Now she has settled into her new position at Bluespace ltd, we sat down with interior designer Mahisha to learn what inspires her about creating innovative and unique workspaces.
Tell us a little bit about you…
From a very young age I’ve always known that I wanted to be an interior designer as I’ve always been quite a creative person. This then heavily influenced which subjects I studied at high school and sixth form, opting for the more creative topics. Following sixth form, I studied BA (Hons) Interior Design and graduated from Norwich University of the Arts in 2021.
I worked with a retail design company shortly after graduating to gain experience within the design industry. I then joined Bluespace in late 2021 to specialise in office design, which is an area I’m really passionate about.
What inspires you as a designer?
As a designer, what inspires me most comes from articles, exhibitions and visiting showrooms. I’m a visual learner, so visiting shows and exhibitions helps me to envision new and upcoming designs, whilst staying on top of the latest trends. I also pay careful attention to my surroundings when I’m in a space, to see the different styles and features, which I could then potentially use as inspiration.
In particular I have noticed a move towards flexible working to cater for different personalities. I would like the opportunity to incorporate more of this style when designing open plan offices, as it can drastically change the way a person works in which area.
What has been your favourite project in your career to date?
My favourite project has to be the ladies toilets at Alan Boswell, Prospect House. This was one of my earlier projects, in which I was able to show 2D and 3D concepts. This was a very challenging project, as I had to make sure that the design complied with the correct building regulations. Even though it was a very small project, I still look back on this fondly as it shows how far I’ve come as a designer.
For this project, I created some concept plans, put together some renders through Sketchup, and then created a presentation ready for the client to view. Through this process I learnt how to make my renders more realistic, which can make a big difference to a client’s opinion on a design. I also learnt how to make my 2D CAD plans more appealing and clear for the client to view.
What challenges do you face as an office designer?
As an office designer, I have to consider the practicalities when designing a commercial space, which can be difficult when trying to create a visually stunning design. For example, we have to think about the impact of heavy foot traffic and whether or not a space will need hard-wearing materials.
I also think that trying to fit in a certain number of employees can be quite challenging, as some spaces won’t always be accommodating. However, since working at Bluespace, I’ve learnt to try and think outside the box when trying to plan out desks.
Another challenge that I’ve faced is trying to adapt to different styles. Many companies have different branding guidelines and origins, which can influence what type of design style a client will want. My time at Bluespace has taught me many skills, including how to be more flexible as a designer.
Why did you choose to follow a career in interior design?
I chose to follow a career in interior design because as an individual I’ve always been creative and wanted to apply this creativity to a more practical setting. Growing up I’ve always watched interior design shows, these were the first source of inspiration which encouraged me to look further into this area. Every time I see a transformation of a space it still amazes me.
One thing I love about my role as an interior designer is being able to create realistic renders as they always amaze our clients and helps them to reimagine the space. It’s really lovely to always be able to exceed the client’s expectations.
Where do you see the future of office design?
I see the future of office design moving towards an agile and more collaborative workspace, due to the flexibility of working wherever. In particular, furniture on castors seem to be on trend currently, as people want the freedom to choose what sort of environment they want to work in.
I also believe that offices will be more collaborative as many individuals can work from home effectively, but group work has to be done in person. Since the pandemic, we’ve noticed that companies are starting to move away from fixed desking and are starting to focus more on collaborative furniture.
Another trend that I’ve noticed is the increase in pods within the open plan office. I’ve worked on some big open plan offices and one thing that we’ve been trying to incorporate is more zones. The open plan office can sometimes get too noisy for some people, so we’ve been trying to introducemore pods to create quiet zones, as well as collaborative zones.
What’s your favourite style of interior design/trend?
My favourite style is contemporary design as I love how luxurious this style can be. Contemporary design uses state of the art materials to create clean and subtle lines. I also like the use of neutral tones to create a calming space, with light pops of colour.
What is one style/design trend you would love to never see again?
One design style that I would love to never see again is Art Deco. Art Deco revolves around prints, patterns and vintage furniture. The reason why I dislike this style is because I think it’s very old fashioned and isn’t very practical for long term use of a space.
The Forum and Blue Space have developed an excellent working partnership over a number of years with projects or varying sizes and complexity. We’ve always been impressed with Bluespace’s ability to deliver innovative design solutions through projects that are on time and within budget.