Thursday, 21 February 2019

Workspace Design – Illumination and Well-being in Workplaces

groupDCA strives to craft workplaces that reflect the brands ethos whilst fabricating an environment that promotes employee well-being, facilitates collaboration and spawns inspiration. With 70% of one’s day spent in the office, stressful environments are induced by boxy and commercialized infrastructure, undermining one’s health and social conditions. In the midst of planning and designing an office layout, tangential components of design – such as lighting schemes – are often overlooked.

A good illumination scheme is a crucial player in sustaining personal health, ultimately steering motivation and production. Lighting structures a vital part of visual ergonomics and perceptions, shaping workplace productivity. Natural light protects vision, boosts concentration and creates healthy working conditions. Poor and misplaced lighting can cause visual discomfort, fatigue and gloominess, taking a toll on employee efficiency. Combining effective daylight harvesting with efficient artificial lighting constructs an optimal illumination system. Natural light if supplemented with strategically placed and adequately numbered table lights, floor lamps and ceiling fixtures can uplift aesthetics and yield positive outcomes.

The layout of Primarc Office evolves along two opposite walls endowed with long windows,
optimally utilized for natural lighting
Primarc Office by groupDCA reinforces the same paradigm by fabricating the design around this principle. The layout of the office evolves along two opposite walls endowed with long windows, optimally utilized for natural lighting and vistas to various spaces such as reception, cafeteria and work-stations. The design of this office not only incorporates efficient lighting but also recognizes the challenge of an often disregarded phenomenon – over-lighting a space. The meeting rooms, conference rooms and private cubicles have been tactically shielded from excessive daylight that may disrupt visual presentations. The dynamic design of this office facilitates an effective assembly of natural and artificial lighting, brought together to suit the vibrant and dramatic tone of the office. Energy efficient LED lamps reduce heat emission, energy consumption and minimize the load on artificial lighting systems, aiding the sustainable approach embarked on by groupDCA.

The meeting rooms, conference rooms and private cubicles have been tactically shielded from excessive daylight that may disrupt visual presentations

Contemporary workspaces are about efficiency, mobility and flexibility. Ditching closed cabins to open plans, not only reduces the barriers that obstruct natural light from coming in but can also position strategically planned landscape and open areas amidst the built form. Materiality, arrangement and treatment of surfaces also influence the lighting level of a space. A bright, illuminated office, deployed with adequate lighting levels, strategically calculated and arranged, enhances the visual appeal of a space whilst augmenting optimal efficiency of the employees. Endeavoring to put together the right narrative to craft engaging experiences, the deliberate process of light selection and customization to create the perfect lighting ambience forms a crucial part of groupDCA’s design ethos.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Workspace Design: Build to suit Human Biology

groupDCA's aspiration behind designing innovative workspaces is to create a unique identity giving users the comfort and ease within work environments by facilitating human interaction with the outside environment. The biophilia theory implies that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other life forms. These deep affiliations are rooted in our biology. Designing spaces that suit human biology is what groupDCA’s workspace designs aim for.

At groupDCA, each project is treated individually with an approach that is most appropriate to the project’s identity, vision, site location and budget. The studio believes in sustainable design, which is well-balanced, contextual and fosters longevity as well as practicality. A conscious effort is made to use local, sustainable materials and technology, while minimizing the impact on the environment. Each project is climate-appropriate and designed to meet specific needs. For example, the design for JD Office – a collaborative co-working space – is a deliberate attempt towards incorporating biophilic design through the use of local materials and natural finishes. Despite the site being landlocked and devoid of sufficient natural light, the vibrant design vocabulary exuberates with energy and enthusiasm. Integration of indoor plants ensures engagement with nature, thus enhancing occupant health, happiness, and overall well-being.

Above: The design of J.D. Office ensures engagement with nature and enhances employee well-being.

In an environmentally progressive world, groupDCA focuses on crafting working spaces that promote good health and well-being of the users, by integrating the outdoors with the built form and bringing air, light and greens inside. To cite an example: Enrich office and academy is designed as a framed picture, just as the landscape is usually seen through a large window. The space uses a warm and grounded design strategy. Enabling breathing spaces and bringing nature indoors, the space is accentuated by a sizeable green wall.

Above: The workstations in Enrich Office and Academy are designed to have natural day-light on one side and greenery on the other.

Given the current constraints of the Indian Economy, the studio tries to keep human beings, their relationships with the environment at the heart of their working methodology. Their design solutions are driven by a distinct focus of delivering design excellence and innovation; rooted within a local, climate-appropriate approach. With 21-year long expertise in the workspace domain, groupDCA's concepts are aimed at bringing out the best through their designs.

- Amit Aurora and Rahul Bansal