AIA Lunch & Learn: How to Design Space Constraints in Various Workplaces


Along with the classic resolutions, the New Year also brings us new opportunities to learn. Last month, several members from our Bryan/College Station team participated in a voluntary Lunch and Learn presented by Matt Howell with Southwest Solutions Group (SSG). The virtual presentation examined the endeavor of designing workplaces with space constraints. In the history of our firm, many of the "workplaces" that we service are that of school districts, city offices, car dealerships, and churches. We often see not only space constraints, but a desire to consolidate and organize spaces with items such as office, storage, sports equipment and inventory.

Challenges seen by SSG include the desire for various types of work spaces, limited storage availability for personal items, supplies and areas known as "free address". Offices that do not have assigned spaces for employees but allow individuals to pick their work space each day are "free address" offices. As work spaces have adapted and evolved due to the events of 2020, all three of these issues have become more common, causing new restrictions and inefficiencies for today's workforce.

Mr. Howell represents over 80 manufacturers to help manage an organization's resources. "Essentially, think of us as 'The Container Store', but for businesses" said Mr. Howell. SSG provides products and systems for the storage needs in a wide variety of industries such as industrial, healthcare, education, automotive, athletics and museums.


The AIA accredited course focused on how current design trends are impacting space available across different markets including how furniture, fixtures and equipment can be used to condense storage. matt highlighted one particular manufacturer: Spacesaver. Originally called Southwest Spacesaver, the storage company has been in operation since the late 60's. The manufacturer offers a wide variety of storage products that were highlighted by Mr. Howell for use in future projects. Some of these products include:


- Day Use Lockers - Metal Shelving - Transport Carts

- Moveable Walls - Modular Storage - High Density Mobile Shelving


"Although I am a land surveyor and not in the interior design field, I thought it was interesting to see just how diverse storage products are now. The attention to detail that companies like Spacesaver have put towards creating solutions for clients such as ours is great." - Randy Stephens, R.P.L.S.


All photos were provided by Matt Howell and are the property of Southwest Solutions Group.

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