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Function of a Space
When designing for an open office, it’s helpful to think about why a typical house works so well. There are designated rooms in which the function is clear. Kitchen for eating, bedroom for sleeping, living room for relaxing. Translating this ideology to open offices means ensuring employees have a variety of spaces to complete their tasks. A quiet area for a phone call, a central space to brainstorm, a side area for decompressing.
The Only Constant is Change
In an interior+sources article, Brigitte Preston, principal interior design director at Perkins and Will brings up a key feature of open offices: “Imagine that the space you’re designing today is never finished and exists in a constant state of flux and change. Now, imagine that this not only applies to the current practice of moving walls, desks and people, but also to culture change, brand changes—and very importantly, changes in the experience of the space. What decisions would you make in the design process if such pervasive, constant change was your end goal? This is what we must design for: the potential for change.”
Top Three Trends for 2020
That being said, there are some trends we’ve found for 2020. An emphasis on biophilic design, natural lighting, and quiet spaces.
Biophilic DesignBiophilic design is the concept that humans are happiest when we’re close to nature–thus, bringing the outside indoors can have positive impacts. Incorporating plants into spaces can give the eye a pleasant place to rest. According to a Fast Company article, it goes way beyond that, though: “Research has shown that plants can reduce stress, help with focus, and even increase immunity.”
Natural LightingA Forbes article pinpoints the adverse effects of insufficient light, “Bad lighting is associated with a range of ill-health effects, both physical and mental, such as eye strain, headaches, fatigue and also stress and anxiety in more high-pressured work environments.” The remedy? Bring in as much natural lighting as possible and supplement with artificial light after that.
Quiet SpacesRecentering is essential during a busy day filled with meetings and requests. A calm, quiet space like a pod can be the perfect place to recharge in silence. In a pinch, flexible furniture like walls with casters can delineate a space.
Consider Prest, Ghent’s stylish mobile whiteboard, for your space. The combination of wood and metal in the frame is aesthetically pleasing. Multi-functional, one side can be used as a whiteboard for collaboration and the other side can be a sound-absorbing acoustic panel. It plays into the concept of an ever-evolving space because you can move it anywhere.