Along with addressing Climate and Health as measures of successful design for our new studio, Equity is the third driver we consider in all our work. Designing through an Equity lens recognizes that each person’s needs are different, and for this reason we must provide choice and diversity to provide the optimal the work setting.
The ultimate goal of the Bora studio is an inspirational and productive work environment, one where everyone has the ability to self-actualize. While this desired outcome is the same for everyone who spends time in the space, individual paths for getting there will diverge in widely different, but equally legitimate, ways.
The design of an equitable work environment begins with the belief that everyone is unique, and that their uniqueness must be addressed by their environment to bring out their full potential. The Bora studio is designed around the idea of choice. Abundant options allow each individual to concoct a work environment that allows them to thrive. This includes variation in seating arrangements, auditory environments, thermal conditions, and illumination, a direct result of interactive office-wide design sessions in which we asked staff to identify their various work activities (see left). Outside the studio, the site’s inner Southeast location offers a variety of transportation options while the dense urban neighborhood provides a plethora of food choices.
Choice means humanity. A building should not ask its occupants to conform, but must be able to conform itself to serve needs as unique as the humans who occupy it. Choice also leads to agency and empowerment. Those who feel welcome will be able to speak up, contribute, and focus on the bigger issues at hand—like keeping the building on target to achieve its net zero ambition.