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perpendicular 14The New Year ushered in change at KMA. In an effort to start 2012 fresh, the entire KMA office set out with a goal to transform the current state of their offices into a harmonic, collaborative space better suited for the inventive and creative minds that work there.

The inspiration to redesign the office began when Senior Associate B. Moon Hajjar, the office’s “weekend warrior,” redesigned a small area of the office, now known as the Vertical Studio, with variable height furniture to accommodate new patterns of work environments, the requirements of which were not met by the thirty-year old, built-in desks. Hajjar incorporated two adjustable computer tables previously purchased by KMA that were not being used into his design of the new space. Two 20-hour days later, the office remodel race began. The need for a more modern, conducive and collaborative space inspired the team to push the remodel beyond one small space.

“Since the beginning of 2011, our company culture has changed 180 degrees, so this redesign is just another stepping stone to a better working environment,” said Hajjar. “It is as much about experimentation as it is the practice of the design values that we offer our clients. We are the guinea pigs that test the work environments we design. In school, we were left to design our own studio spaces, and that tradition has found its way back into our professional studio at KMA.”

Once completed, the KMA team will have redesigned 75 percent of the upstairs work area and common space. KMA employees have performed all of the labor during lunch, on weekends and at any other time someone felt the desire to pick up a paintbrush or screw gun. In addition, the flex space has doubled as a result of a smaller team and the use of computers, which don’t require as much physical storage space.

With help from their friends at BKM Office Works/Steelcase, KMA now boasts a Bix Lounge in its new Café area, a four top c:scape unit and a brand new Frame One six top.

In addition, friend Mark Kent of MK Marketing helped KMA source Acoustigreen ceiling panels that were cleverly repurposed for pin-up wallboards in the Café area, while Rich Nudo of Tandus Flooring provided a deal on carpet tile that was mixed in with the existing tile to give the floor some much-needed life. All-in-all, the added space, new amenities and colorful design elements have the KMA team thoroughly enjoying their new digs.

“I believe the new space is more conducive to our collaborative approach to design and the way we work in general,” continued Hajjar. “I feel like we are a closer company because of the environment we are creating. Our group is very open and horizontal so there is not much that goes unsaid, which can make for some very heated and critical discussions. As we continue to cultivate this open approach to our work, we see constant improvement in the quality of our designs with greater value to our clients.”
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