For the New York-based design firm Icrave, interior design isn’t just choosing paint colors, lighting, and furniture. While the firm got its start in 2002 designing the interiors of bars and restaurants, it has since branched into designing airport terminals, including the jetsetting JetBlue terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, and most recently, healthcare spaces, like the Josie Robertson Surgery Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
According to Icrave’s founder and CEO Lionel Ohayon, people’s experiences with these spaces can often be full of anxiety, so he and his team make design decisions to deliberately mitigate that stress: at the JetBlue terminal at JFK, passengers can order food online that will be brought to their gate, and at Sloan Kettering’s surgery center, waiting areas feel more like coworking lounges than depressingly whitewashed rooms with uncomfortable furniture. It’s an approach that starts with the user, and is built using VR. For another wing of Sloan Kettering, Icrave is using virtual reality to help hospital staff get acquainted with the space before it opens. Co.Design sat down with Ohayon at Icrave’s New York offices to learn just how this firm approaches interior design.