Leading Workplace Strategies (LWS) is a Government of British Columbia initiative to provide ministry offices that support flexible and varying workstyles by integrating technology, culture and space in innovative ways.
Cygnus led the design of environmental graphics that include prominent wall murals for open collaborative spaces, window treatments that lend privacy to enclosed spaces and quiet rooms, and wayfinding that improves the overall effectiveness of multi-function offices. Our work has contributed to transformed workspaces that foster collaboration and engagement, while communicating important messages related environmental practices, indigenous land rights, and local context.
Beginning in 2014, our partnership with LWS has evolved to include over 30 government offices representing numerous stakeholders and ministry tenants, and has developed in coordination with multiple architectural and interior design teams. Our outcomes include single level 8,000 sq ft offices to multi-level 125,000 sq ft spaces while ensuring a consistent approach to a multi-year, multi-site initiative.
At a Glance
Forty Completed Projects
Throughout the past six years, Cygnus has completed forty projects for Leading Workplace Strategies and the Government of BC.
Seven Architectural Partners
Cygnus has collaborated with seven different architectural partners throughout our time working on LWS projects.
Fourteen Different Cities
The LWS projects Cygnus consulted on spanned across fourteen different British Columbia cities.
Our understanding of the LWS initiative and ongoing partnership lends important continuity to complex, ever-changing project teams that include government workspace planners, representatives from ministry tenants, architectural prime consultants, and interior designers. Our continued success has come from a desire to build consensus among stakeholders, including bi-weekly collaborative meetings with ministry staff to share ideas, discuss progress, and better integrate our teams.
With multiple sites redeveloped at the same time by separate architectural and design teams, developing a common approach became vital to minimizing cost and schedule overruns, and ensuring consistent quality of outcomes from one consultant group to another. Expanding on established standards known as the Blueprint<https://blueprint.gov.bc.ca/>, guidelines for environmental graphics provide an overall framework for design and implementation of graphics. This resulted in a standard approach for workplace planners and external consultants that ensures outcomes support LWS objectives.
Use of Guidelines
Cygnus developed templates for design concepts to support ministry sites under 10,000 sq ft where a comprehensive process is not feasible. For these sites, one of four templated concepts can be tailored to reflect interior design and site attributes. This approach accommodates a condensed schedule, and smaller project scale while ensuring LWS goals are achieved. Building on a multi-year partnership, this approach will provide value for LWS in the next phase of development.
We developed initial concepts based on visual themes discussed at the outset of the project. Visual themes refer to broad categories such as landscape, architectural, and historical attributes, or non-site specific directions including abstract shapes, infographics, or typography. Once consensus was established around preferred themes, multiple directions explore graphic, photographic, and illustrative approaches that incorporate local attributes, reflect the interior and architectural design of the space, and adhere to LWS standards. Concepts were created while taking cues from the architectural and interior design, ensuring a visually cohesive approach.
Cygnus provided continuity through the implementation of the project by conducting site visits, assisting with vendor selection, reviewing samples and prototypes, and working with architectural teams to adapt to construction schedules. Remaining involved through delivery has become an important part of the overall success of the environmental graphics programs.
15117 101st Ave, Surrey
Cygnus was tasked to create a unique environmental design solution for the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s 1040 m2 space in Surrey, BC that included both Ministry back of house and public facing spaces. Our work included designs for feature walls, interior glazing, lockers, room id and brand implementation, while keeping with the established interior design aesthetics. Cygnus worked in collaboration with First Nations advisors to create a series of special feature walls, each with a symbolic meaning that represents a traditional First Nations teaching.
1810 Blanshard St, Victoria
The design aspects of the new office suite for the Government of BC’s Leading Workplace Strategies (LWS) are inspired by the natural landscape of BC. Cygnus was brought on to design environmental graphics throughout the office in order to highlight the spaces and create a strong sense of place within the work environment. The graphic design solution works in tandem with the architecture and interior design of the building, and reflects the beauty of the surrounding area in BC.
525 Superior St, Capital Park, Victoria
For their Capital Park offices, LWS approached Cygnus for a graphics program on each floor that would represent its own identity within the overall building theme of ‘Victoria: The Capital City’, as well as First Nations graphics or elements to be represented in designated collaboration spaces throughout the facility. The resulting environmental graphic design program provides value by enriching the visual characteristics of the office, highlighting collaboration spaces, helping to provide a sense of ownership to mobile workers, and communicating environmentally sustainable initiatives.