The principal of Forum Studio talks about the future of office design, invisible architecture and collaborative design principals.
As the St. Louis based Forum Studio looks forward to 2014, its president, Chris Cedergreen contemplates the future of design. His approach to a diverse range of high-profile architecture and design projects, among them the Express Scripts and Flour Corporation headquarters, is passionate and nuanced. StoryTrack CEO, Lori Dowd, sat down for a conversation with Cedergreen.
StoryTrack: What will be the defining issues for the office buildings of the future?
Chris Cedergreen: Buildings have to be designed for the future so they have a future. The design must actually anticipate change because it’s inevitable, and arriving at bullet train speed. Office space needs to be very flexible, almost laboratory like space. As organizations return to profitability and growth, they want to control costs but they don’t want to sacrifice efficiency and creativity.
ST: In your experience, what is the design process driven by?
CC: The design process is ultimately driven by the people that are going to use the space. How can we affect people’s lives in a very positive way. It’s the enhancement of our built environment and the natural environment. How we combine those two and make the experience of life more positive.
ST: You’ve talked about this idea of “invisible architecture,” can you describe this?
CC: Invisible architecture is the way the design influences what you feel in a space or in the spaces in-between. What matters most is what transcends the workspace: productivity, interaction, collaboration, creativity, innovation.