November 1, 2018

Roar’s Pallavi Dean Uses Color Psychology to Define Work Spaces at Edelman’s Dubai Offices

“It sends a message about the powerhouse that is our DNA,” Pallavi Dean proclaims. She is referring to her firm’s name, which recently changed from Pallavi Dean Interiors to Roar. It’s that energy that has fueled 117 projects across eight countries since the studio’s founding in 2013. User experience has been key to the 37-year-old’s success. “We’re not designing to impress other designers,” she continues, “but for the people who’ll use the space.” Before even starting schematics, her team goes through a thorough interview and observation process to grasp a client’s needs, which then informs the design narrative.

Glass panels framed in powder-coated metal front the office’s small meeting rooms. Photography by Priyanka Vohra Anand.

Such was the case for the Dubai office of Edelman, a global public relations firm. While the 11,000-square-foot floor plan is open to encourage collaboration, Roar created a concept of “cultural villages” to serve a range of functions, inserting phone booths and small meeting rooms for quiet, heads-down work. There are playful environments for the millennial employees, and more refined spaces for senior managers and important clients. The workplace is further delineated by color: The royal blue of Edelman’s logo defines reception, IT is marked by a calming green, the creative team by an energizing yellow.

Color psychology informed the palette defining each team’s work area, indicated by suspended panels of lacquered MDF. Photography by Priyanka Vohra Anand.

The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, and even brought teams together in unexpected ways. “It turns out,” Dean says, “the suits love the colorful and the creatives the more sedate.”

A Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec sofa stands beneath reception’s dome ceiling, which references the region’s Islamic architecture. Photography by Priyanka Vohra Anand.
Oak-veneered bleacher seating furnishes the lounge. Photography by Priyanka Vohra Anand.

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