Q: What aspect of interior design do you enjoy the most and why?
EN: I have always enjoyed the power behind solving problems. Growing up, I loved puzzles, watching how each piece had a certain place and purpose, all working together to create a bigger picture. This is why I appreciate the technical side of interior design and see it as a spring board towards a successful project. Similarly, programming shares this sense of challenge, incorporating the client’s needs and providing the best solution possible. Programming was also my favorite subject in school.
Q: Growing up, your grandfather was an architect. What did you learn from him that you are able to utilize in your work today?
EN: My grandfather exposed me to architecture at a young age. I grew up looking at his drawings, going to his office and watching how projects progressed, from start to finish. I remember one project in particular that has stuck with me. He was designing a local church. I recall looking at all the drawings and being so enthralled with the vast scale of the building. Every time I visited him I would love to see the new sketches and how the design of the church changed. When the project was completed, he took me to the site, and I was able to see all of the sketches come to life. It was my first exposure to the design process. Through this, he taught me appreciation for architectural design and the importance of patience and precision.
Q: What similarities do you see between designing for a major fitness brand and designing for corporate interiors? How are you able to apply this experience to workplace interiors?
EN: I see similarities in understanding the market and the client. While at Equinox, I was working in teams that designed health clubs that responded to factors such as location, client, market and current trends. We worked to craft a tailored fit for each club. This is comparable to the work I have done with Huntsman thus far. We cater towards the client’s needs, where they are located or moving to, and provide an understanding of the market. This comes back to being a part of a great company that works hard to produce quality projects for their clients.
Q: Based on your experience at Equinox, what are some ways the office environment can benefit from incorporating more fitness and well-being initiatives that are not yet present?
EN: In my opinion, treadmill workstations reflect the evolution/merge of a new lifestyle and professional environment, and it’s becoming more common in the workplace. It’s not limited to tech companies anymore. Healthy initiatives are becoming a part of the overall office environment. By incorporating more wellbeing initiatives, companies promote a healthier work environment and in turn healthier/happier employees. Studies have even shown that morale and employee performance increases as the office offers a better balance between work and personal life.
Q: As they join the workforce, millennials are bringing new trends, technologies and lifestyles to the workplace. How do you think the office will evolve to accommodate this new generation?
EN: The workplace is deviating from the idea of working at a permanent desk from 9-5. As millennials are joining the workforce, expectations about the workplace are changing. So are perceptions about office culture and environment. Flexibility is a huge factor, the need to have flexible hours and areas to work. The office is feeling the impact of these desires and making changes to accommodate them. Office layouts are integrating new strategies for flexibility and variety to enhance creativity and more importantly the productivity of their new workforce. This in turn is driving the innovation of office design.
Q: What do you want to learn or accomplish here at Huntsman?
EN: Having only recently begun my career within corporate planning and design, I would like to learn about every aspect and develop my skills as a designer. I am at that stage where I want to soak in as much information as possible, and I look forward to opportunities that will allow me to weave in my unique perspective. I find it fascinating to learn about the composition of a product and the testing it has to go through. I want to better understand the relationship between products and their impact on the designed environment.