9 Ideas Shaping The Future Of Design, According To Ideo, Microsoft, Autodesk, MIT, And More

"Designers have the crucial task of thinking about what our future will look like and how we will interact with it"

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BY DIANA BUDDS via Co.Design

The world is changing faster than ever–socially, technologically, environmentally, politically, and economically. In the midst of these shifts, designers have the crucial task of thinking about what our future will look like and how we will interact with it.

Co.Design asked a handful of the 2017 Innovation By Design Award recipients and honorees working in technology, branding, experience design, architecture, urbanism, product design, and industrial design about the ideas that will impact the industry the most in the next few years. Of primary concern to many individuals? If the current trajectory of design will lead us to a better world or plunge us deeper into our pool of problems, redefining what “better” means, and taking a closer look at who is benefiting from design

5 Creative Ways to Use Laminate Flooring on Walls

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Although this article mainly addresses how to use laminate as a wall covering in the home, we love the transfer of application to a commercial space. Whether warming up your lobby or reception area, adding a little something extra to your bathrooms, or creating a feature wall for your organization's awards, the possibilities are endless. Check out more ideas below.

by Tim Rasmussen at Creative Home by Mohawk Flooring

The most popular trend in laminate flooring has nothing to do with your floors. More and more, everyone from DIYers to high-end designers are installing laminate flooring on walls. That’s right—walls.

If you’re suddenly having flashbacks to your grandmother’s laminate wood-paneled walls, hold on a second. A lot has changed in the flooring industry since grandma’s day! For one thing, laminate visuals are more realistic than ever. Mohawk has many laminate designs that hit all the trends and can fit any style—traditional, weathered wood, multi-width planks, high-contrast variations and muted neutrals, just to name a few.

Stylistically, there have never been more options in laminate than there are right now. It looks real and even feels real. Go for a vintage look with a textured plank, or opt for the sleek modernism of smooth laminate.

Laminate flooring has come such a long way. It’s easy to install, affordable, strong, durable and easy to clean. These are qualities you want whether the laminate lives on your floor or on your walls. Keep reading for five creative ways you can make a big style statement in your home with a little effort and some Mohawk laminate flooring.

Introducing Narrate by Kimball

Narrate

An Expressive, Flexible, Open Plan Design System

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Narrate epitomizes the future of adaptable, modern design. With a crisp, clean aesthetic, Narrate offers a streamlined framework that allows you to tell your brand story throughout the workplace landscape. Narrate provides designers with the ability to maximize flexibility, while bringing together a wide range of complementary components and products – while never compromising design. 

5 Good Reasons To Get Up, Stand Up — Now

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by Shelby Lorman at Thrive Global

It’s time to break up with your chair.

It’s easy to burrow into your desk chair and stay put without budging, but mounting evidence suggests that sitting for extended periods of time — like all day, for example — can have negative effects on our bodies and minds. A Scientific American article, published in 2014, laid it out with no holds barred: “sitters have a 50 percent greater likelihood of dying.”

Click below to read findings from five other studies that will convince you to stand up.

3 Office Design Trends Driven By Millennials

Source: Pexels

Source: Pexels

As every other generation has done, millennials take pride in marching to a different kind of beat and wearing different kinds of clothes. Also, it turns out millennials have had an outsized influence on interior design — particularly in the workplace.

We all know the very idea of work is undergoing some fundamental changes right now, changes that seem to include a greater awareness of how an environment’s physical design, including its décor, influences the state of mind of the people who live and work there.

Thanks to an array of studies and surveys, we know design really does have a profound effect on our state of mind. When professionals on LinkedIn responded to a CanvasPop survey, an impressive 77% claimed art makes them feel happier, 74% said it inspired them and 27% indicated pleasing décor improved their productivity.

So let’s get more specific. What kinds of design trends are millennials bringing to the table?

