Power of Design: Discussion with Anna Hart

Last week, our director Anna Hart joined Rise Art in their collaboration with Edge Architecture to discuss ‘The Power of Design’

The panel was chaired by Scott Phillips of Rise Art with panellists including Jonathan Clarke – Director of Human Resources, Kilburn and Strode, Isabelle Dauchez – Associate, EDGE Architecture and Anna Hart – Director, Hart Miller Design.

Conversation across the panel looked at why organisations engage designers, discussing the impact of investment in this process and what of the outputs are of value in both the workplace and hospitality sectors.

The discussion was well attended and we’ve shared some of the thoughts that were discussed during the morning.

‘What is design’ kicked off the discussion looking at the wider impact of design as a catalyst for change in both an organisational sense and as an opportunity for growth in wellbeing and productivity. Anna championed our approach to projects that sees the design process as a tool that can enable and encourage discussion to look at what are the wider opportunities for a business when looking to commission a designer.

“Our office move has made us bolder and braver in everything we do”

Jonathan Clarke, Kilburn & Strode

Focusing on workplace design commissions the design process for a refurbishment or office move starts with the process of engaging with the team across an organisation. Often termed ‘change management’ this stage of the design process is where the drivers and aspirations for a project are often unearthed.

The outward measure of needing to design a new workplace may be that an organisation doesn’t have enough space to accommodate a growing team, or that the employees aren’t motivated but through engaging with the employees it can come to light what other factors may be at play.

It could be that the types of space available aren’t supporting the work that needs to get done or that staff have nowhere to step away from their everyday tasks to eat lunch and connect with colleagues.  Through understanding an organisation a brief can be developed that define a blend of work settings to support your organisation. Space has the power to cultivate change.

“Good design is a conversation with the client”

Isabelle Dauchez – Edge Architecture

Director of Human Resources Jonathan Clarke said “that engaging in the design process had allowed their very traditional organisation to look at changing their cultural in a much broader sense, addressing the need to attract graduates in what is historically a very traditional working environment”.

The discussion touched on the continuing blend of hospitality offerings within the workplace which continues grow.

Fifteen plus years ago the hospitality offer within the workplace was limited to larger corporations providing staff with a restaurant facility that was operational during traditional ‘lunch times’ but within her own career Anna discussed how this has changed so dramatically that now a hospitality offering within a workplace is considered as so much more crucial to the wellbeing of staff and is a space that can be utilised for work throughout the day; be that meeting over coffee or getting a piece of writing done in the hubbub of it all.

“Good design is helping people do the best they can in their day-to-day”

Anna Hart, Hart Miller Design

These settings by no means suit all personality types and this took us back to the importance of understanding the culture and needs of employees within an organisation for varied settings. For some the social spaces aren’t their comfort zone and they may well perform better within a quiet study booth.

The hospitality blended workplace is without doubt continuing to suit many individuals with the rise in hospitality brands such as Soho House and The Hoxton expanding in to co-working sectors creating ‘Soho Works’ and ‘Working From’ respectively. Their offer is to members who have been blurring the boundaries of the traditional office by filling up the lobbies of their hotels and members clubs to such effect that those members wanting to eat have been struggling to find a table that’s not being occupied by a long-standing laptop user.

In summary, the talk was an interesting debate and we’re looking forward to exploring the topic further in our forthcoming blog posts. Rise Art are hosting further panel discussions, view their events schedule here. Make sure you don’t miss out on our latest articles – sign up to our newsletter.

Words: Anna Hart

The Power of Design: Breakfast and Talk

On Thursday 30th January, Hart Miller Design director Anna Hart will join a panel of experts for a breakfast talk entitled ‘How design innovation in the workplace and public spaces is changing the way employees, customers and clients all interact with brands.’

The talk takes place at Avenue, 7-9 St. James’s Street, London, SW1A 1EE and is hosted by EDGE and Rise Art.

The schedule for the breakfast talk is as follows:

8.00am Coffee, pastries and networking

8.30am – Presentation and panellist discussion

9.15am – Q&A

9.30am – Coffee and networking

The breakfast event will look at design trends and how within a commercial environment they influence wellness, employee engagement, loyalty and productivity.

Introduction to the expert panellists :

Jonathan Clarke

Director of Human Resources, Kilburn and Strode

Jonathan brings 25 years’ experience and has built his experience working at a charity, within central government, a global audit and consulting practice and a major international law firm. He is also proud to be a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. An integral part of Jonathan’s work ethic is the belief that everyone should bring their whole self to work and it is something he actively encourages in his own workplace. He believes if you can be yourself, you tend to be at your best.

Isabelle Dauchez

Associate, Edge architecture + design Ltd

An interior design and workplace consultancy specialist at Edge architecture + design Ltd, adept in management of the design and delivery of contemporary good practice. She has the deep analytical approach to project data that is key to formulating the coherent project brief that will fully deliver all requirements. Isabelle is passionate about understanding the human experience within an environment and has become a champion of Wellness within the workplace. She obtains immense satisfaction from producing well informed space plans and designing bespoke solutions reflective of her clients’ culture and aspirations and, as a ‘Furniture fiend’, to introducing them to the most appropriate furniture solutions. Beyond the office, she is an avid reader and a ‘city hiker’; a relentless explorer of urban space.

Anna Hart

Founder, Hart Miller Design

Anna heads up the Hart Miller Design studio, working on a varied portfolio of projects that span hospitality and workplace. She brings 20 years of experience and insight in understanding the culture, brand and aspirations of our clients from the outset.  She then leads from the front, ensuring her design team deliver spaces that put people at their heart. In 2017 Anna was awarded FX Product Designer of the Year for her work across disciplines and together with co-founder John Miller was awarded Mixology Design Team of the Year.

The moderator for the session will be

Scott Phillips

Founder and CEO, Rise Art

Scott’s career has spanned both the media and technology sectors. Scott focuses on the commercial and operational aspects of Rise Art, and works with our artists and collectors on a daily basis. He enjoys spending an afternoon at the Tate, loves the RCA’s Secret Exhibition, and attends as many degree shows and art fairs as possible.

If you are interested in attending this event, please email [email protected]

A conversation looking at the challenges of sustainable interior design choices.

Co-founder of Hart Miller Design, and our sister furniture company MARK ProductAnna Hart, recently led a conversation as part of the VI Insights event ‘exploring the opportunities & challenges for sustainable interior design’.

Anna is well positioned to debate the challenges faced by designers to make correctly informed, sustainable choices when reviewing products, materials and finishes with her expertise spanning both the design and manufacturing worlds.

Joined for this discussion by sustainability expert Bysshe Wallace (Element Four), furniture specialist Dominick Pegram (Salt&Pegram) and industry Veronica Kingsley (Formica) themes covered included changing our tastes as to how we measure beauty, how industry  has or hasn’t actually changed and how more open dialogue could help fuel positive progress.

You can catch up on the discussion here.