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Insights / 23 Jun 2016
Organic Principles for Interior Design

Wikipedia defines feng shui as “a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment. The term feng shui literally translates as wind-water in English.”

From corporate headquarters to your local McDonald’s, architecture and commercial interior design utilizes organic principles to optimize efficiency and modernize space.

In 1939 Frank Lloyd Wright spoke about the principles of “Organic Architecture.”

“So here I stand before you preaching organic architecture: declaring organic architecture to be the modern ideal and the teaching so much needed if we are to see the whole of life, and to now serve the whole of life, holding no ‘traditions’ essential to the great TRADITION. Nor cherishing any preconceived form fixing upon us either past, present or future, but—instead—exalting the simple laws of common sense—or of super-sense if you prefer—determining form by way of the nature of materials…”

1939 was the year that the Johnson Wax Headquarters, Wright’s magnum opus was opened to the public. James S. Russell, an architecture critic, wrote in the Wall St. Journal:

From the shadowy porte-cochere and low vestibule, a reception space explodes up to three stories, supported by rows of the lily-pad columns (called “dendriform” by Wright), bathed by sunlight from glass-tube skylights. Tomblike splendor turns to heavenly glory. A wide brick-faced bridge crosses this space on the far side, through which you glimpse the full grandeur of the Workroom.

Wright’s goal was to minimize the coldness of the traditional work environment by maximizing natural elements. The same principles are found littered across the United States. Nowadays even your local McDonald’s might reflect the application of “wind-water” to the surroundings.

A 2008 New York Times article featured Bryan Carmack who runs a group of McDonald’s restaurants with other members of his family around Southern California.

…the traditional McDonald’s was radically altered. The walls are now curved, the ceiling and floor tiles are placed at distinctive angles, and the doors swing open and shut in opposite directions, all in the name of keeping luck within the restaurant…The walls are painted in earth tones — close to nature and soothing to boot…

“It’s not so much décor as a theme, our theme being we want this to be a harmonic, peaceful place for people to be,” said Carmack.

From the Johnson Wax headquarters to your local McDonald’s harmonic and peaceful is where people like to be. If you would like to modernize your workplace to reflect your company’s values contact us. We specialize in working with you the customer to establish a theme and décor that maximizes the beauty and excellence that your business projects.