KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Apr 20 2015

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Randy Fiser on Designing for Wellness

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At Coverings ’15, Randy Fiser, CEO of the American Society for Interior Designers (ASID) explained not only that design matters, but that it actually matters for wellness.

“Design is not just nice to have. It enhances a person’s life and shapes who we are,” he explained. “Design matters.”

In recent years, there has been a significant wellness movement; businesses are striving to create better work environments for their employees. Google, for example, prides itself on having been named the happiest company in America. We are seeing an increase in wellness centers along with “Stay Well” hotels and rooms, which play on the belief that people deserve to spend time in healthy environments.

Why are we seeing this shift?

Aside from the fact that people are focusing more on their health and wellbeing, more than 90 percent of a company’s operating costs are linked to human resources. Companies are seeing steady increases in their employees’ long-term disability claims and general absenteeism. Things such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, smoking and low physical activity are all on the rise. Studies are now showing that many of these conditions can be combatted through design.

Natural ventilation, low-VOC products, access to daylight and creating a space that promotes movement are some examples of what is being proven to increase worker productivity.

“A typical company of 1,000 employees with an average compensation cost per employee of $13.24 per hour, could increase its profits by $3.9 million annually by increasing the productivity margin as little as 6 percent,” said Fiser, who also noted that studies show an employee will select a company with a better work environment over one that is offering a better salary, and it all leads back to positive design.

Human-centric design, active design and designing for longevity are the keys when it comes to designing for wellness, and today’s businesses are looking to do just that. As interior designers, you not only have the ability to transform a space, but you also have the ability and the power to profoundly impact and transform the lives of your clients.

– By Marisa Hillman, K+BB freelance writer

This entry was posted on Monday, April 20th, 2015 at 3:28 PM and is filed under Aging in Place, Bath Design, Kitchen Design, Projects, Trends, Universal Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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