‘I have been doing projects in India for almost 5 years. I am very fond of adaptive re-use architecture and retaining heritage within a culture. India is a culturally rich country overall and it’s been quite enriching. I’ve carried out projects in all cities whereby we have India offices to date’, says Antonis Panayides, Design Consultant, M Moser Associates in an exclusive interview with sawdust
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The Workplace of the Future, what ideas immediately come to mind?
The future office will become more autonomous, empowering and connected.
What does the new way of working mean for you personally? Why should we want to work in this new way?
The advent of mobile technology has provided us with the opportunity to achieve a better work life balance.There is no need to carry out work at a work desk, since business have become results oriented.
Can you give our readers a bit of the origin story of yourself and the firm?
I’ve been with the firm for over 10 years now. I carried out my formal studies in interior design in Canada, where I grew up. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work in a variety of multi-disciplinary firms including a variety of freelance work. In brief, M Moser Associates is a global firm which delivers ‘meaningful and transformative work environments’.
How did you get started in designing offices?
I embarked in office design whilst expanding on my career in London. At that stage in my career, working environments started to become more transformative with a diverse range of facilities. The challenge of providing a sense of community and well-being in the workplace was what drew me to this sector.
What are some significant changes that have happened in the workplace during the last 15 years that can help us better envision and plan for what the future might hold?
The future will see greater numbers of the population in urban centres. Technology has resulted in leading a more ‘virtual’ reality but the truth is that human beings are and always be communal. Our congregational nature will necessitate a working culture that ties us with our social network. I believe that technology will give us even greater freedom to carry out tasks in any suitable location that inspires the individual to carry out the task at hand most effectively.
How do we find our real place in the workplace?
You find your real place in the workplace when you feel that you’re part of a community, have a sense of belonging and most importantly a ‘voice’
Workplace branding seems to be often portrayed as simply the addition of company logos and colours. Do you find there are misconceptions about what it is or what it can be?
Workplace branding goes beyond pretty signs. I believe a brand evokes the lifestyle and overall culture of that workplace. Moreover, effective branding can address core values and corporate social responsibilities at a macroscale.
What areas are you most interested in exploring as a practice?
There are no limitations in terms of sectors. What is important is to evolve as a practice and we’re always open to new challenges.
Are there any areas you’re not interested in?
Hospitality is of interest since this discipline is merging more so with the workplace. All speciality fields and areas of expertise aid in informing a more well-rounded result.
Is there any relationship between designing a home and designing an office or are they totally separate fields
Of course, there is. Affinity to home in the workplace is crucial.
M Moser Associates have designed in 2017 City Tower, One Bay East Office – Hongkong; 51 Credit Card Offices-Hangzhou; Y Media Labs Offices – Redwood city; Prodigious offices – Brooklyn – What is different in every project. Can you share for our readers?
The difference in every project is that it’s result is individual due to varying operational requirements from one company to the next. There are a multitude of reasons as to why projects vary. We’ve mentioned core values which may result in a more ecologically minded client as opposed to a technology driven client. Culturally and geographically pose dramatic influences in terms of the result. Having said that, the general common trend is that the workplace has become less hierarchical and more egalitarian.
Tell us about your projects in India.
I have been doing projects in India for almost 5 years. I am very fond of adaptive re-use architecture and retaining heritage within a culture. India is a culturally rich country overall and it’s been quite enriching. I’ve carried out projects in all cities whereby we have India offices to date.
What is the relationship between an architect and photographer.
A talented photographer will bring out the vision of the architect and designer. Metaphorically, the architect writes the story and photographer skilfully tells it.
Can you describe an ideal work environment and when you’re not working, where would we most likely find you?
A buzzing café with a great cup of coffee. When not working I’m either with my family, or you’ll be able to find me in the sea snorkelling.
Before we conclude, is there any additional thoughts about ‘The Workplaces of the Future’ that you’d like to share?
I hope we can look towards a work future that allows us to work more effectively and balance our time with our families and children. I believe this is what work life balance is all about. Let’s hope our priorities will shift for the better in the future.