The news channels have all been covering the further deepening of the crisis at BP - the latest being the photoshopping of the images of the control room dealing with the leaking oil well to make it look like they were busier and that the photos were taken more recently it raises the question of to what degree should control rooms be designed to give the right public image?
All of us involved in designing control rooms have experience of putting large video walls in that we all know are largely for show. These walls mean that photos taken of the room or visitors coming in see a control room that has visual impact and the look of "being in control".
Also an interesting issue is designing control rooms for peak resourcing or maximum manning levels. This means that often the control room can feel quite empty and therefore give a quite different perception.
The interior design also plays a part. We always talk to our clients about the image that they wish to portray and words like hi-tech, clean, modern, cutting edge, etc frequently emerge. Demonstrating that again, they want the image to be clear that they are in control and are using the latest technology to do so. We've also recently talked on the blog, and will do more so, about the influence of the film industry on what clients are looking for - we expect this to continue.
So the challenge seems to be designing control rooms that meet their main purpose but also give the right image - without anyone having to resort to doctoring images later on
Labels: control room design, interior design