Product Feature: Kimball's LEARN

An interactive space like you see above frees instructors and students to move beyond the passive learning style of conventional classrooms toward a dynamic, interactive style that teaches the collaborative skills employers value. As the classroom of the future, Kimball's learning model encourages instructors to actively mentor and advise students during their group collaboration. Sliding whiteboards, writable table surfaces and multiple monitors create spaces to share ideas and provide optimal viewing for any position in a classroom configuration.

What will the office look like in 10 years? 6 experts predict the future

By Emily Wright, The Spaces via CNNSTYLE

What will we see more of — and what will we see less of?

We will see more flexibility of space usage. For example, building cafeterias that were only used during breakfast and lunch hours in the past will serve as collaborative work spaces and meeting rooms. Open space offices will be divisible at the click of a button. We will see fewer long-term leases. While businesses will still require and benefit from co-locating their employees, they will want more flexibility to add and subtract space as their needs evolve.
— Tamara Brisk, managing director of Wiredscore France

It happens every few years: a seismic shift in the way we live our lives fuels a change in human behavior so significant, it blows the concept of the office as we know it out of the water.

Modern technology is no exception. Fast becoming the catalyst behind one of the biggest shake-ups the office has ever seen -- from design to location and from sustainability to well-being -- it is the shift of our generation. And hard though it may be to believe that robotic security guards and app-controlled meeting rooms are just the beginning, there is still a long way to go.

So what might the workplace of the future look like? We asked six office-space experts from around the world to hazard a guess as to where, and how, we will all be working in 10 years from now.

What will the office look like in 10 years’ time?
Dan Harvey: We’re already starting to see a push-back on some of the tech and the elimination of privacy. So a departure from open-plan as a blanket design default and a move back to some private offices. Collaboration is great but there is an emerging feeling that without a choice, people are sometimes finding it challenging to get stuff done. So through that push for a productive workforce, future offices may become more private again.
— Dan Harvey, vice chairman of the Bay Area Occupier Services group for CBRE

Contract Consulting Group Shares Top Trends from NeoCon 2017

It’s clear that contract furniture is embracing ‘business casual’ a look at trends that stood out at NeoCon2017.
— Amanda Schneider

As the “main event” of the industry, NeoCon gives us a glimpse of emerging and evolving trends each year. Contract Consulting Group (CCG), a research-led strategy firm focused exclusively on the contract interiors market, pooled perspectives from an expanding base of talented industry consultants to bring you this summary of top trends at NeoCon 2017. Dubbing ourselves life-long students of the industry, each project, blog post and conversation fuels our insatiable curiosity to learn more and feeds our unique perspective on leading trends. This common passion naturally draws other like-minded talent, and puts the “group” in Contract Consulting.

10 lessons learned from an office remodel

Surveys, observations, benchmarking and research informed our design, but testing proved… more GETTY IMAGES (YURI_ARCURS)

Surveys, observations, benchmarking and research informed our design, but testing proved… more

GETTY IMAGES (YURI_ARCURS)

by Jennifer Stukenberg for Memphis Business Journal

When a company outgrows its workspace, people usually jump to the most logical answer: Add more space.

When the firm where I work outgrew its space, we challenged the logic. Rather than adding more space, we asked: Could we add more people and increase employee collaboration, engagement and innovation all while maintaining current square footage?

Our answer turned into a living lab of different workstations, focus rooms and a work café housing a combination of dedicated workspaces as well as flexible work areas for ‘Flexers,’ staff that do not have assigned workspace. Here’s what we discovered.

Google got it wrong. The open-office trend is DESTROYING the workplace. Workplaces need more walls, not fewer.

We have definitely noticed a shift from private offices to open-office setups. However, we encourage our clients to consider a "semi-open" plan for the exact reasons this employee cites in this article. While open spaces certainly encourage collaboration, employers would be wise to consider their employees' different work styles, deadline obligations and client responsibilities and offer a variety setups around the office for private or quiet work.

