The Huffington Post has published an extensive Q&A interview piece with Mark Hirons, Interior Design Magazine’s 2017 Workplace Designer of the Year. As the piece notes, “Anyone who knows Mark will agree there is no individual more deserving of the title. In addition to being a talented designer and amazing mentor, (Mark) is one of the most humble, genuine guys you will ever meet.”
Mark received the Workplace Designer of the Year recognition as part of Interior Design’s annual Honoring Industry People and Products (HiP) program. The award builds on Mark’s sterling reputation as one of the world’s leading interior designers and architects. It also speaks to the quality of his recent work with CJ Blossom Park, Zurich North America, Roche Diagnostics and other key clients.
The full Q&A article is available online. Below are key excerpts.
On the biggest changes influencing workplace design in 2017
Today’s workplace needs to be nimbler. It needs to find creative new ways to offer choice, flexibility and personal control to an ever-growing spectrum of workers. Ultimately, the strongest workplaces are those that find ways to be both experiential in order to attract and retain top talent and transparent to authentically translate company cultures.
On responding to each unique client
Workplace design should always reflect empathy as opposed to apathy. Designers should never just apply current norms and expectations to the next project. Instead, workplace design constantly should be responding to each organization’s unique challenges, listening thoughtfully and foreseeing new opportunity. This is how workplace design moves beyond a spatial solution to a means of achieving real positive impact and forging new ideas.
On what every successful workplace should have in it
I wouldn’t pick things, I’d pick characteristics. Every workplace needs to have purpose, offer delight, be intuitive and memorable. Curating what experiences will resonate with different clients to achieve these qualities is ultimately part of the fun.
On advice for young designers
Never forget to listen and seek to truly understand others and their needs… as often the best opportunities lie beyond initial expectations. Never stop learning. Push yourself to create a story that becomes each client’s favorite to tell others about their space. And, lastly, never stop drawing – it serves as your expression to explore.