The Big Question

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If 2018 was about flooring, 2019 about acoustics, what do you think the ‘big thing’ in workplace will be in 2020?

Martin

MARTIN BALLENDAT, DESIGNER, DESIGN BALLENDAT

Technology is steering our course into the future at blazing speed – it has become such a vital tool for survival. I think it is interesting that furniture in the workplace is still analogue to such a high degree – there is still a long way to go before we can call our furniture intelligent, adaptable or personalised. The desk has already started to evolve with electronic height adjustment controlled by an App on your phone, but this is just the beginning. I see intelligent furniture being the next ‘big thing’ in 2020.

Melanie

MELANIE RIDER, UK FACILITIES MANAGER, EXPEDIA GROUP

The way we approach workspace has evolved from just being a row of desks to a space that has a sense of fun, community and engagement. Cultural diversity and inclusion will be a driving factor in new design and innovation as things like gender-neutral washrooms become more important. Using the latest tech, such as artificial intelligence, will increase the need for flexible design and collaborative spaces that can adapt to changing skillsets.

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JUMANA SHAMMA, INTERIOR DESIGNER, HALKIN AND MEYER OFFICE SOLUTIONS

Sustainability. I suspect 2020 will bring more interiors that are sustainably driven. We have already seen all industries reducing the use of plastic and I can see interior designers will also put more emphasis on experimenting in 2020, using more unusual and new materials that are based on reusing, reducing and recycling too. We will have conscious and gentle well-balanced spaces, which come without the harmful consequences to nature and the planet, to look forward to.

MRV

MARIA RODRIGUEZ VAZQUEZ, DIRECTOR, FABRIC (EU) LTD

Interiors are seen in the first instance for their aesthetics, but good design should also recognise the actual people we are creating spaces for. The art of design creates spaces that promote people’s health, happiness and wellbeing. 2020 will see a focus on mental wellbeing’ within the workplace, to include a spectrum of personalities and their varied requirements which, as designers, we should consider and design for to provide a happy and healthy environment.

Fabrick

DAVID ING, MANAGING DIRECTOR, FABRICK

2020 needs to be the year we address energy consumption. The vast majority of our existing buildings perform very poorly and whilst new buildings are designed to be energy efficient, the reality is that very few live up to expectations and we don’t then address the issue as to why. We are adding more technology into buildings, lighting design is getting more complex and heating and cooling systems are often overtly complicated and not operating as eff iciently as they should. This has to be addressed.

David

DAVID BARLOW, UK DIRECTOR, NOWY STYL GROUP

Definitely the innovative off ice, which will stimulate employees to create innovative solutions in interdisciplinary teams. Workspace should support people in various types of communication and inspire them to think out of the box – by floorplan and design. The process of creating new ideas together and the clash of different points of view are the things that foster innovation. By combining cooperation, exchange of knowledge, as well as employees’ reflections and insights, we can give rise to new ideas that go far beyond the existing knowledge.