estate mushrooming in a big way in this country. However, there is also a lack of good-quality workplace design companies. It is therefore a lucrative market to tap into. We will not be setting up an office in the country but function as service providers for clients therein.

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