It’s the Final Pitch!

The day arrived once again with a flurry of final prep the day before getting all the slides organised and running through the presentation. This time was slightly easier as all the prep work had been done and the team were all here. We’d got the order down and even convinced Jade to talk a bit (which she did well). There is a part of me that relishes talking to groups so I was eager to go and enjoying pre-talk adrenaline nerves. 


This time we got to do the presentation in the Researcher Hub which is laid out like a large courtroom (M’lord) and the acoustics are great. I couldn’t help glancing round and thinking “I know what those dangling things are on the ceiling and the shapes on the walls are for”. Who knew research learns you stuff?!


The presentation went well and the feedback was fairly favourable although we did go over the allotted 15 minutes, but just slightly, and for once it wasn’t me that was talking too much. I’m even slightly looking forward to the grade for this part.


For Friday we have to submit this is a pdf and I seem to have volunteered to make sure all the referencing is correct. Will I ever learn not to volunteer?

A place to call my own

In a world of hot-desking one of the major complaints from users of the DOYYEC was a lack of anywhere to store things. Fine if your work involves sitting in front of a screen but not so good if you have a lot of equipment or samples.


So with that in mind I started looking for storage solutions that would fit with our designs for the DOYYEC. In this case I wanted the storage to be adaptable, acoustically absorbing, well designed and moveable. 


The best supplier seems to be a Scandinavian company called Glimakra based in Stockholm. They have released a line of office storage units which are covered in sound absorbing materials and they are in a variety of sizes and shaped and can be moved and used together. This is an almost perfect match to our requirements. Here are some of the examples I found:

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 19.59.35 Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 19.59.23 Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 19.58.59 Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 19.58.39 (1)


The only thing I’d add would be a touch of colour.


The last thing I considered including would be a couple of architect plans chests for storing photographs and artworks.


  1. Dezeen,. (2017). Soft storage. Retrieved from

Sounds about right

One of the areas I chose to look into for the DOYYEC was sound as that was always one of the things that got to me with the space. It felt so quiet at times that it was oppressive and at other times when it was full it could be overbearingly loud. Humans feel comfortable with an ambient noise level of around 50 decibels and so this needs to be factored into a new design. Less than that and people can feel uncomfortable and isolated or inhibited in breaking the silence. More than that and it’s hard to focus or follow a conversation.


To control this then we need to control the acoustics of the space with the use of speakers for when the room is fairly empty and sound absorbing materials and baffles for when it’s full. That brings us to part of acoustics which can be overlooked: reverberation. The DOYYEC has many large smooth surfaces and this can make the sound bounce around a lot which can be distracting to people holding conversations. This can be combated using materials to break how the sound would normally bounce.



This is a nice example of how large surfaces can be covered to control sound and bring in some vibrant colour.


As I mentioned above speakers can be used to stop the area getting quiet but any that are used need to be controllable locally and I have been looking at the use of sound bars and domes such as you see in restaurants and museums. 


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Above are two examples of directional speakers supplied by Brown Innovations and the use of these could transform the way a space sounds. The only big surface I not covered, if you’ll excuse the pun, is the ceiling. In the DOYYEC this is one massive, smooth surface so something to look at would be the use of baffles on the ceiling, and these can be quite decorative:



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Like this one from Resonics



  1. Brown Innovations,. (2017). Domes and soundbars in location. Retrieved from
  2. Resonics,. (2017). Room with ceiling baffles. Retrieved from

Sounds about light

For a photographer you’d probably expect me to have a lot to say about light, but I really don’t. All I’d want for the DOYYEC would be control of the lighting in zones, daylight balanced bulbs and blinds to control the amount of light coming in from the windows. 


In our interview with Phil he did raise concerns over the harshness of the light in the pod so we would look at diffusers but the main requirement for the space is plenty of light with control over where from and how much.


The idea of broad-spectrum lighting was raised but looking at the evidence for this and the potential for long term damage to coverings and art works it was decided to avoid this. (1)



  1. How valid are the claims regarding full-spectrum light sources? | Full-Spectrum Light Sources | Lighting Answers | NLPIP. (2017). Retrieved 4 April 2017, from

Feedback the 2nd with Jo

Once again it was good to catch up with the team and do a bit of planning before meeting with Jo. Everything seems to be coming together well for the presentation and real progress is being made with getting feedback from the DOYYEC users. Some of the team have been in the DOYYEC talking to the people there, an online questionnaire has been created and is being acted upon and I have been on facebook in the current years EPY (Entrepreneur Placement Year) group talking to them their. With it all coming together like this the final pitch should go well.

