How Modular Environments Will Change The Future Of Work

How Modular Environments Will Change The Future Of Work

PSFK's Consulting team looks at how office furniture and equipment is being designed with modularity and flexibility in mind, allowing spaces to be customized in the moment to suit the immediate needs of employees.

Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 2 june 2012

After analysis of hundreds of data points collected around the evolution of work and collaboration, the PSFK Consulting Team noticed that office furniture and equipment is being designed with modularity and flexibility in mind, allowing spaces to be customized in the moment to suit the immediate needs of employees. These designs can shift to accommodate solo work spaces or be expanded into larger arrangements for team meetings, giving workers the option of changing the office environment to match their current work style. These adaptable floor plans enable both privacy and openness for any task.

Below we’ve included several of the best examples that supported the theme of ‘Modular Environments.’

Movable Screens Provide Personal Spaces For Users

Campfire Screens create a space within a space with subtle, translucent dividers. The lightweight, corner-shaped dividers stand about a meter and a half high, and can be used alone, in pairs or in groups to create informal meeting areas, private workspaces, event barriers and pop-up spaces for temporary projects. The upright structure creates inward focus while the sheer material allows activities to remain in touch with the overall environment.

Colorful, Sound Absorbing Booths Give Users Privacy In Public Spaces

Office furniture designer BuzziSpace has created a line of modular pieces that offer quiet places for workers to retreat to when focused conversations, phone calls and work needs to be completed within an open plan office otherwise buzzing with activity. Featuring acoustically insulating upholstery and wall coverings made from recycled plastic bottle felt, a variety of styles are available in multicolored or vibrant single hued versions. Individual work booths and group-sized hubs can easily be reconfigured, as privacy and concentration needs change.

Temporary Meeting Space Inflates In Minutes

Office In A Bucket (OIAB) is an indoor inflatable domed room system that can be blown up to quickly create an instant office, meeting, lounge or exhibition space. When not in use, OIAB packs away into a large garbage bin-sized canister on wheels. Plugged into a standard electrical power outlet, a fan in the bottom of the bin inflates the dome in as little as eight minutes.

Opportunities Created By These Innovations:

  • As office floor plans become more open and cubicles are replaced by communal tables, there is a growing need to find the line between an open, collaborative, communicative environment and a place where workers feel they have enough ‘speech privacy.’ Organizations can utilize flexible, soundproof partitions to give their workers necessary privacy and solitude as they need it, without having to sacrifice the overall open design.
  • Furniture that can be easily moved and modified creates a flexible work environment which is able to adapt to any number of situations and work styles. Modular furniture can allow workers to easily configure their workstations to accommodate more members, allowing teams to grow as projects and needs change.
  • Organizations can implement modular workstations that are able to be adjusted to suit the various working styles of their employees. Flexible workstations that are built to reconfigure as workplace needs change and evolve can provide a continuing return on investment.

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