When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Alex Bayu and his team at Genius Loci tackled the challenge head on, transforming their own office space. The result is not just pandemic-ready but a new digital ecosystem which brought flexibility and increased productivity for staff.
Written by Barbara Hahijary
Photos by Fernando Gomulya
Resilience is often portrayed as determination and persistence, but it can also be flexibility and adaptability. These qualities form the core of acclaimed architecture and interior design firm Genius Loci, under direction of principal designer Alex Bayu. In early 2020, when the pandemic began, Alex knew that it would bring a long term change. Not easily defeated, Alex saw it as a challenge. And as it turns out, his prediction was correct.
“As a designer, it is my job to solve problems: what do people need in term of space? Now, the challenge is to provide conditions where people can work effectively. Our thinking is used, not to design the architecture, but to see the bigger picture and provide a solution,” said Alex. That solution is digital systems.
Alex has used the most up-to-date technology in his daily life for years. When the pandemic hit, Genius Loci started to shut down, Alex’s own knowledge of digital advancement was able to benefit his team. He called on his IT consultant to revamp the digital infrastructure of the office and train his employees to work on Zoom. Now the meeting rooms are fully equipped for online meetings. Alex himself favours a top-notch camera that can automatically follow him and race through certain hand codes.
Some equipment was installed in the office to meet public space requirements. At the entrance, people are encouraged to wash their hands at the automated sink, designed to dispense water, soap and paper towel via touchless sensor. A face recognition and temperature detector for employees replaced the fingerprint sign-in machine. All restrooms are also automatic. Moreover, the office provides basics such as hand sanitisers and protective masks at high-touch points.