We all can agree that technology has greatly affected the way we work. The days of handwritten requests, oversized portfolios, and piling stacks of physical documents are long gone. Laptops, tablets, and smart phones have replaced pens and papers. Renderings are done solely through computer apps, and social media has become an acceptable way to communicate information and ideas. Ringing true in the realm of interiors, this notion explains the many ways that designers are conducting their current workloads.

Take for example the design story of The Tie Bar. Tucked away in an industrial loft in Chicago’s Fulton Market, the offices of this popular retailer are warm, expressively urban, and reminiscent of a men’s club. However, it wasn’t always this way. After deciding on a big move, The Tie Bar retained the services of NELSON to design their vintage brick-and-timber style location, making it more representative of their brand. They sought a hip space that would not only house employees but would also act as a way to showcase their bright and colorful line of men’s accessories.

Rather than sticking with just traditional-styled meetings to complete the visioning sessions, the team worked virtually using the social media site, Pinterest, to develop the design concept. NELSON teammates and executive members of The Tie Bar team pinned their ideas to various boards to accurately depict their vision. From there, the NELSON team developed multiple design charrettes, presenting them in-person as a way for the client to see and feel the fabrics, patterns, and designs.

After productive back-and-forth online conversation and necessary face-to-face meetings, the team decided upon what are now the completed offices of The Tie Bar. Through the use of social media and in-person meetings, a 6,000 square foot loft was transformed into a fun, practical environment with different compartments for various working styles. The casual yet industrial feel layered throughout the loft presents employees with an opportune space to both work and play. The final outcome is a true depiction of how technology and social media are greatly impacting the working world today.