June 30, 2022

Curated by Shea: June

At Shea, we pride ourselves on staying on top of what’s happening in design news so that you don’t have to—and we pull what’s smartest and most forward-thinking together to save you the time of sifting through it all. It helps us keep tabs on what’s fresh, inspiring, and happening in the world—and we make a few headlines of our own, too.

“For Some Companies, There’s No Escaping the Office. So They’re Changing It” – Boston Globe:
In this story, the Boston Globe looks at companies that signed long-term leases before COVID, and how they’re changing their designs and operations to make the most of the spaces and draw employees to them. While some have the flexibility to sublet, others are reconfiguring offices to create more areas for collaboration, new desk configurations, and unassigned seating to accommodate hybrid workers. Perks and amenity spaces can be helpful, as can emphasizing the benefits of a centrally located downtown office.

“Shea to Design New Ground-Up Lunds & Byerlys in Apple Valley” – Shea:
The next generation of design is here for longtime Shea client Lunds & Byerlys, and recent news on the ground-up Apple Valley store proves that it’s going to cater to tomorrow’s shoppers.

“The Next Chapter in Sustainability Arrives for Restaurants” – FSR:
With things starting to settle back into “normal” in the restaurant industry, sustainability is back as a priority. This piece looks at the different ways eateries are embracing the concept, beginning with repurpose and restoration in design—reusing furniture for refreshes, creating new design features from old elements, and restoring buildings rather than tearing down and starting anew. The story focuses on Upward Projects, a restaurant brand zeroed in on reuse, and Refresh Glass, which used recycled materials to create glassware, as examples. Other areas of interest in the article include container farming, carryout packaging that’s better for the planet, and restaurant brand that make sustainability a core tenet of their brand and ethos.

“Earning the Commute: Creating Workspaces That Draw People In for Collaboration, Socialization, and Connection” – Forbes:
In an examination of how to create engaging, welcoming offices that will entice workers even as they’ve seen how much work can be done remotely, Forbes suggests that the real measure of an office is now employee engagement, collaboration, knowledge sharing, and well-being—creating an experience. Offices play a huge role in supporting employees, and great workplace design when it comes to flexibility and environment can be a boon to companies looking to attract and retain top talent. Seemingly basic features, like appropriate lighting and temperature, make all the difference, along with creating varied, comfortable spaces conducive to brainstorming and problem-solving.

“5 Ways Food Stores Are Leading in Experience Innovation” – Retail TouchPoints:
Retail TouchPoints breaks down five criteria for judging the grocery and specialty food retailers of today. Displays that show the store’s expertise and craftsmanship as a point of differentiation are helpful, as is creating a space and atmosphere that’s in keeping with the brand and what shoppers are looking to accomplish on their grocery trip. Product presentation, for optimal sales as well as aesthetics, is huge. Creating prepared-food and ready-to-eat areas that bring an element of theater and transparency also give a point of differentiation, and omnichannel and digital innovation are imperative now to creating a store that works smoothly.

“Shea Named One of the Twin Cities’ Premier Architectural Firms by the Business Journal” – Shea:
Shea gets a nod as one of the Twin Cities’ top architectural firms, a standout in town amongst our peers.

“Five Casual Dining Design Trends Worth Replicating” – Modern Restaurant Management:
More than a simple listicle, this piece notes which simple casual-design features that are most impactful—but uses stats and data to back them up from a variety of surveys, making it an ideal read for numbers-driven information. From the importance of proper spacing, color, and comfort to the still-prevalent focus on outdoor dining and walk-up windows, plus the integration of tech, this story gives the proof to back up what’s been written about over the past few years.

“The Future of the Office is an Open Question, But This Company is Testing 3 Designs to Figure It Out” – Fast Company:
This piece goes behind the scenes at NI, a company specializing in tests and measurements, and how it’s worked with an architecture firm to test different prototypes for its new office design, using analysis and feedback to see which of the three options works best for its company. The expansive office campus is going to undergo a full overhaul, and leadership is dedicated to creating spaces that are people-centric, starting with interviews and workshops to give feedback to create three different prototypes: Workshop (primarily dedicated workstations, with some shared tables and closed-door offices), Hybrid (where focused collaboration takes priority), and Co-Lab (where larger collaboration and team projects can happen). Furniture and configurations are big parts of the prototypes, which are currently undergoing testing with the goal of finding answers and reframing what it means to work in an office today.

“Beer Bars Now Craft Coffee to Draw the Morning Crowd” – Wall Street Journal:
As an additional revenue stream, bars are expanding operations to mornings and getting into the craft-coffee business. This story looks at how beer bars in particular are looking to create a morning demand, positioning themselves to drinkers of all types, all day long—becoming about “craft beverages” rather than “craft brews.” It’s a trend spreading across the country, and brewers who have a great understanding of flavor nuance in beverages are the ideal peddlers for small-batch  and craft-produced coffees.

“Centro Set to Expand to Highland Park With a Shea-Designed Space” – Shea:
Centro is Northeast Minneapolis’ favorite spot for tacos and mezcal, and the Shea-designed brand is set to expand to St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood.