Tuesday, July 26, 2011

KSA on Inspiration:

KSA asks each client: What inspires you? I love this part of the design process. It’s so exciting to learn what makes our client’s tick, and to see what’s important to them on a personal and professional level. Every answer is unique and always offers precious insight to an organization’s culture. These reflections often serve as the basis of the design intent.

I have an extreme love for museums and galleries (just ask my husband, who on a recent trip to Colorado, had but one request: “no museums”. I still managed to sneak in a gallery or two!). As a designer, I’m inspired by the obvious: art and artifacts. Museums and galleries are where I experience the works of masters and novices alike. I find the innovation of both very inspiring, whether it’s form, function or aesthetics. I am also moved by the act of meandering through a museum… it feels a bit like a treasure hunt. It’s so easy to lose yourself in the quietness and just give yourself over to the things you enjoy. So many senses are stimulated: the perfect air quality is delightful, the lighting is soft and complimenting, the voice on the audio guide is soothing… there is no schedule, there is no iphone or email. There is just you and exhibit. Oh, and let’s not forget the museums themselves. As a girl living in Europe, my family visited many famous museums. As a teen living in the DC suburbs, I just couldn’t get enough of the Smithsonian. In my 20’s, I went to Spain specifically to see the Guggenheim in Bilbao. Now I am fortunate enough to live in Richmond and have the marvelous VMFA in my backyard. This love for museums has inspired me for as long as I can remember… how fortunate am I?

So, I ask you the same question… what inspires you? Share it, embrace it, live it.

Melissa Moseley, CID, ASID, LEED AP

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

KSA on Branding:

Branding Culture Shock?

Our brands mean infinitely more than colors and logos. Branding is an all-encompassing subject matter that increasingly relies on the understanding, cultivation and establishment of culture. Identifying your corporate culture is one thing, but branding it is another.

Talk to your customers and employees---are they happy with the current culture? Do they shape the culture? Are there changes to be made? How is your culture perceived from the outside? How do you wish it to be perceived?

If you are not taking control of this aspect of your brand you can be certain others will. Develop your culture into your brand and LIVE it. Inform external clients about who you are and allow them to become an integral component. Engage internal team members in the same way and allow them to nurture the culture and brand.

The more you let people in, the more trust you will establish, and the more your culture and brand will align.

So—what culture does your corporate brand represent?

Let us know how you think culture and brand are integrated and what your organization can do to its environment, operations, or outlook to better integrate culture and brand.

Kate Croy

Radford University
Department of Interior Design & Fashion.
Interior Design Intern, KSA Interiors.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

KSA on Light:

KSA’s Chris Good spent the last few months wondering why LED manufacturers have devoted so much time and effort to trying to design a replacement for the ubiquitous incandescent A-Lamp. The linear nature of LED illumination is simply not well suited to replace the omnidirectional glow of the traditional “light bulb”. If we are truly interested in finding ways to convince the general public to adopt LED, perhaps we need to think differently about how to introduce this efficient new light source. Instead of focusing our efforts on replacing the A-lamp hidden behind decorative shades and shrouds, we should be using the advantages of LED to turn these decorative elements into the actual light sources themselves. Think of the opportunities in hospitality and residential design applications! From table lamps to chandeliers and from pendants to residential ceiling fan light kits, the opportunities are right within arm’s reach.

If you had the opportunity to integrate LED into decorative elements or features what new direction do you think lighting could take?

Thanks for reading and we encourage you to share your thoughts!

Christopher M. Good, CID, ASID, LEED AP
Associate Principal

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Facilities Managers can benefit from a "Culture of Service"

Facility managers rely on an integrated team of support staff, vendors and contractors to ensure proper daily maintenance of their facilities. Each player in this complex team relies on trusting relationships to ensure that a facility’s operations are rigorously supported. Successful facility managers expect and trust that their vendor’s knowledge of various building functions are often better than their own. They also trust that the vendor is equally committed to the right solution, weighing alternatives with the facility’s best interests in mind. Unfortunately, one uncommitted player in the mix can cause the entire support structure to fracture. Establishing a committed level of dedication among any support team requires the development of a “culture of service” in which all vendors, consultants and contractors feel fully engaged in a facility’s operational success.

To achieve a “culture of service”, organizations must develop an approach which communicates the importance of commitment to their support team and provides the tools for strengthening, understanding and empowering individuals. In an effort to develop such a strategy for their own organization, KSA Interiors adopted a service methodology aimed at developing a deep level of understanding with their partners. Easily adapted into any organization, this process, titled “Best in the World”, distinguishes between the ideals of serving someone to the best of your ability and providing someone with the best possible service.

The foundation of this process exists in adopting five key behaviors - “Elicit-Empathize-Empower-Enthuse-Eject”. These keys foster the understanding necessary to become an extension of your partner’s organization. “Best in the World” contractors understand how to elicit a deep understanding of a situation or problem and empathize from the perspective of their client. They have empowered employees who have the willingness and authority to act on their client’s behalf and who build enthusiastic relationships focused on their client’s success, ejecting processes or procedures that hinder rather than help solve problems.

When a vendor asked Andrew Grove, then CEO of Intel Corporation, how to gain more work from the computer chip manufacturer, he replied “Go out and learn how to make chips, and then help us do it better”. Intel’s varied team of supporters understands that their primary purpose is to put their talents to use in helping Intel improve its own ability to do business. From landscaping to R&D, or from facilities to sales, every employee, consultant, and vendor shares the same overriding job description: to help their client’s organizations perform better at what they do.

The free eBook “Best in the World – A Client Centric Approach” details the five keys identified above, and outlines a process for becoming an integral part of any organization’s success. To download the free eBook click here

Christopher M. Good, CID, ASID, LEED AP
Chris is an Associate Principal at KSA Interiors, an award winning interior design firm located in Glen Allen, Virginia