In a workplace, we want warmth, simplicity, a gentle aesthetic pleasantness and an atmosphere of congenial focus. And whether you work for a travel company in Wells, a design startup in Bristol or an airy bank in Kyoto, your office most likely makes use of suspended ceilings to create a peaceful, studious office environment.
When carefully planned and expertly installed, a suspended ceiling complies with the fundamental precepts of Zen Buddhism – first, kanso, the notion of limited aesthetic expression, simplicity and cleanliness.
Suspended ceilings are, on one level, quite “boring”: they are supremely functional, a sound investment; yet their unique position overhead and simple block colour mean they can serve as a neutral starting point, a canvas for other design features. A large, flourishing houseplant; a well-positioned water cooler, or a brightly-coloured, well-delivered presentation ‒ all are given a more wholesome form by the aesthetic and ergonomic function of a suspended ceiling.
Second, datsuzoku in Zen means a willingness to depart from the conventional, to create areas of “rupture” or opportunity. This, of course, can be an invitation to experiment with innovative suspended ceiling design ‒ perhaps taking inspiration from SLP Interiors’ portfolio of completed projects.
This ethos can also inform the location of meeting spaces, waiting areas or relaxation zones. Perhaps you can channel the flow of creativity and energy into specific locations. Why not create an airy open space at the coffee machine through the installation of a skylight or other unexpected change in your suspended ceiling? Seen like this, even a simple ceiling can become an unlikely tool to drive creativity and focus.
Finally, instrumental to Zen thinking is the notion that our mentality is often reflective of the environment we find ourselves in. It’s clear, then, how installing a suspended ceiling could quietly invigorate your office space while providing a range of less-abstract, practical benefits.
Take a look at the various projects we have worked on here.