Having celebrated its tenth edition this year, Clerkenwell Design Week welcomed a whole array of designs aimed at providing intelligent and adaptable workplaces. From psychology-inspired colours that were used to create calming spots within offices to sound-proof hubs dedicated to those who perform best in complete silence, the 10th edition proved to be truly inclusive for the wide diversity of personalities that come together to form a team.
Today’s workplace is much more than a building we occupy each day from 9:00-5:00. It is now taking the shape of a social hub and, as we spend so much time there, we need different spaces to meet different needs. In other words, we need experiences instead of objects or, as the Martela team put it, workplaces should reflect the 4 C logic: Collaboration, Concentration, Communication and Chill-Out. They believe that with the right kind of materials and colours, a harmonious working environment can be created.
Powered by the desire to enrich creativity instead of setting boundaries, the Finish-born interior design company believes it is possible to ‘Thank God it’s Monday’.
Image credit: Martela
On the same note, Sedus Stoll came up with a similar approach to office wellbeing, as they believe that any space can be divided into four separate experiences: ‘Smart Balance’, ‘Urban Living’, ‘Soft Being’ and ‘Multi Creation’. Given the mixture of textures and hues showcased at their stand, the possibilities of bringing life to dull spaces are endless.
The fusion between functionality and aesthetics seems to be gaining momentum and, now more than ever before, designers have come to prove this is indeed possible. Since the development of technology made it easier for teams to work together regardless of their geographical location, the offices of the future will illustrate just that. Modular designs that give new purpose to usual office elements prove that the traditional notions of ‘desk and chairs’ can no longer satisfy the needs of such a dynamic and fast-paced working crowd. Since employees are now more likely to be spread around the world, the notion of four walls within a static office no longer illustrates a workplace. They will be evolving with the working force and wherever the latter goes, the former will follow.
We have seen just that at this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week, as multiple brands introduced a series of acoustic pods that are available for both large team meetings and individual use. Described by the SilentLab as a mixture of ‘true silence and active work’, the pods are surrounded with acoustic foam designed to absorb the sound both inside and out for guaranteed privacy. But another useful feature lies in their flexibility and the fact that they can be relocated around the office, acquiring therefore multiple purposes as they move along. Sustainable materials have also been efficiently used for these pods, such as the single-use cardboard designed by the creative team at Chat Pod
As they pointed out, cardboard presents high-pressure resistance, is extremely stable and one of the most environmentally effective materials to recycle. The cardboard hub displayed at Clerkenwell Design Week goes by the name of ‘Chatpod_Chat’ – a single user isolation pod designed for confidential calls and quick mobile chats.
Overall, we have noticed that designers envisioned a working space where simplicity and practicality go hand in hand. The workspace of the future will broaden its meaning to the point where it will no longer be seen solely as that, but rather as a flexible, enjoyable and truly inspiring environment.