Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It’s the details that separate

Having an affinity for the field of architecture I’m a true believer that our spaces define us. Physical spaces represent an opportunity for a business to leave a lasting impression. Well designed spaces promote a company’s identity through tactile stimulation. Conversely, poorly designed spaces can zap the energy and moral from an otherwise engaged workforce (think cube farms in dimly lit spaces). Through my masters program I recently had the pleasure of working with Adaptive Environments, a non-profit charged with the advancement and proliferation of universal design. I was struck by their space upon my first visit to their office and showroom in Boston’s North End. Their office is a living testament to their mission. The space is easily navigable and accessible by differing forms of ability. There are no stairs, entrances to all spaces are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair and the atmosphere is stylized and cheerful. In short every detail is paid attention to, including the disposable cups and utensils. This is the detail that puts Adaptive Environments at the forefront of “getting it.” One of the underpinnings of universal design is sustainability, making universal design a natural evolution of green design. The disposable cups that Adaptive Environments keeps on hand are made from corn, the utensils are biodegradable. If a company is that dedicated to make sure every detail is in place in their own space, just imagine the caliber of work they must perform for their clients. It’s these details that separate the authentic from the ordinary.

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