A technology consulting company focused on the classroom, Communications by Design (CBD) recently moved into their new offices on Sparks Drive in Grand Rapids. CBD Consulting provides solutions and services to help their clients create innovative, transformational learning environments that are supported and inspired by technology in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.
While their new office is the workplace for consultants, engineers, and administrators, it is also a laboratory, classroom, and learning lab for teachers. CBD asked that their offices reflect their technical style, so r.o.i. Design included several details using cable. They describe the training as taking the teacher on a journey, so using birch plywood, we created a row of columns leading the visitor from the entry to the classroom. They asked us to keep the design light and inviting, with flexible spaces for multiple uses.
Some of the architectural design features include polished concrete floors, open metal ceiling decks with organic ceiling clouds, and a partially-covered outdoor deck. Finishes include neutrals with pops of orange and green, clusters of small hanging lights create the illusion of one big light, and a custom designed community table which features a laminate wood top and u-shaped bases.
We congratulate our clients who recently had ribbon cuttings and are enjoying their new spaces. These include C.B.D. Consulting (Dixon Architecture and First Companies), Miller Dental (Dixon Architecture and DAR Development), West Michigan Dermatology (R2Design and First Companies), and more! Stay tuned for articles with more information on these exciting projects.
Our next projects to be complete are in the final phase of design. This means we are answering questions that come up at the job site, making any reselections based on budget or lead time issues, and supporting the process through review and consult. Here are some updates on the projects in the final phase.
This is a great new corporate office for this dynamic, young company who is currently busting at the seams in their current office. They wanted a neutral scheme with a POP! This includes very cool light fixtures, and of course, really cool furnishings. We are working with Dixon Architecture and Dykhouse Construction, and this project will be complete in early summer.
Mill Steel Job Progress Photos
United Commercial Services (UCS)
Our friends at UCS bought an older building and are gutting it to create a new, fresh and functional office for their crew; offices as well as a warehouse. Designing for a commercial cleaning company is interesting. We learned a lot about what truly maintainable finishes are. We are working with Lott3Metz Architecture and Pinnacle Construction, and this project will be complete just about the time the kids go back to school!
UCS Job Progress Photos
West Michigan Pediatric Dentistry
With over 500 people visiting their office a day, including parents and siblings, these energetic docs were ready to create a new space that was able to house their busy, busy practice. Gaining some efficiencies and creating more patient comforts were top priorities. No dinosaurs or primary colors here, just warm relaxing fun. The new office includes three kids’ holding areas, a generous open hygiene area, private treatment rooms, and consulting rooms. When it is finished, there will be a model train running throughout the office!
West Michigan Pediatric Dentistry Concept Renderings
There are many interior spaces that are designed specifically for kids. Schools, pediatric dental and medical offices, daycare facilities, and indoor play areas are just a few examples. These places want to feel welcoming to a child and engage their senses. Spaces should be entertaining while also sparking imagination and interest.
So what makes a successful interior design for kids? It is certainly more than just using primary colors or a lot of cartoon characters. Typically, it is important to create a lot of interest. Interesting flooring patterns and interesting ceilings draw a child’s eyes throughout the space. Instead of large, child-themed murals, blocks of color and graphics help the interiors feel fun, without exhausting the parents or staff.
It is important for some places to also feel professional, especially when it comes to pediatric dental and medical offices. Kids need to feel safe and welcome here, but parents want to be assured that these are serious practices as well. These places also need to function efficiently, and be easily maintainable.
r.o.i. Design has created numerous interiors for children. We have some clues on how this audience reacts to spaces. We know they see color differently than adults and appreciate any tactile detail.
More info on some of our recent work for children:
It’s no secret that most people do not look forward to going to the dentist – an important thing to keep in mind when designing dental offices. A pleasant, warm and soothing environment is key when selecting interior finishes for lobbies and patient areas. “The goal is to make the patient feel comfortable and welcome”, says r.o.i. Design’s Stacey Udell.
With more and more dentists retiring and new graduates taking over practices, r.o.i. has been busy working with local docs to update and refresh their spaces. Functional work areas allowing for ease of patient flow are top on the list, along with coffee bars and cozy and low-maintenance furnishings in lobbies. Creative and fun areas where kids feel safe are also a high priority. To help reduce sounds, some offices have “clouds” of acoustical panels, lighting or architectural elements that are hung from high ceilings to alleviate unwanted noise and are also visually appealing.
r.o.i. Design collaborates with dental equipment and supply companies to give dentists a wide range of options. We also offer lobby furniture, décor and wall art to “dress up” the space, and window covering options (along with installation) with practical solutions for dealing with sunlight while allowing for patient comfort.
Whether it’s remodeling an existing practice or a new build, our methods and problem-solving skills produce outcomes that are based on budget, brand, and beauty.
r.o.i. Design has a heart for the community, education, and kids. Every year we dedicate some of our time to non-profits whose goals match our own vision as we strive to make a difference in the lives of those we touch.
We have been investing in Living Stones Academy since 2016, when our friend Aaron Winkle, Head of School, reached out for support. Aaron’s request was coupled by the endorsement of Marlin Feyen, founding partner of Feyen Zylstra Electric. He showed us their vision to be radically inclusive and absolutely accessible, which struck a chord with us.
Since our involvement, we have provided design and direction for finishes in their new lunch program kitchen and related corridor, their gymnasium, and the teachers’ lounge. In each case, we took into consideration the 70’s style of the architecture that boasted a modern style and blocks of colors.
The largest of those projects was the gym. We created a design that included acoustic panels so it could be more effective as a presentation space, allowing the audience to hear more clearly. Perhaps the most rewarding was the redesign of the teacher’s lounge. Old fixtures were retired and a new friendly space was delivered that the teachers can use as a retreat from their classrooms.
We look forward to Living Stones continued success as they serve their families, of which 56% receive tuition assistance, 52% are minorities, and 15% are English language learners.
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.