We pride ourselves on being a commercial interior design group that has experience in a variety of environments. In the last few years our work has created office environments (from manufacturers to a variety of service providers), retail environments (from stores to neighborhood dental/orthodontic practices), schools (charter schools and higher education spaces), hospitality and multi-family spaces (hotels and apartments), and religious spaces (worship and educational related).
Campus View Apartments, Clubhouse – Allendale, MI
While there is variety in the types of spaces, our customers have some key attributes in common:
- They have a budget
- They have a company story, a brand. Sometimes it is more developed than others.
- They want their space to appeal and attract customers as well as please current and future employees.
River House Condo – Grand Rapids, MI
Our design process, early in concept design, includes budget development. Our experience working with contractors and owners has given us perspective and knowledge that can identify budget issues early on, before all the design fees are spent.
Concept and developed design needs to reflect who the company is. We interview our clients, we listen as well as we can, and then summarize back to our customers what we heard.
Wolverine Power Cooperative, Conference Room – Cadillac, MI
Everyone wants their space to be beautiful. But even more importantly, it needs to attract the target customer and maintain and inspire the ideal customer. This is a focused aesthetic, delivered with restraint.
For more information, see our current company brochure:
So much more than runny noses, vaccinations, bumps and scrapes, a pediatric practice is a sophisticated business that manages the physical, behavioral and mental health issues for newborns through teenagers. There are lots of challenges, so the office design needs to create an environment that offers some efficiency and some fun.
r.o.i. Design learned so much working with ABC Pediatrics as we helped them with the interior design of their new offices in Wyoming, MI. We learned how they wanted to engage families with their interiors, but not be just “kid-like”. They wanted their space to look professional and simple, but very welcoming and comfortable. They needed it to be user friendly for staff and family which meant maintainable surfaces and easily identifiable areas. And there was a budget.
ABC Pediatrics Lobby
Starting with a color scheme that they currently use in their Walker location, r.o.i. Design “upped the ante” by intensifying some of the colors, adding pattern and interest, in thoughtful ways. Some of our favorite elements are the carpet accents, the color accents, the decorative lighting and the lobby furniture. Wall art will soon be added to the interior and we like those selections as well.
Interior corridor at ABC Pediatrics.
ABC Pediatrics also asked us to create a new logo for their practice. They wanted a logo that was as updated as their offices were, but more importantly, a representation of their brand. Interviewing them about how they viewed their distinctive difference, we came away with “Caring”, “Diverse” (ages and specialties), and “Child Centered”. They were very pleased with their new business logo designed by Ryan Bright, Creative Executive at r.o.i. Design.
ABC Pediatrics’ new logo.
More about designing for kids
r.o.i. Design has designed for younger audiences before so we had some clues on how this audience reacts to spaces. We know they see color differently than adults and appreciate any tactile detail. For more on our recent work for younger people please visit our page on Black River Schools and Northern Michigan Pediatric Dentistry.
More about ABC Pediatrics
Having outgrown their offices in Grandville, ABC decided to build a building that would be large enough to accommodate their expected growth of families from the south west side of Grand Rapids. Architect-at-Large created the footprint, and Pinnacle Construction was engaged to build the building, and when ABC inquired about interior design, Pinnacle recommended us for the assignment.
Learn more about ABC Pediatrics:
r.o.i. Design has been designing for retail for more than 20 years, but now that schools and universities have discovered their customers expect the same kinds of retail experiences on campus as they do in their communities, more than ever we find ourselves working for these institutions. On-campus stores are faced with new business challenges, and they have to be profitable in a time of change.
Unlike what the doomsayers predicted five years ago, books are still being sold in campus bookstores. But online competitors and used book providers continue to eat away at that business. Incoming freshman graduated from high schools where there were textbooks, and professors are still writing and using textbooks, so until those two trends change, there will be books in campus stores.
So the savvy campus stores are looking at other products and services that will eventually eclipse book sales. Leading categories today appear to be technology & communication (equipment and their repair), fashion & apparel, campus services (printing, product rentals, grocery, HBA, etc.) and entertainment (food service, movies and more).
Layout & Aesthetics:
Whether it is a gift shop, a concession stand, a book store, a copy center or a hotel, all these on-campus environments are being compared to their off-campus competitors. Very few students or staff are confined to campus for discretionary shopping.
While convenient, most outdated retail experiences on campus are seeing reduced sales.
Key retail design elements include lighting, store layout and merchandising, wayfinding and signage, and intuitive, easy check-out experiences. Store displays have to be clear and fresh.
Perhaps more difficult to change than product mix or store layout is the store culture and service attitude provided by staff. An institution that has previously considered all customer interface as administrative is now looking at how to change employee mind-sets. The new overall need for staff to be more flexible is paramount; to be open to work different hours, to work different jobs and to continue to be open to change. HR attitudes has further challenged some on-campus stores profitability.
The more on-campus stores can employ students and work to develop structures that hire and train students, the more successful their retailing will be.
This type of service situation (not just found in campus retail but in all retailers) motivated r.o.i. Design to start a consulting arm of their business where they work with teams to support these kinds of changes. See Accelerate ROI.
Marketing and Promotion:
Successful stores have independent marketing agendas and strategies, separate from the institution and marketing to the institution. Sometimes this means changes in staffing so there are resources internally available to support this effort.
