Design is not all for aesthetics: Learning from a fit-out specialist

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    Motif Studio’s work area.
    Motif Studio’s work area.

    Mundo Design and Build, a group of fit-out specialists, is committed to sustainability, and to ensuring that more Filipinos are able to benefit from the advantages of professionally designed, and expertly finished spaces and structures.

    Sustainability is one of the pillars Motif Studio is built on.

    Motif Studio’s chief designer MJ Ringor, envisions the company as a creative collaborator with clients, not an absolute authority on design.

    Mundo Design and Build did the fitting out of Hectare One, the first office of celebrities Erwan Heussaff and Nico Bolzico.

    Hectare One has since become the quintessential example of the millennial workplace style, values and life philosophy.

    Motif designed Hectare Two, the duo’s second office, and the one which Motif shares space with.

    Motif also designed Chingolo, Heussaff and Bolizco’s deli.

    Motif’s office on Chino Roces avenue is in a repurposed older building that might have otherwise been considered derelict.

    Built when industrial glass was not nearly as strong as it is today, the building lacks a solid curtain wall of glass façade; it instead has tiny vertical windows.

    But by using an egalitarian approach to space planning, Motif moved the common areas inward and divided them with glass instead of interior walls or wood panels.

    This enabled the tiny windows to bring sunlight into the farthest rooms.

    Distribution of natural light is a huge consideration in sustainable design.

    In terms of space, every square meter of available space was utilized without having to make any structural alterations.

    Just as sustainability influences design in the new millennium, the invention of air conditioning meant that in most of the 20th century, aesthetics, ventilation, and any attempt at evoking emotion or making a statement with design became secondary concerns to minimalism, practicality, ergonomics and efficiency.

    But the paradigm has shifted, rather than efficiency as it is measured in meters and man-hours, optimum human efficiency is now the top concern.

    Usability, livability, as well as conduciveness to work, and creativity are now just as important as efficiency and ergonomics.   Due in large part to the traffic, and advances in communication technology, a professionally designed office space these days will have large and comfortable common areas for collaboration, a pantry that looks more like a coffee shop, a plush TV and game room, and a cozy sleeping area.

    Motif’s own office has all these design elements.

    The sleeping area is a particularly novel space saving loft perched above the main work area, in what otherwise would have just been dead space between the roof and the ceiling.  The building’s pantry and lobby are set sensibly apart from the main work area, and are comfortably appointed, but both flow naturally into the work areas.

    Professionally designed offices these days are of the kind that employees actually often choose to hang out in socially after office hours, rather than go to a movie, club or bar.

    Work from home is a comeon many firms offer. This is why home offices have become a frequently requested design parameter even in small condo units.

    With design services divided into hospitality, commercial, and residential sub specialties, Motif Studio is in a position to offer customized and specific solutions and design elements to meet the needs of diverse and demanding clientele.