Interior Design: Designing the Workspace of the Future
As nations and organizations take on the challenges and effects of globalization, the focus gears towards strategic moves that will bring about more results for less – less in manpower, time, space, machines, materials, methods, money.
Quite inevitably, the spotlight will be on the workplace of the future, an item over which interior design practitioners exercise professional jurisdiction.
Indeed, interior design holds a very strong influence in the way the future workplace will evolve.
In planning the design of future spaces, Michelle Bowles in The Workplace of the Future suggests that heavy consideration will be accorded not only to space optimization but also to the implications to business of emerging technologies, ever-changing people’s needs, increased diversity, improved systems and work methods and other factors affecting productivity.
Integrating these considerations in the interior design serves as the major challenge facing the interior designer today.
High Technology, People, Systems and Interior Design
Essentially, technology can be seen as a dynamic force for creativity in interior design. As technology moves towards greater efficiency, user response assumes paramount consideration in interior design planning.
New technology may trigger the need for more frequent people interaction, making way for the adoption of open office systems so as to promote unrestricted interactive communication.
Open systems have been found to be desirable as they involve less costs and have been proven to promote the psychological and physical well-being of employees.
More importantly, for the organizations, the benefits have been found to filter down to the much-desired increase in worker productivity.
It is therefore important for the interior design practitioner to know the predisposition of his clients on the way his business will be led into the future.
It is to the interior designer’s advantage to be equipped with ideas and information regarding the full range of benefits that the open system can provide and be ready to make suitable recommendations.
Green Interior Design
Green interior design is not only desirable; it is necessary. It is the urgent call of the times. It is not only a reference to the environment and its colour but its more far-reaching implication of sustainability.
For designers, its urgency and importance is independent of any other interior design consideration. Sustainability is a concern not only of advocacy groups and nations; it is everybody’s concern, as it is of interior design practitioners.
Certainly, there are many ways sustainability can be embedded in the design of the office of the future, such as the use of real plants as design elements, natural lighting, natural ventilation, solar technology and using products and systems that adhere to green standards.
The Future Today
The foregoing are just some of the very important items to consider in designing tomorrow’s workplace.
Human interaction, emerging technology, work systems, optimized spaces and sustainability may not be all that would be needed to draw up this future workspace plan completely, but with these items topping the interior design list, it would be a wise step in the right direction.