A Biophilic Designer I can get

So ok, I’ve said I’m not convinced about the distinction of biophilic over good architecture, and I’m still not. But what I do appreciate is good design, and Bjarke Ingels does good design.


In this youtube video Ingels talks about 3 of his designs:


These videos all show good design with a strong biophilic bent.

Formative Presentation

Leasing up to our first presentation to Orangebox things were pretty hectic getting all the slides together from 5 different people into one visually and logically cohesive whole and agreeing who was going to present which parts.


Natalie took lead in designing and arranging the slides and I think she did an amazing job. I’m a big fan of letting people do what they are good at and knowing your own limitations so why would I try to take ownership of design work when there are 3 talented graphic designers on the team? With the slides all arranged and ready to go we were able to chat over skype and assign roles for the presentation. Unfortunately Viola had to be away but with the other four of us there, there were plenty.


On the day we arrived nice and early at Orangebox and were warmly greeted by everyone there and provided drinks and plenty of comfortable seating to relax on until presentation time.


Natalie and I are both confident public speakers so we took the lead in presenting with Jade and Gemma chiming in with their parts. On the whole I think it went alright and the feedback was fairly positive with the main points for improvement being:

  • Reduce the amount of text
  • Re-order the the slides in a more logical way
  • Stress prince Andrew being the Duke of York in the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Centre (DOYYEC)
  • Provide more information on who uses the DOYYEC, how they use the space and how they feel about it
  • To share the talking more evenly amongst the group

The last wasn’t helped by Natalie and I standing together and the other two being on the other side of the screen. Oh yeah, I should avoid just talking when things pop into my head as well.


3M IMG_20170405_085715

The what? The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Centre is the working environment that Pentagon Design have chosen to apply our biophilic magic to in an attempt to make it more appealing to artistic types. The DOYYEC helps and supports entrepreneurial business that have their genesis within the university of Huddersfield be they current students or alumni. It’s also the hope of the EPY, the Entrepreneur Placement Year which 3 members of the Pentagon team undertook. We wanted to look at the DOYYEC as we all found it a difficult environment to work in as creatives who don’t thrive in a traditional office setting. This is the DOYYEC:

IMG_20170210_100348 IMG_20170210_100454 IMG_20170210_100503 IMG_20170210_100536

As you can see the DOYYEC when it was established was more geared to traditional  businesses but they have found that they are getting more students from the arts wanting to do the EPY and so things need a changing. I never felt comfortable working there and was much more productive in my home office.

Some of the shortcoming that have been highlighted, and my own experiences are:

  • Lack of storage
  • Too quiet
  • Too loud
  • Really bad wifi
  • not big tables to work on
  • no control over the light
  • having to crawl under the desks for power
  • Too open 
  • No personal areas
  • The staff need a little more privacy for  data protection

My EPY was all around my photography so for me the control over the light and a good editing monitor were the shortcomings for me.

Natalie and I were able to have a good chat Phil and he confirmed that use of the facilities by the arts students was a concern and he also mentioned that the room is leased and had pretty much come as it was but they would welcome a more appropriate design of the space. One of the extra points he raised was that the pods were feeling too enclosed and could do with a design that would allow some views through the glass whilst maintaining some privacy. Perhaps a patterned cut out or laminated materials such as Novaglaze make.

Hopefully what we come up with will benefit future DOYYEC users.


Orangebox Brief

We’ve started a new module for the MA and this one is all about entrepreneurship, which is what I spent my entire placement year doing during my degree. So whilst I may be well prepped for the process, I didn’t start out massively enthused at the duplication of work when I’d rather be getting on with my main project. That said, the team I am working with are ace and the more I look into biophilic design, the more interested I am getting. Our “client” is Orangebox and the brief is to design a biophilic environment such as a workspace, airport lounge or study area.

Our initial thoughts were with a workspace so that will be the start of our research. To get us motivated we visited Orangebox’s offices and as usual, I had a camera with me: