George Kahler and Workplace Design Today: Q&A

Recently relocating to New York from Dubai, UAE, George brings more than 17 years of interior design experience in London, Sydney and the Middle East. Specializing in workplace interiors, George’s portfolio also includes retail and hospitality projects for some of the world’s best-known brands with creative spaces that have amassed international recognition. Consistently named one of the most influential interior designers in the Middle East with a client list that includes The Boston Consulting Group, Pfizer, and Deloitte, George brings a strong technical foundation layered with global design insights and an innovative spirit to elevate the design profile of the New York office and continue to nurture its success.


We asked George to share his insights on workplace design trends and the key differences between international and domestic workplace design. Read George's take on workplace design trends below.





What are the biggest challenges affecting workplace design today? 


The increasingly volatile global economic landscape fundamentally questions how organizations function. Large and small-scale businesses need to truly understand themselves and try to predict the rapidly changing landscape ahead of them to ensure they have a working environment that can support their dynamic and changing requirements.

 

Do any differences stand out between domestic and international workplace design? What are some trends and values you see making their way to the United States?


Good workplace design needs to allow for all ages and cultures to successfully communicate under one roof and for organizations to interact on a global scale. Therefore, there is a common thread that can be applied to workplace projects universally. There are, however, local cultural and ceremonial customs that can be applied regionally to give staff a sense of authenticity, belonging, and ownership.

The influx of high quality hospitality spaces has raised the bar universally in terms of customer service and luxury within the built environment, and we are putting more emphasis on hospitality spaces and general comfort levels for the employee experience in our workplace projects.

 

What progress have we made and what work is still ahead?


The universal recognition of design “trends” into accepted and proven design solutions such as the open office landscape is a major step forward. Successfully integrated technology and mobile working are now commonplace. A larger understanding of the effects of our personal well-being and our office environment is still not fully acknowledged, but with programs like the WELL Building Standards we now have tangible and measurable standards to demonstrate that well-being in the workplace is paramount.
			
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