11 August, 2023
Art in a corporate climate
Employee spotlight on designer, Ellie Murphy

Our Designer, Ellie, is a passionate artist. Here, she talks about bringing that creativity into the workspace.

Our Designer, Ellie, is a unique talent (as are all members of our team), bringing a one-of-a-kind perspective to her work and thereby ensuring truly exceptional spaces.

Form and function

Having studied Art at the University of Reading, and enjoyed experimenting with a variety of materials from digital to sculpture she focused on abstracted portraits and textured pieces with mixed media. After university she found her way into design and build, having taught herself architecture programmes and been inspired by the link between art, space and how space is used.

She says: “I build on texture and strokes to create movement and flow in painting, guiding the eye through stages of the piece. Similarly, the foundation of an interior begins with space planning, in which I feel the flow should always be at the forefront of our minds, ensuring a functional and seamless experience for all users. This allows a sense of harmony and encourages interactions, resulting in higher productivity and communication.”

Art and interior connection

Art across the centuries has been about so much more than decoration, and in drawing on its principles, Ellie brings a particular depth to her work and the way she considers the working environment.

She says: “Art itself has such an impact on a space. Not only does it create depth, but it creates talking points and experiences. Accompanied by correct lighting, it can guide through a space to encourage a directional flow. Creating art is the reflection of a mood and a way to communicate personality. It sends a message, and I have always seen this connection to creating interior spaces that also captures a client’s vision and values.”

A multi-sensory experience

We talk a lot now about the functionality of space – hybrid working, collaborative space, independent working environments, Zoom hubs and so forth, but creating something transformational is only partly about those elements – turning them into an experience is about stimulating the senses and understanding people.

Ellie says: “I have always been influenced by external factors such as music, landscapes, imagery but most notably colour. It has the power to stimulate or relax, and can totally transform an environment, whether it’s about a specific artwork or the overall ambiance of an interior palette. Whilst it is important to curate the correct environment through function, furniture and materials, to me art is the emotional component to complete a space. It has the power to set the tone of a room. I don’t think a space is complete until the walls are dressed with art.”

A multi-sensory experience

Working environments are particularly thought provoking to create because it’s essential to be relevant for the current moment, whilst also speaking to the heritage of a brand and its future endeavours. In part, that means being acutely aware of trends that impact how we live and work.

Ellie says: “I think it is important as an interior designer to be aligned with current trends. An interesting dynamic that correlates to all practices is the ever-growing digital world. Following the metaverse trend, I experimented in creating NFT’s (Non-Fungible Tokens) from my paintings, which essentially turns the piece in to a cryptocurrency that represents a digital asset. It allows the pieces to develop into an immersive, moving piece that can be interchanged in a room to suit the mood, which is great. 

That said, I found I prefer the action of physically creating work, and the messy, trial and error process to the complete piece. Similarly, when creating new workplace designs we develop 3D renders and turn them into fully interactive walkthroughs to really immerse the client in their new space. It allows for interchangeable colours, flexibility and is so powerful in demonstrating the flow and the infinite opportunities of a space.”

The human experience

All of that said, workspaces are fundamentally about one thing – the people in them, and it’s those human needs that the environment ultimately has to speak to and enhance.

Ellie says: “Along with AI developing at pace, I feel it is important to maintain that ‘human touch’ and the true authentic, sketching and thought process around how we have created a client’s new ‘home’. Whilst the walkthrough is a powerful tool, I feel it is important to lead with the personalised, storytelling approach – that’s at the heart of the experience.”

Want to create a working environment that’s inspirational and transformational?

Speak to the team at Maris