Imagine an office where there is Artificial Intelligence instead of managers and workplace diversity means the inclusion of Robots? Building offices underground is safer and more affordable? Or they might go the other way and build “up and up and up” into to “Superstructures”…
In recent years interior designers have seen major shifts in work styles and the workplaces needed to support them, raising the question of what offices might look like in the future.
Metamorphosis: Auckland City in chrysalis
The Auckland City Centre is entering into a phase of profound infrastructure change. So much so that if even half of what is proposed gets underway almost every aspect of the centre city will be different.
The exteriors of Auckland’s new buildings tend to attract the most attention, but it is their interiors that should be watched more closely. Existing buildings make up the majority of Auckland’s built landscape now and will continue to do so long into the future, therefore office retrofits and repositioning will be important factors in the future of office design and commercial landscape.
You can expect new Auckland workspaces to be highly innovative in their internal layout, where by completed constructions signal how “work” is likely to evolve. Technology companies have already changed office behaviour as a result of e-mail, online search and collaboration tools. They are doing the same for physical spaces.
Embracing Change: A spotlight on NCBT’s recent refit by Db Interiors.
10 year prediction…
Sustainability, occupational density and technology continue to dictate the NZ’s office landscape in 10 years’ into the future.
It is likely that landlords will reduce moves towards more efficient use of space to stay on top of ever increasing costs per square metre.
A new kind of space will be required, one that lets in more natural light with better natural ventilation, with better temperature control and provides for more collaborative and more productive work space.
Impact on the workplace
Energy-efficient design to increase long-term cost savings will become a priority and “bio-inspired” design techniques will continue to expand. Property owners will have an added responsibility to install and maintain energy –saving office infrastructure such as window treatments and lighting.
Designers will work closely with health and safety coordinators to reduce and eventually remove unsafe, inefficient and uncomfortable work practice. Anthropometric data will help accommodate workers in spaces in order to fit the greatest number of people to work safely and make work systems functional.
Building modules will become smaller and more flexible and smart offices will dominate the landscape. Increased modularity of office systems to enhance adaptability and designers will gravitate towards more generic and simple partitioning.
Concepts such as the Intelligent Workplace and Collective Intelligence will be at the forefront of workplace organisation and will dictate the office layout. Highly connected wearable tech will rise, and space will be increasingly controlled via sensor systems and interconnected infrastructure.
Consider This! Self-adjusting lighting and window shades. The ability to personalise heat and light settings for one’s immediate space, and have those settings follow you around the building. An app for booking desks and meeting rooms. Desk or room sensors that track usage to monitor efficiency.
30 year prediction …
Further into the future, the definition of the “built environment” will become blurred and “the office environment” will be somewhat ambiguous. We will witness the impacts of rapid innovation, climate change and an overflowing population.
Impact on the workplace:
Robots and automation in the office will change everything in the office where daily work tasks cannot be completed without technology.
Job functions will likely change, with many of today’s jobs replaced by artificial intelligence and/or robot.
High-tech workspaces will require changes to air quality, power and plumbing, and the office building itself will literally become a machine.
Designers and architects will need to respond directly to environmental threats and climate change and infrastructure drive a new way of working.
Multidimensional commercial elevators and space ports, hydraulic loading docks and global autonomous energy will completely change the way we view the office space.
IMAGINE…. Auckland with floating buildings, underwater offices and superstructures (super tall buildings). Cities like Auckland will undergo intensive design innovation to address challenges of sea-level rise and weather events.