Shea Links: December

At Shea, we pride ourselves on staying on top of what’s happening in design news. 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. Here are some recent articles delving into design, experience, and what’s buzzing in our community:

“Working Well: Office Design for Good Mental Health” – Work Design:
Work Design rounds up ways that office design can be a factor in improving mental health as the corporate focus shifts to a wider acknowledgment of the advantages of having happy and healthy employees—mental health has been shown to be critical for workplace engagement. The tips include incorporating biophilia (for ventilation as well as reduced anxiety), allowing natural light in, creating diverse spaces for employees to find the one that is most productive for them, creating relaxation zones, and fostering a sense of community.

“When Dining Outside Isn’t Really Outside: Rethinking the Safety of Outdoor Dining Winter Solutions” – Restaurant Hospitality:
Although yurts, tents, and igloos have been exploding in popularity as a result of the pandemic, experts say that they may not really be safer than indoor dining, depending how much air flow the seating area is getting, how often the outdoor dining space is sanitized, and how far apart parties are spaced. To make these structures safest, they should be breezy, with plenty of airflow, and parties should be spaced as far apart as possible (well over six feet). And proper sanitation between parties is extremely important, as well as letting them air between groups. Operators also need to plan for employee safety by limiting face-to-face interaction as possible.

“Vivir Opens to Breathe New Life into Northeast” – Shea:
The new sister space to Centro in Northeast Minneapolis, Mexican restaurant and market Vivir is officially open for business, with a fresh Shea face.

“How Retail Design Insights Will inspire Workplace Design” – Work Design:
Work Design looks at how to create memorable design experiences in offices by taking cues from retail design to help improve company engagement and brand loyalty. Workplaces can use touchpoints that reflect an employer’s values to make an impact on workers, and retail is a strong indicator that creating a unique experience for anyone in any space will help create a community. Since the value of an office lies in promoting sharing and learning (both intentionally and passively), community spaces are key in supporting those connections between coworkers. First impressions are also imperative, as is incorporating technology and mapping a full, authentic experience for employees and visitors alike through the office.

“The Country Club of the Future” – Forbes:
Forbes looks at the next generation of country clubs, with traditions evolving or being transcended in order for the exclusive spaces to thrive. Exclusivity will still reign, but in a more virtual sense, and catered to a younger generation. Furthermore, country clubs will need to offer a blend of spaces and environments for work-oriented members and those looking for family community areas. Sustainability will be big in attracting future generations, and relaxing rules of formality will be imperative to draw new members—and this means rebranding, remessaging, and redesigning to show that the club is forward-thinking.

“5 Ways Buildings Can Improve Mental Health” – Interiors + Sources:
This Interiors + Sources piece breaks down how the WELL Building Standard can work in commercial buildings to improve mental health for occupants (and improve their productivity as well). WELL standards offer several opportunities for buildings to improve mental health, detailed in this story, including adding spaces for physical activity, emergency preparedness, enhanced occupant surveys, visual and physical ergonomics, and active furnishings.

“Taking Stock of the Food and Beverage Forecast for Hotel Dining in 2021” – Restaurant Hospitality:
The Vice President of Food and Beverage at hotel-management company HRI Lodging weighs in on what he sees coming for hotel-dining programs next year across the country. The interview covers the shifts that hotels have made, which ones will continue into the new year and which are temporary, how labor efficiency will affect the market, and what trends and concepts will top hospitality agendas in 2021.

“This Is What the Office Will Look Like in 2022” – Fast Company:
A great read regarding where commercial real estate is headed, this piece has four predictions for what will happen in the workplace sector in coming years. The hybrid workforce—one where employees split their time between office and home—will be prevalent, and offices may downsize to support that. Offices will become corporate centers for collaboration and team-building rather than necessarily places to go daily, and many corporations are prioritizing decentralization in their offices (like the popular “hub-and-spoke” idea).

“Designing With Distance: How Restaurants Are Evolving to Meet Pandemic Needs” – Restaurant Dive:
A long-form, deep-dive update piece on the state of restaurant pivots as hospitality spaces continue to try to engage customers in the era of a pandemic. The highlights include minimizing indoor interaction while maximizing the experience (and falls into camps of those who believe in several separate private spaces versus communal spaces with extra safety precautions like shields put in place), shifting design focus and dollars to the outdoors (via the expansion of outdoor and semi-enclosed dining with more operable walls and windows), and finding fresh and innovative ways to merge the physical and digital experience (to enhance the consumer touchpoint while also expanding the impact on the built environment).