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by Glenn Harris via Linked In

TENANT TESTIMONIAL:

A year ago, my boss announced that our large New York ad agency would be moving to an open office. After nine years as a senior writer, I was forced to trade in my private office for a seat at a long, shared table. It felt like my boss had ripped off my clothes and left me standing in my skivvies.

Our new, modern Tribeca office was beautifully airy, and yet remarkably oppressive. Nothing was private. On the first day, I took my seat at the table assigned to our creative department, next to a nice woman who I suspect was an air horn in a former life.  All day, there was constant shuffling, yelling, and laughing, along with loud music piped through a PA system.  As an excessive water drinker, I feared my co-workers were tallying my frequent bathroom trips.  At day’s end, I bid adieu to the 12 pairs of eyes I felt judging my 5:04 p.m. departure time. I beelined to the Beats store to purchase their best noise-cancelling headphones in an unmistakably visible neon blue.

Despite its obvious problems, the open-office model has continued to encroach on workers across the country. Now, about 70 percent of U.S. offices have no or low partitions, according to the International Facility Management Association. Silicon Valley has been the leader in bringing down the dividers. Google, Yahoo, eBay, Goldman Sachs and American Express are all adherents.  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg enlisted famed architect Frank Gehry to design the largest open floor plan in the world, housing nearly 3,000 engineers. And as a businessman, Michael Bloomberg was an early adopter of the open-space trend, saying it promoted transparency and fairness. He famously carried the model into city hall when he became mayor of New York,  making “the Bullpen” a symbol of open communication and accessibility to the city’s chief.

These new floor plans are ideal for maximizing a company’s space while minimizing costs. Bosses love the ability to keep a closer eye on their employees, ensuring clandestine porn-watching, constant social media-browsing and unlimited personal cellphone use isn’t occupying billing hours. But employers are getting a false sense of improved productivity. A 2013 study found that many workers in open offices are frustrated by distractions that lead to poorer work performance. Nearly half of the surveyed workers in open offices said the lack of sound privacy was a significant problem for them and more than 30 percent complained about the lack of visual privacy. Meanwhile, “ease of interaction” with colleagues — the problem that open offices profess to fix — was cited as a problem by fewer than 10 percent of workers in any type of office setting. In fact, those with private offices wereleast likely to identify their ability to communicate with colleagues as an issue. In a previous study, researchers concluded that “the loss of productivity due to noise distraction … was doubled in open-plan offices compared to private offices.”

The New Yorkerin a review of research on this nouveau workplace design, determined that the benefits in building camaraderie simply mask the negative effects on work performance. While employees feel like they’re part of a laid-back, innovative enterprise, the environment ultimately damages workers’ attention spans, productivity, creative thinking, and satisfaction.  Furthermore, a sense of privacy boosts job performance, while the opposite can cause feelings of helplessness. In addition to the distractions, my colleagues and I have been more vulnerable to illness. Last flu season took down a succession of my co-workers like dominoes.

As the new space intended, I’ve formed interesting, unexpected bonds with my cohorts. But my personal performance at work has hit an all-time low. Each day, my associates and I are seated at a table staring at each other, having an ongoing 12-person conversation from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  It’s like being in middle school with a bunch of adults. Those who have worked in private offices for decades have proven to be the most vociferous and rowdy. They haven’t had to consider how their loud habits affect others, so they shout ideas at each other across the table and rehash jokes of yore. As a result, I can only work effectively during times when no one else is around, or if I isolate myself in one of the small, constantly sought-after, glass-windowed meeting rooms around the perimeter.

If employers want to make the open-office model work, they have to take measures to improve work efficiency. For one, they should create more private areas — ones without fishbowl windows.  Also, they should implement rules on when interaction should be limited. For instance, when a colleague has on headphones, it’s a sign that you should come back another time or just send an e-mail.  And please, let’s eliminate the music that blankets our workspaces.  Metallica at 3 p.m. isn’t always compatible with meeting a 4 p.m. deadline.

On the other hand, companies could simply join another trend — allowing employees to work from home. That model has proven to boost productivity, with employees working more hours and taking fewer breaks. On top of that, there are fewer interruptions when employees work remotely. At home, my greatest distraction is the refrigerator.

