Today, we’re not just looking at how the end product might change in your office interior refurbishment – we’re also exploring how the overall approach to new office fit-outs could change in the future.
In 2019, there are many different tools and services which can be used to both collect and analyse data from your office. Short-term data collection is a great way to learn more about how your staff operate so you can find ways to optimise their space – especially if your office is particularly large.
In the US and UK, there are office fit-out companies which specialise in this kind of a data collection, and then allow their clients to cross-reference the data they gather against company performance metrics or existing employee data. This can potentially allow businesses to see direct correlations between things such as their office layout and their employee turnover rate, something Studio DB is researching around office design in Auckland.
It’s also a great way to find out which interactions are working well for the company in order to encourage them, or find ways to foster similar collaboration elsewhere in the office.
The biggest thing keeping this from already being wide-spread practice is the concern for privacy. Certain UK companies have already come under public scrutiny for exploring office data-collection without consulting their staff first – a clear breach of ethics. Since then, advocates of data-driven design have stressed that it can only work if, firstly, anonymity is upheld and, secondly, workplaces are perfectly transparent about their data collection practices.
Now that our world is more connected than ever, newly-developed AI software is able to integrate with our workspaces directly, optimising our offices from the inside. It’s likely we’ll see the first big steps being taken this year toward AI-assisted design.
Of course, as a creative field, it’s unlikely AI will ever fully replace humans in office interior refurbishment – there will always be a creative design element that cannot be replicated by software. That said, AI has the capability of handling the more mechanical elements of design, leaving more time for humans to focus on the artistic facets of the field.
For example, AI could eventually be used to supply multiple possible design templates, which can be used as a jumping-off point and tweaked by a designer. AI could also be tailored to alert designers and office fit-out companies when improvements could be made to a plan. For instance, if a workstation is placed too close to a meeting room, and noise from one or the other could pose a potential distraction, the software would recognise the issue and alert a designer, who is then able to apply a fix, saving them valuable time.