The Shaping Factors forming Contemporary and Future Office Designs

Christina Bodin Danielsson

Abstract


This article contains an exploratory survey of key determinants of future office workplaces, taking into account the current discourse on the subject, by framing the disparate knowledge on the subject in an office design context. The aim is not to present a full review of this wide field, which covers various disciplines and participants with different backgrounds. Instead, the aim is to present the subject of future workplaces and how it is debated in the various fields and the different perspectives applied to it, in order to make the subject easily accessible to architects and designers. This is achieved by gathering various discourses within the field and presenting these from a design perspective.

This survey applies a triangulation approach, where knowledge is retrieved from three sources: practice, research and case study, from which interview data is utilized. A method that highlights and contrasts different aspects and perspectives on the subject.

In addition to gathering this disparate range of discourse describing the future workplace, the primary result of this survey is the identification of six “shaping factors” that dictate the future office: 1) Generation Y, 2) Diversity of workforce, 3) Digital development, 4) Office, a meeting place, 5) Branding, 6) Flexibility. This article presents the relations between these six points as well as the potential risks and benefits from their combined and individual use. The article also aims to identify potentially important future topics to develop and study in office design, in order to be better prepared to meet the future.

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