What does Omifa mean and what are the values that have imposed you on the market?
Omifa is a team of architects, engineers, interior and product designers, furniture technicians, working as a family in a creative environment in which free expression is fully encouraged, everything to produce Innovative and very dynamic turnkey "office space" projects.
The defining values for us, considered our footprint on the market, would be the ability to continuously adapt both to the requirements of the beneficiaries and to the new technologies in the market, the permanent finding of always efficient alternatives and the courage to address the most challenging projects on the part design and implementation.
How would you describe your company's experience on the Romanian market in relevant figures from its launch to the present?
Although neither of us believes in statistics, relying more on the final picture of each project, we can say that broadly in the 16 years of our activity our growth was exponential, with approximately 35% annual growth compared to the previous exercise, our team has grown steadily to 10 strong characters on the office support side and 15 "skilled hands", our fit-out crew professionals. At projects level, we also saw a steady increase from 10,000-12,000 sq m of fitout a few years ago - we have already doubled this value so far.
What are the main components of your business?
Omifa has an organic structure that is constantly developing and adapting, it's a little harder to draw exact components, we're all taught to be professional polyvalent as Shakespeare says, we're all „a jack of all trades”. The complex nature of the projects we are dealing with makes the departmental tasks intertwine, yet the division of departments would be the following: the architecture and interior design department that accomplishes everything that means concept, rendering and space planning, the furniture design department that develops each piece of furniture to ensure optimal ergonomics and cost, the engineering and research and development department that calculates all the technical solutions to put into operation the vision of architects and designers, who also develop all of our patented systems, the tendering department in charge with the financial proposals for each detail, the purchasing and logistics department which puts the wheels in motion for the start of the projects, the site optimization department that ensures fluency in deliveries and execution on all the sites we are involved in, the fit-out crew responsible for the assembly and day-to-day implementation, the finance department managing the contracts, the sales department responsible for sales and customer relationship, and finally the management department that "watches" for the smooth running of all of them.
What are the current trends in office design in Romania?
As far as we noticed, the late trend in office areas opt for the "shared desk" system, in this version you do not have a personal office for you, you can take up any free space and in order to combine the idea of mobility to the ergonomic concept of stand-up work, offices are adjustable in height, either mechanically or electronically. Another widespread trend in office design is collaborative and brainstorming areas, and now the focus is increasing on the proxemic relationship between team work areas and „individual work” areas. Increasingly calling for an open space with fewer compartments, phono isolation is an increasingly sensitive and carefully treated issue in new office spaces, either in the form of acoustic panels at office level or semi-height partition level, or through innovative systems such as "white noise" rendered through the audio system of the space to undo the permanent buzzing of a flourishing work environment. Ultimately, the "must have" of the season is the wall with stabilized moss or another form of vegetation – the Green Wall.
Which are the "boldest" projects your company has done last year?
In 2017 we made an extremely interesting project for a local pharmaceutical company in an atypical space; we were not in a sky-scraper with curtain facade, but in a warehouse that we had to convert into an office space. The challenges were countless, from the ventilation system, the storage spaces, the combining of the glazed areas to the opaque areas, the lamellar ceilings in unusual angles that had to be intersected and fused with retro-illuminated ceiling-shaped membrane in elliptical forms (it was the fault of the department architecture, they came up with this idea), strictly customized offices for this project (the interior designers had something to leave their mark with). Yes, indeed a challenge, including the cover of the building entrance, we made it in curved glass (again the architects).
How does technology work in modern office space design?
We can already say that any office needs to be "High Tech" and "High Touch", meaning it's not enough to have a nice office and that's all, you cannot really say that your office entered the data speed and technology era without the latest scraper-proof and regenerating due to nano-technology materials, unlimited options integrated sockets systems (schucko, hdmi, vga, aux in, usb data and usb charge), wireless charging systems that monitor flow in offices for maximum optimization and elevating desks with the touch of a button.
Are there also "green offices" as there are "green buildings"? What are their features?
We do not think there is something at the moment to clearly award an office space as "green", but we can say that as long as all the materials used in the interior design fit the LEEDS parameters and especially BREAM "From Cradle to Cradle" (which the "green building" usually must respect), together with an accredited and automated lighting system for optimization through a BMS, people's flow thought as natural as possible to optimize the space movement, we can say we have a green office.
And an exercise of imagination, or perhaps not really ... What does the Office of the Future designed by Omifa look like?
By analyzing all the current trends, we could create an office of the future where literally no desk is available, only as comfortable and ergonomic as possible teamwork zones, relaxation and personal development areas where you can retire for a short period to solve a more complicated task and as many areas as possible to invite people to communicate. At the moment, the only topic of discussion is the development of a better communication system between all the people in a company, as a team can be created only this way and oly by as relaxing as possible environments you can invite the creativity to flourish.