Students need reminders of retail locations and what is being sold at those locations, continually. Social media and crowd-sourcing for marketing is undeniably the best tool to use on college campuses.
Campus View has been growing alongside Grand Valley State University for the last 50 years with a large inventory of apartments and town homes, and thousands of happy tenants. But as Grand Valley grows so do options for leasing and Campus View wanted to make their initial experience with potential new tenants reflect who they were more completely.
r.o.i. Design was engaged to redesign the “customer experience” in their lobby and entry. Campus View has made continual investment in amenities but those investments aren’t always visible to customers on their first visit, so the lobby had to become a welcome center and a “billboard”.
Removing the wall and counter that separated leasing staff from the inquiring customers was crucial. Opening up the space meant finding a way to lock down the office after hours, so r.o.i. Design created large sliding doors, that when closed, created a warm backdrop for the lobby.
The use of maple plywood to create office dividers, sliding doors, sales desk and the decorative panels in the hallway eliminated the coldness of the painted concrete block without having to drywall the entire space. The smaller block wall in the lobby was custom painted giving the block an intentional “artsy” look.
Campus View was so happy with the outcome that they sent us a personal thank-you that read, “We’re overjoyed with our updated facility and impressed with every aspect of working with your team. Thanks and we’d be thrilled to be a reference anytime. Cheers!”
For more about Campus View Apartments and Townhouses, click here.
The Grand Valley University Foundation (GVUF) is the umbrella organization and recognition society for all who give to the University through annual giving, capital campaigns, special giving or planned giving. And while the steady growth of the University is apparent, the Shaping Our Future Campaign was a landmark.
At the annual Enrichment Dinner in 2011, the foundation announced that not only did it meet the stretch goal of $75 million for the Shaping Our Future campaign, it exceeded it. Thanks to more than 17,000 donors, the foundation raised $96.4 million.*
The challenge of creating a “donor wall” with 17,000 names to acknowledge all the givers developed into an opportunity. The goal was to acknowledge the donors but also inspire students and alumni in the story of philanthropy of Grand Valley State University.
The GVUF committee wanted to create an interactive display using touch screen technology and video to invite technologically-inclined students to engage with the exhibit. r.o.i Design, who also designed the L. William Seidman exhibit at the L. William Seidman School of Business, was asked to design and manage the execution of the donor exhibit.
The foundation developed all lists, all copy and compiled photos, giving r.o.i. Design the assignment to design and develop the graphics, the exhibit and hire the team who could complete the work. Along the way, it was determined that in addition to the Shaping Our Future donors, all donors in recent history should also have a way to be acknowledged in the touch screen experience.
The exhibit was installed at the Student Services Center in Allendale in July 2016. We acknowledge the efforts and contributions of CK Productions for compiling the video, Underbite Games for the touch screen app, Superior Wood Products for the exhibit casework and Custer Tech for the AV equipment.
For more about the GVUF click here.
* The results of the Shaping Our Future campaign, Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons and the L. William Seidman Center, were both dedicated with much celebration by the Grand Valley community and the foundation in the Fall of 2013.
Grand Valley State University
The new 40,000 SF marketplace retail facility at the Allendale campus of Grand Valley State University will be open to students this month.
The planning of the store started in 2012 when the University Book Store team researched other university stores to see the trends in campus retail. We weren’t surprised to learn:
- Books are no longer the big seller. If students haven’t converted to electronic books, they probably are shopping online for the best price for used books. The name of the store is now officially GVSU Laker Store, no more “book” store.
- Food and technology are part of the experience. At GVSU Laker Store there will be a department where students can purchase hardware and software for most of their technology needs. Adjacent to the store, outside the door, Starbucks and Which Wich are ready to capture the shoppers on their arrival and exits.
- They are competing with off campus retail experiences for fashion and active wear. For GVSU Laker Store that means competing with product mix, service and store design. That’s where r.o.i. Design comes in.
As part of the Fishbeck Thompson Carr & Huber (FTC&H) design team, we worked with the store staff, GVSU facility managers and FTC&H to come up with a competitive experience. The criteria for design was to create a space that resonates with the student experience of “making unique choices”. We want the student to recognize themselves in some elements or parts of the store through the variety of finishes and graphics. We wanted them to take ownership and be proud of their school store. “Lakers for Life”.
Some of our favorite parts of the design:
- Custom tile: using the universal symbols for academic departments, we created a mosaic of color to indicate all choices of study and types of students were welcome here.
- Media Display: In the taller part of the store, 9 screens create a large display that can either show one large image or up to 9 individual images. The plan is to show real time GVSU athletic games and musical performances while students and their family shop.
- Custom graphics: using the letters G, V, S and U, we created a “cloud” type graphic using different fonts and colors again to represent that the GVSU experience is as diverse as its community and highly connected through technology.
- The Laker Wave: the two story volume holds over 250 translucent blades of cloth that together attempt to create the image of moving water. The gesture of the blades texture the interior but also impact the look of the exterior as they are seen through the wall of curtain glass.
- Reclaimed wood: throughout the interior and exterior there is reclaimed wood siding. The internal staircase in the store is a friendly combination of wood, color and light.
- Color: (Photo) challenging the campus standards of GVSU blue and white, GVSU Laker Store is vibrant as it reflects the many colors of the fashion shown in the store.