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Wood Resonates in Workspace Design: Celebrating World Wood Day 2016

For centuries, wood has been a key elements for architects and building designers, and it’s no small wonder. This natural and dignified material is sustainable, aesthetically flexible, benefits employees in more ways than one and is absolutely beautiful to look at. That’s why we want to celebrate World Wood Day, which falls on March 21, 2016, by taking a look at why wood is so important to the design world.


What makes wood so inspiring to Knoll? It’s that sense of value you get just from looking at it. “According to a United Nations report on the motivations of multiple generations in the workplace, certain values overlap generational lines,” Knoll said on its website. “One such value is aspiration and success. Perhaps because of its aesthetic beauty or the common assumption that wood is expensive, wood furniture speaks to this shared value, reflecting an image of accomplishment that man-made materials are hard-pressed to deliver. . . .Wood furniture’s more costly nature intrinsically speaks to this value. It sends a message that resonates: We’re investing in you.”

Wood elements and accents used in the Spaces, Inc. showroom.

And yes, while wood can sometimes be a more costly option for employers at first, it can end up benefitting the bottom line. As Knoll points out, wood can be revitalized in a way that man-made materials like laminate cannot be. Its warm, comfortable nature can increase employee happiness and, therefore, production. Its timelessness can outlast the ebb and flow of design trends while still looking chic.

Spaces, Inc. client KU Law School design using DIRTT Environmental Solutions and Knoll furniture.


The timeless nature of wood is a point that shouldn’t be overlooked. Its design flexibility means that it can be used for a classic, elegant look or it can be given a contemporary twist in a creative modern office setting.

Another factor that Knoll finds important about wood is the fact that wood furniture can actually benefit employee health. In one study conducted by the University of British Columbia with FPInnovations, researchers found that a link exists between “wood visual surfaces and stress reactivity in occupants of the built environment.” So what does this mean, exactly? It means that indoor wooden surfaces have been proven to reduce stress.

Ricchio Chair by Knoll, Photo: Knoll, Inc.
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