HON: Lean Leads to Green

HON takes its responsibility to the Earth seriously and are committed to sustainable business practices. Their performance in meeting their environmental goals—related to energy efficiency, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water intake, and waste to landfills demonstrates their commitment to reduce their environmental footprint.

They believe that implementing cost-effective, more sustainable solutions is a powerful and ongoing source of business value.

Lean Leads to Green

HON manufacturing systems maximize the use of raw materials and ensure efficient use of natural resources to reduce not only their environmental footprint, but yours as well. They are relentless in removing waste in the production process and in everything they do.

They choose materials carefully to ensure minimum indoor air emissions and maximize your ability to return materials to the resource stream once they have served their intended purpose.

Lean Design

It all started in 1947 when HON began making card files from pieces of scrap metal generated from its contract business. Today, they closely examine every step in the product life cycle to uncover ways to minimize our footprint. This starts with designing and manufacturing products that incorporate recycled content. But it doesn't stop there. 

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Lean Manufacturing

Today, sustainable practices in business have become an intrinsic part of overall performance. As these practices evolve, so does the definition of sustainability. They believe sustainability is achieved through an appropriate balance of environmental stewardship, financial stability and community involvement.

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Lean Facilities

Rigorous conservation and efficiency programs minimize the use of natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. All of their factories' manufacturing processes and transportation systems have programs in place to reduce energy consumption.

Office Of The Future Could Look A Lot Like A College Campus

A NeoCon visitor tries out different ways to sit on the Ruckus chair. [DNAinfo/Kayla Martinez]

A NeoCon visitor tries out different ways to sit on the Ruckus chair. [DNAinfo/Kayla Martinez]

Research done on college campuses by the manufacturer KI showed that students "don't necessarily sit in a proper way," said Jonathan Webb, vice president of workplace strategy at KI.

"Creating space for interaction is the main priority," said Webb.

For that, DIY styles are in with the "MyPlace Collection," where you can arrange and rearrange pieces of lounge furniture for the best interactive experience.

We proudly provide a variety of collaborative furniture solutions for our clients. Check out some of the industries we serve or email us to find out how we can help your office make the most of your budget with transitional pieces!

Product Feature: OFS Brand's Heya

In Japanese, Heya means “small room.” Designer Roger Webb created Heya to form smaller spaces within an environment. For individuals, Heya creates a place for people to escape, think, and breathe. For groups, Heya creates a place for people to closely collaborate and connect. Heya’s comfort and visual softness allow these small rooms to blend seamlessly into the office, while still providing the closeness and privacy people need to really focus.

How to get employees to show up to work

Did you know employees sitting closer to windows are more likely to show up at work?

(via WorkDesign)

Image via Death to Stock.

Image via Death to Stock.

What makes you get up and go to work each day? According to the Question & Retain (Q&R) Happiness in the Workplace Pulse Check, 40 percent of us say the most important factor that makes us happy at work is feeling valued and supported; 19 percent of us get out of bed for the intellectual challenge work provides; and for 12 percent, the pay and benefits make that early alarm bell worthwhile.

However, it’s not just about the people, the job and the money; the data amassed by Leesman, the world’s largest independent assessor of workplace effectiveness, suggests that the physical work environment also plays a part in boosting overall employee satisfaction levels. Having surveyed 250,000 employees worldwide, 85.1 percent state that the design of the workplace is important; yet only 56.7 percent of people feel the design of their workplace enables them to work productively.

 
A key workplace failure is the appropriate provision of natural light. Of the quarter of a million employees in 69 countries surveyed by Leesman’s workplace benchmarking tool, 75.8 percent state that natural light is important to them, yet only 56.9 percent are satisfied with the offering in their workplace. Meanwhile, research over the past few years from the International WELL Building Institute, Human Spaces, and the World Green Building Council has all demonstrated the importance of natural light in employee engagement and productivity.

