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It's All About the Mission

Communicating a mission to designers when moving into new office space is crucial for a tenant. That's especially true for law firms, associations, and nonprofits in DC, as we will cover at our Bisnow Real Estate Strategies for Law Firms & Associations event next Wednesday at the Mayflower. Perkins & Will principal Diana Horvat, one of our panelists, tells us that while most firms are implementing modern design features into offices, finding ways to showcase a mission helps differentiate spaces. And it helps with communication, too; Diana told us her motto: "Your mission is your voice, your space is your body language."

Here's the USGBC's space on L Street in DC, which Diana helped design. The org says it wanted its space to serve as a "living laboratory" towards its mission of green building and sustainability, but also wanted it to be as flexible as possible to accommodate for future growth—or downsizing. Diana says the recession made law firms, associations, and other organizations extremely cautious with space planning, which makes having the ability to adapt quickly that much more important.

Technology is also having a major impact on space design and planning for organizations. For some law firms, it's causing a total reorganization of staff, too. Diana says she recently toured a law firm in London (pictured) that's experimenting with using only two legal administrative staff per attorney floor, a major reduction from the past. "The ratios of attorneys to administrative support is continuing to increase with greater technological agility on the part of attorneys changing support needs." Click here for more info on next Wednesday's event.