Justyna Teale is a member of the space planning team here at Flexiform. A graduate in Interior Architecture (Leeds College of Art) she arrived here back in 2014 with plenty of experience having worked in the furniture industry for a number of years.
What is your greatest achievement during your time at Flexiform?
I am proud to be the person to implement the BIM technology for Flexiform. It has been a long journey getting such an extensive product range drawn up, but now I’m happy to say all our product ranges are available to architects and designers as downloadable 3d blocks inclusion in their own projects.
That sounds like a huge project, so what is BIM?
“Building Information Modelling” is the process of designing a building collaboratively using one common system of models rather than as separate sets of drawings. For example, an architect can design a building and import compatible blocks for the entire project from different manufacturers and suppliers – furniture, electrical sockets, screws, sanitary products, absolutely everything in the building. Exporting a full schedule detailing every aspect of the project, saving in cost and time, much greater accuracy in estimating a project cost.
More and more of our projects are BIM-based, Architects often ask if we can supply our products and projects in a BIM format.
Where is office design going next?
Flexibility is becoming increasingly important in the workplace environment. The open plan concept is being re-evaluated in the world of workplace furniture. An office has become a landscape and a hub for a variety of activities – it has been recognised that a desk and chair is not always the optimal setting for the array of tasks we perform in the office. I think that the furniture industry will continue exploring solutions that are fit for specific tasks yet are not limiting for modern organisations, possibly moving away from the concept of a traditional personal workstation.
What do you enjoy about your role in Space Planning?
The variety! Our clients and sales teams are all over the country, so I can be called out anywhere to visit a site. We have some big name clients on our books, so I have worked with some huge organisations in my time with Flexiform. Kier, Greggs, HMRC so on. I really enjoy getting out and speaking to the customers, helping a customer work through the process of producing a workspace that looks good and functions well, is very satisfying. That can be an existing client looking for expansion or reconfiguration or a potential new client with a totally blank canvas. I enjoy the whole design process, but the best feeling is certainly walking onto a site on the day the installation is complete and seeing the finished job.
So, what is on your drawing board today?
I am currently working on a very large project for a public sector organisation. I can’t disclose any detail as all information on this as it is confidential – how exciting! Some might think that space planning boils down to arranging furniture on a plan, but even though this is a large part of my job, I come across a wide variety of projects with very different requirements. We discover organisations where a work day looks very different to what a lot of us envisage as a typical day in our office. We don’t just move furniture around, we try to understand each client’s different work styles and needs working with them, rather than dictate our views on how they should work. The modern workplace is an ever changing environment and the technology as well as shifts in the way organisations work, creates daily challenges to provide a bespoke solution that truly meets the needs of each client.
And the future?
Looking into the future, I would like to expand the use of Revit software to enhance the way in which we handle information on projects in-house and to make the most of the software’s ability to automate the generation of useful project data. Flexiform has just scratched the surface of what we can do.