Just over a year ago we were one of two architecture firms vying for the opportunity to renovate and modernize the KPBS studios on the San Diego State University campus. While we regret we didn’t get the job then, our research and design efforts are paying off today in the reworking of our own studio space.

The nonprofit public radio station’s goals included sustainability and a more efficient and collaborative workspace. These are among the key factors in domusstudio’s modernization as well.

Here are a few of the ways our redesign efforts cross over with our design proposal for KPBS.

  • Nearly completed, the domusstudio redesign has resulted in a more collaborative workspace as we occupy half the square footage previously needed, thereby bringing everyone closer together.
  • We went paperless in order to be more sustainable, as well as to allow smaller workspaces for everyone.  The computer screen is the new “desktop.”
  • Another green design tactic we have utilized is to remove all window and skylight coverings in order to take advantage of our space’s abundant natural daylight.
  • Custom-built workstations (we did this ourselves) feature minimal steel frames and 100 percent recycled paper work surfaces. The product we used is called Paperstone. We simply finished it with linseed oil.
  • Heavy, 44-ounce carpet by Bentley Prince Street, which is an industry leader in responsible carpet manufacturing regarding environmental issues, adds another sustainable element to the redesign. The carpet is an Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP) as certified by Scientific Certification Systems – a third party certifier of environmental claims.  Along with the heavy ounce weight, the carpet has an attached cushion back, together providing good sound attenuation. Our carpet mill local representative is GCThomas.
  • The worry with an open office space is lack of privacy and sound attenuation. The heavyweight carpet absorbs a lot of the noise, and an unexpected result of our office without barriers is that everyone started speaking more softly. Everyone started talking less, too, which leads to better productivity. It’s a very successful case study and wonderful work environment.

The result has been very successful for us. It totally works. The formula we devised based on KPBS’ desire for a brand new collaborate workspace utilizing less square footage (less operating cost), is something we look forward to incorporating again, maybe even at SDSU.