More and more these days during the course of interior design projects, whether they are commercial or institutional, concern for the end-users’ comfort is conveyed via our clients’ very specific requests of reaching precise objectives on matters like those of natural light, air and acoustic quality of designed spaces. At LEMAYMICHAUD, we believe that addressing these subjects is inherent to our job as design professionals and take these criteria into account when developing all of our projects. We also make it our mission to raise our clients’ awareness on the influence that quality of the built environment has on the well-being of its occupants.
On this subject and as part of the annual meeting of various industry professionals at Expo Contech de Québec held last October, two of our designers, Annie-Claude Gilbert and Christopher Storrar, were pleased to share LEMAYMICHAUD’s vision and approach to certain questions around the very specific theme of Design of interior spaces at the time of the well-being of the occupants. Led by Guillaume Bambina, Communications Coordinator of l’Association professionnelle des designers d’intérieur du Québec, exchanges and discussions took place between our proud representatives and other actors of the design community.
To start the exchange, the question was asked whether all these measures aimed at the comfort of the occupants of the designed environments really consist in a trend. Our position on this question is that it is actually a must for every project and not just a passing trend. At a time when recruiting and employee retention have become issues, it is essential that leaders in the business and public sectors be aware that creating environments where people feel good invariably brings added value to their organizations. We should no longer see interior design as a simple application of random aesthetic criteria but as a creative discipline whose product has real positive effects on its users.
Some strategies with significant impacts on health and comfort of occupants have been put forward, such as the control of the quality of acoustics in office spaces and that of the maximum provision of natural light in all spaces. The latter, as demonstrated by many studies, contributes greatly to the mental well-being of people but also plays an important role in physical health. In this same quest for welfare, the supply industry is also adapting its offer and we are seeing more and more manufacturers offering products that meet these new requirements.
Are these strategies more expensive? Our clients often raise this issue. Our response is that our choices as designers are simply based on different values, and that the return on the users’ welfare is worth the investment. It is, in our opinion, commendable of business leaders to make the choice to follow this new way of approaching their interior design projects.