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Quicken Loans environmental graphic design

The Future is Feelings

As our Pophouse team continues to focus on designing strategic, human-centric spaces, we are excited to share three projects from our industrial design and environmental graphic design teams that foster wellbeing, culture, and productivity in the workplace. On October 8, we hosted a virtual gathering called “The Future is Feelings” to take a closer look at the role office interior design plays in supporting peoples’ emotional needs at work.

This event was also an opportunity to showcase our partnership with Bloomfield Hills, MI-based Cranbrook Academy of Art in their 3D MFA program. Pophouse and Cranbrook have been working closely together over the last two years on a fellowship program which includes a student spending the summer between their first and second year in the program on the Pophouse team researching a current real-world design challenge and developing a project that addresses that issue.

  • Date November 2020
  • Written by Jennifer Janus, President
  • Topic
    • Design
    • Partnerships
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Forrest Hudes, our 2020 Pophouse Fellow and Cranbrook 3D MFA candidate, joined the Pophouse team at a pivotal time when we were focused on developing a strategy for the future of work. The future of work strategy takes into consideration the long-term evolution of the workplace as a result of the nation working from home during the pandemic. Working virtually with the team, Forrest developed a product concept entitled the “Feelings Processing Center 3000”, a product designed to help people embrace and process emotions in future office environments.

“Along with the logistical changes the pandemic caused, we also faced drastic emotional changes in our landscape as a nation, as a world, and as a culture. Considering what empathy meant in this context took on new meaning from a design standpoint,” said Forrest.

Along with the logistical changes the pandemic caused, we also faced drastic emotional changes in our landscape as a nation, as a world, and as a culture. Considering what empathy meant in this context took on new meaning from a design standpoint.

The Feelings Processing Center 3000 brings together Forrest’s research on critical queer and feminist theory in design at Cranbrook with the current research the Pophouse team is conducting around the need for emotional support in future office space.

Pophouse | Detroit Interior Design Firm
The Feelings Processing Center 3000, created by Forrest Hudes

The second presentation was given by Alessandro Pagura, Pophouse Industrial Design Intern and Senior in Industrial Design at Lawrence Tech in Southfield, MI. Alessandro presented a meditation pod that he and Design Director, Chrissy Fehan, began work on for a client prior to the pandemic. The foundation of this concept was built upon research that recognizes the importance of wellness, safety, and productivity in the workplace. “Aesthetically we were looking at soft colors, calming textures and simple physical forms that encouraged a feeling of welcoming and safety,” said Alessandro. 

Alessandro shared details around the shifts that were made in the design after the pandemic hit. These design modifications add an additional layer of functionality to help keep people safe in a smaller space like a meditation pod. Airflow, materials, and spatial distancing were all considered to create a sanctuary for team members returning to office space. We understand that people returning to office spaces, especially offices that have an open concept, will need opportunities to get away and reset. These pods will allow those moments to exist, even amid an energetic space.

Pophouse | Detroit Interior Design Firm
Meditation pod concept

Our final presentation was given by Pophouse Design Director, Lee Goetgeluck, who leads our environmental graphics team. Lee presented one of our recently completed projects in downtown Detroit, “Home Away From Home” for our client, Quicken Loans. In a time where many businesses choose to hold on construction projects, we were fortunate to continue to work on this pivotal project to help prepare Quicken Loans to bring their team members back to redesigned office space that will further support their needs.

Lee shared how the graphics in these spaces foster a connection to company culture and core values while the variety of spaces are designed to support a spectrum of work styles.

Pophouse | Detroit Interior Design Firm
Quicken Loans environmental graphics

“We built a formula for how we approached graphics in this space. We call it Simplified Memphis with Exaggerated Abstraction. We simplified the whimsical memphis style of design to ensure it was elevated and could stand the test of time. This combination of fun and sophistication helps team members connect to the environment where they are working,” says Lee. 

Lee and her team worked seamlessly with our interior and industrial designers to ensure every aspect of the space supports the flexibility, energy, and moments of respite that are needed for the team members.

At Pophouse, our focus remains on creating spaces that allow people to thrive. Important design layers of custom-designed graphics and furniture can further elevate a space to ensure it fosters wellbeing and productivity for all. We would love an opportunity to share our research and custom designs to help you take your space to the next level. Please reach out to to connect with us and learn more.


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