The beauty of Spacelab is that it truly is a testing grounds where our designers can try the latest and greatest in branding, lighting, furniture, flooring and beyond while exploring the neighborhoods we build in. This hands-on approach to research provides immensely valuable information that we can in turn pass along to our clients and partners. How, exactly does an office space accomplish this? Say hello to the Spacelab rating system. Every visit, our staff is encouraged to fill out a quick survey rating their experience with the furniture, fixtures and neighborhood, leaving feedback on how the space is actually being used. Here’s what we’re seeing so far:

What stood out to us was the resoundingly low rating that our designers assigned the Knoll Generation Chair this week. Out of all the other pieces in use at Spacelab currently, this is the one that was singled out multiple times with critical feedback on comfort and design, and an overall response of “does not recommend.”

But according to the vendor, this model is one of their all-time best sellers. The extensive glowing online customer reviews agree. Clearly there’s a disconnect between a low rating from our designers and the rate at which these chairs fly off the shelves from a consumer standpoint.

Maybe it was the topic of lunchtime banter and was simply top of mind for the group when it came time to do the survey. Maybe the glowing online reviews are largely based off first impressions, but long-term, consumers come to find the chairs are uncomfortable too.  We’re curious if there will be a pattern of low ratings for these chairs over time from our designers, or if this week’s score was contextual to the designers that happened to be working at Spacelab this week.

This begs the question: how often do designers make recommendations based off quick first impressions? That’s the intriguing part of Spacelab—its purpose extends well beyond serving just as a satellite office for our firm. It’s set up intentionally to get us engaged with the space and with each other. Spacelab gets us asking questions that empower us to make informed recommendations based on researched, first-hand experience that will best serve our clients.

Until Next week…