One of our artist managers Natalie Robinson ran a job with Dexus Property Guru's to help revamp an existing Office space in Sydney CBD. The aim was to create a functional inviting work space with a point of difference, we chatted with Natalie and artist Irene Feleo about the project.
What were your considerations when choosing plants for this interior space?
Natalie: We wanted something that would not only look good but would add to the work culture of the space. Our aim was to open up and bring life to an office that was quite dull. We worked with artist, Irene Feleo, to create some beautiful custom made art to fill some of the walls. Our plant choices reflected the lively organic shapes in her illustrations. Also it didn't hurt to choose plants that were office-proof and thrived on neglect.
Do you think your environment affects your work ethic/productivity?
Natalie: Yes definitely!
While working on this I did a little research and found a University of Queensland study that a 'green office', or an office with plants, makes employees happier and boosts productivity by 15%. Plants in the office can improve employee satisfaction and quality of life.
I feel the same way about art in the workplace. I feel very lucky that our studio is filled to the brim with art. Whenever I'm starting to get a bit cross-eyed from looking at screens I just look up at our walls to give my eyes a rest.
What are the key elements you consider when changing a work place environment.
Natalie: When changing a work space, you need to consider who are the people that are going to be spending day in, day out in this place. What defines them? What is their work philosophy and goals? Once you have that, you can then curate a space that reflects and gives back to the people within it.
Is there a difference in creating something for a shared space rather than a commercial product?
Irene: I guess the mindset and the intention when going in is different because instead of trying to work to a specific brand or look you are a lot more open to creating something that works within an enviroment - which leaves a lot more options! I also find its better to illustrate things that can be interpreted or suitable for different people, so keeping it simple and playing with elements like colour and shape to help create a mood or atmosphere. It's a balancing act of being simple but still expressive and also creating something that is open to interpretation.
Why do you think we put picture s on our walls?
Irene: I think art serves its place on walls because it's nice to have something that inspires you or is just a little bit of eye candy to look at from time to time. It also helps create a story for the space, create atmosphere and also tell the narrative of the people within that environment. Tattoo stores tend to display their sheets of flash, gall
Do you think a creative space leads to productivity in the work place?
Irene: Definitely! Inspiring spaces leads to an inspiring state of mind. I think curating your space is an important part of your productivity. I often can't start working until my room is clean, and make a point of filling my walls and bookshelves with things that I love. It's effect is subtle but basically the happier you are in your space the more likely you are to be productive, imaginative and creative.