HOK’s Randa Tukan Explores How Design Fosters Human Connections
Randa Tukan, IDC, LEED AP BD+C, senior vice president and director of interior design for HOK in Canada, outlines how, with lines between different space types blurring, today’s designers are bringing people together in hotels, residential spaces, hospitals, offices, and sports and recreation venues.
“Despite the prevalence of Internet connections, we’re still yearning for human relationships, so connecting people is a common goal for every sector across our practice.”
“As residential units and hotel guestrooms are becoming smaller, amenities and public areas become complementary living spaces. Spaces are designed with varying levels of flexibility to accommodate a DJ or a quartet, wine tasting, a sampling of the chef’s special or an impromptu meeting for the local community and/or guests.”
“Corporate spaces are showing similar trends as more companies realize that spaces that engage their people improve productivity. Strategies include providing personal collaboration and breakout areas peppered throughout the workspace, as well as central ‘hub’ spaces where the larger group can come together for group activities.”
“As the scientific link between emotional well-being and healing grow stronger, there has been an increased focus on entertainment in hospitals. Some of the concepts include soundscaping, personalized entertainment systems in patient rooms, stronger connections to nature, and the development of museums or heritage centers.”
“In the sports and recreation sector, it’s increasingly challenging to get patrons to watch games and events outside their private living spaces. Architects must now provide additional entertainment spaces featuring multiple standing-room gathering spaces that combine dynamic digital displays, interactive messaging and social media content targeted to attendees. These features create connections between fans and athletes, marrying virtual connectivity with a physical entertainment experience.”