Expectations of how office spaces work is changing, with an increasing array of workspace types, but what about their core design? With 48% of us believing that office design has an impact on the decision to stay with our current employer or not, the design of our workspaces now need to work harder than ever before. Here are our key discoveries about creating the perfect office habitat in 2018.

Colour Zoning

With the resurgence of Memphis and expressive Italian design there has been a departure from minimalism and more onus on making spaces quirky, expressive and above all interesting. Colour zoning is becoming a way of creating these experiences that will set your office apart from others and offer opportunities to bring your brand to life.

A fantastic example of using colour zoning as branding is the work by Masquespacio, a creative consultancy in Spain. Masquespacio recreated their brand and workspace under the concept of ‘mas’ (more). Creative director of Masquespacio Ana Milena Hernández Palacios noted “although it is a working space, we looked to incorporate decorative elements at every moment. vivid colors and upholstered furniture which aim to create a warm atmosphere that is more than just a place to work.”

Embrace the Hack

The Maker movement states “We must make, create, and express ourselves to feel whole” in its manifesto, and has influenced many industries. This is important is because it gives users ownership and allows them to add their own touch to products, as they embrace the process of hacking and customising items to fit their needs.

Patterns and colours that are/appear self-applied offer a more brand led direction to furnishings in your office. Pretty Pegs is a one-stop shop for supplying alternative parts for IKEA furnishings. They first specialised in changing the legs of tables and sofas and have now moved on to knobs for draws. In February 2018 they will move onto the ‘fronts’ of the furniture initially starting with IKEA’s BESTÅ.

Flexible Decor

In 2018 a real focus for the office will be the flexibility of the space. Walls are an important place of invention, where peg and cork boards will allow ‘to do lists’ or ‘mind maps’ to be easily put up and taken down with ease. Another way of really utilising the future office will be through modular furniture which will offer more mobility and customisation, with movable compartments, adaptable extensions and adjustable inserts, tapping into a growing need for flexible, practical designs.

A great example is Lim + Lu’s 12-piece versatile furniture series. The pushcart furniture can be used as a coffee table, to move items around, as well as becoming a bookshelf when upright.

Light as a Material

In the last couple of years we have seen access to natural light becoming a priority as it influences our mood and wellness. In 2018, spaces will increasingly need to be designed to maximise our exposure to natural light, this will boost the moods of employees, increasing vitamin D and helping to reduce anxiety and stress.

However, if your space doesn’t allow for much natural light don’t fret, as there are product design alternatives that will mimic natural light, such as tabletop projectors and lamps to offer the next best thing.

Bec Brittain is one of these designers that is offering an alternative by treating light as a material. Her Aries lighting collection carry a likeness to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, as rotating prisms adorn her LED fixtures and create mesmerising moments that elevate mood. Light can also come to life with touch. UNStudio and Scape have joined forces with a team of neuroscientists, software and technology experts to see how this type of interaction can relieve stress in the workplace.

At Underscore we are looking forward to seeing these trends evolve through our related work with both occupiers and landlords. Turning the formality of the traditional office on its head and designing meaningful moments that will promote and enhance wellness.

To find out how the latest trends can improve your mood, why not contact our team at hello@underscore.co.uk

1.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/goodlife/living/living-in-a-flatshare-in-your-50s/
2.http://workplaceinsight.net/workplace-conditions-and-the-office-design-shown-to-affect-performance/
3.https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/what-will-the-office-look-like-in-10-years/index.html
4.https://blog.prototypr.io/google-and-the-resurgence-of-italian-design-e9234cf3d073?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_profile_view_base_recent_activity_details_shares%3BcIkioQ72SVCH3YPDZEzFmQ%3D%3D
5.https://www.designboom.com/architecture/masquespacio-office-interior-branding-mas-project-03-17-2016/
6.https://www.prettypegs.com
7.https://www.opendesk.cc/blog/opendesk-x-space10-x-ikea-x-tom-dixon
8.https://www.designboom.com/design/lim-lu-cl3-pushcart-furniture-cornell-05-22-2017/
9.https://www.unstudio.com/en/page/7638/reset-your-stress-a-collaboration-between-unstudio-and-scape-part-1
10.https://www.dezeen.com/2017/05/11/bec-brittain-launches-aries-lighting-collection-galactic-projections-nycxdesign/