2020 Customer Spotlight
Amanda George, winner of the 2020 Office Inspiration awards, is a recent graduate from the Industrial Design program at University of Wisconsin Stout (2017). She started working for Safco as a space design specialist because it was a design-oriented career with the possibility of working in product design as well.
“Currently, I do CAD drafting for many product lines,” says Amanda, “but predominantly the high-density filing systems we manufacture. The opportunity to design an office or collaborative space is cherished whenever it lands on my desk!”
Question & Answer Session
When did you start using 2020 Visual Impression and what were some of your reasons for choosing that software?
I started using 2020 Visual Impression when I was first hired by Safco just over a year ago. It produces great renderings quickly and allows for custom finishes and colors, which come in handy.
What are some of the most helpful features you use in 2020 Visual Impression and why?
I appreciate the ability to add custom finishes and textures! So often something as simple as scaling a finish to look more accurate can make a render come alive.
What has been your experience working with 2020?
I came with no training, and our initial training was just enough to get us started with quoting. Within the last few months, we have delved into updating our pricing and finishes, and we truly appreciate the customer service we receive. I don’t know how many times I have had to call but I am always greeted by a friendly associate!
What was the inspiration behind the design you submitted for the 2020 Office contest?
This space was largely influenced by the color palette. Lately I love dark, smoky blues, so I used that on our 4-post shelving and the trim throughout the room. Floors with some character and a tin ceiling imply it is a remodel of an older building, and clean contemporary furnishings keep it a functional and modern space.
About the Designer
Favorite design style:
Modern, especially with a Scandinavian flare + warm industrial.
Favorite industry site/blog:
OLD BRAND NEW or Cool Hunting’s design blog
Hans J. Wegner
Quote that inspires you:
“The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness.” - Joan Miró
Describe your creative process. What questions do you ask your clients? Where do you get your inspirations from?
Because I am in the space-planning department and not truly an interior designer, I do not get to work much with finishes and final renders. Our work focuses mostly on functionality and ergonomics so that is always the priority. If the end user’s company is mentioned, I will sometimes look up their corporate colors and use those on our products to make it a more personal space.
What is your favorite style of office to design?
I have recently been working with a designer on an open office space that is going into a renovated mill. It is all collaborative space with a few smaller offices for breakaway work areas and meeting rooms. It is open, warm, and casual, and I think it really sums up office design preferences.
What are some of your favorite manufacturer catalogs to use in your design projects?
Working for a manufacturer means I only use our product! But I featured some of my favorite lines, e5 from legacy Mayline products, in this render. It is flexible and contemporary and fits in almost any space. I also think we have some of the best trash receptacles – a small detail that can pull an entire room together.
What guidance would you provide to any designer who is considering 3D CAD tools for office design?
First and foremost – remember that it is a software, not a real image. You will likely never attain a true photo-like image so lean into the digital media!
I think our tendency is to try our best to replicate real life, but this is completely commitment-free – try some funky colors, use interesting light effects, and utilize different views and angles. Think of curating the atmosphere you want to create, not just producing an image of an office.
What do you predict for office design trends in the future?
I think the resimercial (some like to call it ambidextrous) movement will take over. Many smaller companies have put out new lines of soft seating and occasional tables that align with their more traditional office furniture. Combining these two can take the formality out of offices, which many new start-ups and up-and-coming companies seem to gravitate towards. People spend the majority of their day in the office and should be able to do their work in comfort!
Tell us something unusual that has happened in your career.
My career hasn’t been long enough for anything unusual to happen! Give me a few more years in the industry, I’m sure I will have plenty of stories.
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