What is the most important aspect?

What is the number one most important aspect of an interior environment? Flow and Function. There is an old saying nearly every architect or designer knows: “Form follows function.” A space can function even though it may not flow very well and a space can flow but if it doesn’t have everything necessary for functionality, then it misses something.

Every well-planned interior has to start with programming of what needs to happen during the client/patient visit. This is most often accomplished with either experience on a personal level or observation. The input of the owner or practitioner is critical. Often times it is helpful to obtain information from staff as well however it must be noted that one needs to have critical eyes and ears to decipher whether staff input is on a generic or global level or from a personal perspective of want.

Once the number of rooms or areas are determined in the space provided, then there needs to be careful evaluation of the “flow”, not only from the patient/client perspective but of staff and their duties and responsibilities. Think of the kitchen triangle: this is a process to count the number of steps it takes to process a meal from the refrigerator to preparation to cooking to presentation. Minimizing steps maximizes flow. Same goes for the entire space plan.