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You never get a second chance on a first impression. A cliché talking about a first meeting between people, but not less true for an interior of an office or store. Upon entrance you immediately get an impression of the organisation. So besides ideas about what looks good and is functional, it is important to think about what you want to bring across.
Graphical designers try to represent the values of a company in its logo and .corporate identity. For the interior the same applies: the interior is the positioning of your organisation and therefore must be distinctive in the same way as a logo or corporate identity. The interior provokes reactions and feelings, this must be cohesive with your values as a company.
For the main office of Saltro in Utrecht I used the corporate identity, developed by graphical designers, as starting point for the interior. The corporate identity was cool with powerful colours. Suiting the healthcare supplier specialised in diagnostics well. A good and quick diagnosis is important for doctor and patient. This is not the soft side of healthcare, things need to get done. The no-nonsense corporate identity is a perfect match. It felt right to translate this into the interior. This way the organisation has a uniform look whether you are looking at the website or standing in the main office.
Often companies strive to a beautiful and luxury image, but sometimes a cheap look is chosen on purpose. The lights in the Aldi and Lidl intentionally are a bit colder. This makes things look less culinary as at the Albert Heijn and that is exactly what they are going for, it looks cheaper. The UWV re-examination centres were also looking for a new interior not appearing to expensive. For a governmental institution guiding unemployed people towards a new job, extravagance is uncalled for. The interior itself wasn't necessarily cheap of course. Solidity and safety comes with a price. It's all about the image you want to have and interior is an effective tool to create this.Joke van Kerschaver is architect and interior designer and has her own studio: INSUITE in Breda. Photography: Maron Branderhorst.
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