Monday, April 15, 2024


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[Podcast] Exploring the Influence of Interior Design: From Creating Joyful Environments to Empowering Spaces

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According to an expert, effective design provides a multitude of advantages such as improving daily experiences, increasing productivity in business, giving a voice to marginalized communities, and enhancing public areas.

During the B-Side segment, Joseph L. Garcia, senior reporter for BusinessWorld, interviews Nina Santamaria, the lead designer at Grupo Santamaria, a company specializing in interior design. They discuss the advantages of incorporating good design in business, the potential for spaces to positively impact lives, and the importance of designing for marginalized groups.


Design cultivates joy

Ms. Santamaria described effective interior design as creating a space that enables you to be your best self.

She provided an illustration of a mother connecting with her children in the kitchen. “You want to have the pleasure of easily finding what you need,” she explained. “Do you want to be able to have conversations with your children while cooking? The design of your kitchen will allow for that,” she mentioned, highlighting sophisticated solutions such as kitchen islands that promote a smoother flow (rather than a traditional stovetop and work area facing a wall). “This transforms the entire experience.”

Designing for business

A well-planned and organized area demonstrates excellent management. “Whether in retail or office settings, effective design can greatly benefit your business,” she stated.

“It involves planning the layout of a space.” For instance, the reception area is often overlooked, but she explained, “If clients enter the room and are unsure who to speak with, it can be off-putting. They may choose to leave.”

“You will have a stronger influence on your buyers or customers.”

Creating for the underprivileged

Santamaria Group has organized a set of workshops in the current year to generate donations for refurbishing areas used by Resources for the Blind and Children’s Joy Foundation, in celebration of its 20th anniversary. According to her, these sectors are frequently disregarded in design planning and present distinctive obstacles.

She stated that the main aspect of enjoying interior design is through visual appeal. The importance of ease of movement and flow is often overlooked.

According to her, those who are visually impaired often compensate with their other senses. She pointed out that having a visual impairment means relying more on touch and movement, and these senses should also be considered.

She believes that well-planned environments for individuals with disabilities should prioritize promoting independence. For those with vision impairments, this includes creating accessible pathways, incorporating furniture that facilitates self-sufficiency, minimizing sharp edges and corners, and implementing tactile markers to assist with navigation between areas.

Regarding the underprivileged children under the care of the foundation, Ms. Santamaria explained that children aged three to ten require personal space in their shared environments similar to children from diverse backgrounds globally. She emphasized the importance of having a designated space for children’s healthy development, whether it be a simple curtain divider or individual desks for them to express their individuality.

is to create aesthetically pleasing and functional spaces that enhance the well-being and experience of individuals.

The goal of incorporating interior design into public spaces is to produce visually appealing and practical environments that improve the overall well-being and enjoyment of people.

In her own words, she expressed that a thoughtfully planned area is successful “if it evokes the feeling of your ideal self, then it is considered a favorable space.”

How can we implement this in relation to the idea of being a nation? In a nation filled with complex bureaucracy and deteriorating infrastructure, how can Filipinos strive to become their best selves? In one instance, Ms. Santamaria shared her experience of paying taxes at a government office. She expressed, “If you’re required to stand in line in a filthy place with no adequate sound system and people constantly bothering you… it’s just a terrible feeling.”

“If the design includes well-lit areas, organized lines, a comfortable waiting area, and an efficient speaker system, taxpayers will feel respected.”

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