What Trends Will Influence Office Design in 2019?

Design is developing quickly, and as a leading interior designer Auckland-wide, Studio DB has a unique and insightful view of the future of office space planning. Now that 2019 is here, we’re going over some trends to keep an eye on throughout the year and beyond.
14 Feb
Studio DB

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.

Data-driven spatial design

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.

Artificially intelligent spatial design

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.

Flexible spatial design

New monitoring tools and software like the ones discussed above are beginning to give us the means to make adjustments to spatial design within much tighter timeframes. Going forward, it’s more likely that office workplaces will have close, ongoing relationships with design firm teams who are able to continually optimise office layouts in response to gathered data. Rather than settling on one layout and sticking to it, newer tools allow offices to react faster to spatial design obstacles as they arise throughout an office’s lifespan.

It’s likely that the industry will move towards designing spaces with this sort of flexibility in mind. Now that technology is advancing so quickly, the best way to future proof your office is (1) invest in furniture and spaces that are easily modified, and (2) have a built-in trajectory for evolution. This means when technological shifts occur, it isn’t an exhausting ordeal to catch up again – your entire office should have to be refurbished every time your field experiences a big leap forward.

What does the future hold for you?

Planning an upgrade for your office? For a workplace design that will work for you for years to come, talk to the team here at Studio DB. Talk to us today about future-proofed spatial design – we’d love to hear from you! Call now to book a free discovery call!

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