Product Feature: HON's Coordinate Height Adjustable Base

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A Healthier Way to Work

Achieve the exact worksurface height you desire with HON Coordinate Height Adjustable Base. Supporting the increasing popularity of sit-to-stand workstations and tables is becoming a crucial element of today's organizations. HON Coordinate Height Adjustable Base automatically adjusts to the desired height without putting strain on the user. The base includes a motor-activated lift that attaches to any HON worksurface between 48"W and 72"W, putting the user in the control of their environment.

Expanding Your Workspace Possibilities

All Coordinate bases are a three-stage design, with both two and three-leg models available to adapt to different work styles. Whether it’s an open plan, private office or training, these bases adapt to any workspace layout or need. 

Each base can be quickly and easily attached to a HON worksurface or retrofitted to many existing worksurfaces to give you instant sit-to-stand support. Plus, the motor and steel frame have met rigorous testing standards to ensure a high-performance workspace for years to come.

HumanScale offers solutions for Healthcare IT

Healthcare information technology is experiencing a sweeping transformation. 

Every new IT project taken on, whether during a new build, a renovation, or an IT upgrade, is an opportunity to enhance caregiver performance and avoid the pitfalls of interruptions in workflow and in care. 

There are a number of Humanscale Healthcare products and services designed to optimize communication between caregivers and patients. 

Humanscale offers an array of services in healthcare ergonomics. Their consultants help caregivers by developing and implementing cost-effective ergonomics programs and recommending which of their products fit your needs. 

HumanScale ensures that their workstations are designed with the utmost flexibility to fit all caregivers, move easily to patients, and provide the ability to conform to the needs of the interaction. Their ViewPoint Technology Wall Stations allow the computer to be mounted on the wall at the patient’s bedside while the caregiver sits or stands at the patient’s bedside. Their TouchPoint Mobile Technology Carts allow the caregiver to be mobile with their computer. Their products adjusts quickly and automatically to save caregivers time, reduce physical risks, and improve efficiencies of care. The easier something is to use, the more likely it is to be used.

Interested in learning more about how point-of-care technology can support your facility's technological needs? Download their white paper below.

Product Feature: AllSteel's "Beyond" Moveable Walls

The simple, efficient functionality of Beyond walls offers built-in flexibility that responds to the constant rhythm of business change. With a large selection of aesthetic choices, you can move beyond permanent drywall solutions and rigid space planning to create flexible workspaces that are ready to reconfigure and walls that are easy to relocate for whatever change the future brings.

3 Style Options:

  • Frameless
  • Framed 
  • Solid
Click the image to play the video

Click the image to play the video

Beyond Design Story

Beyond walls were designed to provide unlimited possibilities for creating spaces that are functional, flexible, and beautiful. Beyond moveable walls create a new vocabulary for change that puts you in control. And goes beyond simply moving walls

Inspirational office design: A way to retain millennials

by Laura Fries via Linked In

The pay-off will come with the ability to attract and retain top-notch talent. When your… more GETTY IMAGES (XAVIERARNAU)

The pay-off will come with the ability to attract and retain top-notch talent. When your… more

GETTY IMAGES (XAVIERARNAU)

I was recently introduced to the idea of leveraging workplace design as a tool for retaining and recruiting millennial employees when my firm, Baker Tilly, remodeled our offices. Prior to the remodel, employees were surveyed on issues such as privacy, flexibility within a work station, need for social interaction and variety of work spaces. Synthesizing this information — from more than 200 employees — into viable recommendations would be a big job.

You may be asking yourself if it really makes sense to invest in an office renovation to attract and retain millennials. My answer to that is a resounding “yes!”

A recent survey by Steelcase, an office furniture manufacturer, found nearly 90 percent of workers are less than satisfied with their work environment. With the cost of replacing a millennial employee ranging between $15,000 to $20,000, according to Millennial Branding, and with more than one-in-three American workers being a Millennial, reevaluating your current office layout and amenities may provide real benefits.