Links // Workplace Research

Below is a quick roundup of a few articles/stories that have circulated through our design studio over the past few weeks. This selection largely relates to workplace design.

A Dezeen article that breaks down the findings of Haworth's latest findings on happiness here.

As a refresher: a quick breakdown of each major showroom at this spring's NeoCon 2016 here.

Calgary Economic Developments positive outlook for the Calgary business marketplace here.



Recent Thoughts // Retail Design Trends

We're currently working with a great western Canadian retail brand on the relaunch of their entire image and in-store shopping experience.  We'll be sure to share more as the interior design develops but in the meantime we thought we would list some of the discussions that we're having as many point towards greater macro trends that are occurring in retail design internationally:

1. It is imperative that the in-store shopping experience is substantially more stimulating and rewarding than the online equivalent. How can the interior design of the built environment support this and what are the new ratios of product to brand/lifestyle/interaction elements in a space?

2. Has technology (virtual assistants, virtual reality, 3D printing) matured enough that its use in retail design is seamless or does it feel forced? Maybe customers prefer their in-store shopping experience to be an escape from tech rather than an immersion in it?

3. We're certainly seeing more interactive customization/DYI areas. Is this a passing trend or will this type of hands-on interaction remain? Maybe it relates to the research on brand attachment that indicates Gen-Y and Millennium shoppers want to build deeper relationships with the brands they identify with?

4. For many growing retail brands there are advantages to marketing themselves as local but there are also advantages to marketing themselves as large players in their market. How can an interior design strategy balance these two potential extremes?

We welcome your thoughts and hope this inspires your research on retail design


Events // CIFF 2016

Jerilyn Wright & Associates is proud to sponsor the 2016 Calgary International Film Festival. For more information and tickets visit:

Link // A Study on Activity Based Workplaces

Activity Based Working (ABW) is an office workplace planning model that is growing in popularity - particularly among companies dependent on innovation and/or staffed by Gen-Y and millennial employees. ABW is a model in which individuals do not have an assigned traditional work-space (a desk). Rather, all employees share from a pool of unassigned desks but also an assortment of alternative work-spaces such as open collaboration areas, team classroom space, informal work lounges, closed focus rooms and small meeting rooms. 

The International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) in partnership with Leesman recently published an exhaustive study on the ABW model over a 1 year period, utilizing feedback from over 70,000 users currently working in Activity Based Workplaces. One of their key findings was that individual satisfaction (and thereby productivity) rises significantly with ABW. However, this increase is satisfaction only occurs for the users that adapt to and embrace the model. The highlights of the study can be accessed here

Recent Thoughts // Simplification

Design appears to be shifting. However, unlike a "trend" this shift is a not a knee-jerk reaction to a "latest and greatest" product or idea in fashion, technology or art. Instead, it appears slower and more methodical - possibly indicating a more lasting impact? The shift is simplification. The last 20-30 years of mass-consumerism have taught us to expect constant variety and change - a cyclical movement of in-fashion and out-of-fashion. We think that this may give way to a global preference for simpler designs - not less design, or cheaper design.

Take the Musling Restaurant in Copenhagen as an example. Designed by Space Copenhagen, maintains a simple layout, palette, and selection of fixtures/furnishings without being uncomfortably minimal or appearing cheap. The Musling restaurant has character, richness of material, and visual interest. 

We at JWA look forward to seeing this evolution of design as we regularly advocate for timeless interiors as a way for clients to safeguard their investment in real estate. 

Link // Knoll Research on Workplace of Today

Knoll recently wrapped up a four year "multi-layered" research study on the workplace of today, confirming many of the same challenges that we have been identifying with our local Calgary clients. These include: balancing collaboration against a need for dedicated offices, additional comfort via residential-inspired products, variety in work space options and fluid space planning that allows different types of space to overlap each other. You can read the full article here.

Introduction // WELL Certification

The International Well Institution has been actively working over the past year to launch the Well Building Standard - a measured and performance based certification program that recognizes buildings or interior spaces that make an effort to encourage the health and well being of its occupants. Similar to the USGBC's LEED certification in format and process, WELL established 7 key concepts that affect a human's health while indoors. These seven concepts include: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Fitness, Comfort and Mind.

We're incredibly excited to see efforts like this made. At Jerilyn Wright & Associates, we have been actively pushing for these ideals for the last 10 years. Space can, without question, enhance or degrade a person's mood and sense of well-being. Natural daylight as example, has been proven countless times in past and contemporary research to increase productivity and decrease both absenteeism and presenteeism. We look forward to seeing WELL permeate through the design and construction industry.

More information about WELL can be found here.

Link // Design Miami 2015

Design Miami is one of the more eccentric global design shows, curating a collection of one-offs, the avant-garde, and quirky art installations. The show just wrapped up. You can see the highlights from the show here. Or browse through their instagram feed @designmiami for a quick glimpse.

Link // Pantone Colours of the Year

For the first time, Pantone released not one, but two colours of the year. 2016's colours are Rose Quartz (Pantone 13-1520) and Serenity (Pantone 15-3919) - Light pink and light blue respectively. Pantone is receiving a lot of attention for the obvious comment on the gender neutrality movement occurring throughout the globe. However, there is more to the choice as seen below in an excerpt from the Pantone release:

"As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace."

It's great to see Pantone jumping in to ongoing dialogue designers are having around the topic of health and well-being. Read more about the Pantone choices here.