Earlier this year, Bill Bouchey made a bold career change, moving from a position as design principal at Mancini Duffy to become the design director for M Moser, a global architecture firm specializing in corporate office environments. As a 20-year industry veteran and board member for IIDA and Contract magazine, Bouchey’s experience and dedication, as well as passion, are truly inspiring.
Bouchey took a few moments to speak with Contract and share some of his goals and design aspirations, as well as current trends in corporate design.
1. What plans do you have going forward at M Moser? What are your next steps?
The plan for the NYC office is to work collaboratively with David Weinberg, our New York head of office, and our New York directors to do 3 things: Serve our clients (both global and local in origin) and share their best practice solutions for workplace design, including the comprehensive IPD approach; grow the New York City-based practice; and influence and stimulate world class design that supports our clients’ business objectives.
2. What drew you to specialize in corporate design?
I am attracted to the complexity of achieving the high functioning workplace, which I think of as the opposite of “designing for the sake of design.” Having to provide effective solutions that combine workflow/patterns, human nature, and branding, and are also visually beautiful, demand a rigor and passion that is exciting and ultimately satisfying.
3. How can business and strategy be improved by workplace design?
Workplace design provides environments that reflect the attitudes of their respective workforce and are designed to be flexible. Corporations that have the courage to overcome hierarchy while attempting to do this stand to benefit on every level.
4. What are some of the big themes in this segment right now?
Sustainability and growing global awareness are two hot topics. Increased curiosity by small/medium sizes businesses to understand how the workplace is designed for the global company can benefit them. Also, strategic services to assist companies with large real-estate portfolios and shrinking workforces are on the increase.
5. How does workplace design differ globally from region to region? Or are there basic similarities?
We have found that European and American companies in Asia are generally more progressive and emphasize environments that reflect activity-based work more literally. They have higher utilization rates and less hierarchy, achieving higher employee satisfaction. In North America, this finding is less common across the board.
6. Where do you see corporate design headed in the future?
A continued and growing emphasis on collaboration, branding, and choice of settings in the workplace in order to be competitive and grow—all while reducing overhead costs—lies ahead. Technology of course is of growing importance, but I believe there is a ceiling to collaboration; some segments of the workforce/industries the feeling of connectivity (getting work done with others) will always take precedence over all virtual tools.
7. What is your overall definition of design?
An outcome, process, or approach that is collaborative, creative, and dynamic.
8. What has been your greatest design challenge?
To exceed our clients expectations on every collaboration.
9. What has been your favorite project to date?
Projects I have collaborated on are only a few of my favorite experiences.