Opening the "eggs" of office space design in the post-epidemic era!
June saw the resumption of production and economic recovery. In this issue, we continue with the middle part of "Corporate change in the face of the epidemic".
Address:na
Time:2022/06/17~2056/06/23

In June, Shanghai saw a new lease of life after the epidemic was lifted and businesses resumed work and economic recovery. A systematic way of thinking is the starting point for designers to help companies change. In the last issue, mattDESIGN started the first part of "Corporate Change under the Epidemic", sharing our thoughts on the theme of "Design for Social Change in the Post-Epidemic Era". In this issue, we continue with the middle part of "Corporate Change in the Wake of the Epidemic".

 

Issue 2 Corporate Change under the Epidemic (Medium)

-Change and Innovation in Office Space

 

Chinese companies have been an important part of the globalised economy since its inception in the 1980s. in the recent years of the 21st century, Chinese companies have not only gone global, but have continued to explore inwards to stimulate innovation, strengthen their core competencies and design strategies to help them, taking on a role close to the top in terms of focusing on talent development and motivation, talent collaboration and innovation, and the application of new materials and technologies.

 

I. More adaptable, flexible and versatile space design

 

For a long time to come, Chinese companies will be conducting their economic activities in strict compliance with the national policy of prevention and clearing. The most important consideration for companies is safety and the ability for employees to work creatively in a safe environment. Designers need to help companies take into account the precautionary requirements of maintaining social distances in their designs, and companies can adopt space layouts that are flexible, controllable and more adaptable to changes in policy to meet their needs.

 

Let's take a look at the transformation options proposed by Steelcase. Scenario 1 is a 32 sqm meeting room with a capacity of 10 people before the retrofit, with cramped office space and narrow walking aisles. The first option was to directly reduce the density of staff from 10 to 6, expand the separate office area and keep the side-by-side seating the same. The second option was to replace the large conference table with a single desk, reposition the entrance way to the centre, parallel seating, add a separate office area and create direct access to the presentation board/lectern, allowing for easy switching between conference and office modes.

 

Before conversion -

Image courtesy of Steelcase

 

After conversion -

 

Image courtesy of Steelcase

 

Image courtesy of Steelcase

 

Option 2 is an open-plan coffee area of around 58 square metres, which before the renovation was relatively cramped and could accommodate around 20 people. Steelcase's proposal is a flexible solution that meets the requirements of social distance prevention and control.

 

Before conversion -

Image courtesy of Steelcase

 

After conversion -

 

Image courtesy of Steelcase

 

Image courtesy of Steelcase

 

Schrimmer Design Group provided detailed design recommendations for the company's response to the new crown epidemic, planning areas including office workstations, communal spaces, shared spaces and areas that can be flexibly utilised, adding individual ventilation and filtration systems and non-contact sterilisation to hardware facilities, designing with the aim of reducing staff density, maintaining a minimum social distance of 6 feet between workstations, using flexible furniture, partitions and screens to maintain space flexibility and mobility, and modifying high-traffic aisles to encourage safe and effective interaction and collaboration.

Image courtesy of Schrimmer Design Group

 

Image courtesy of Schrimmer Design Group

 

Image courtesy of Schrimmer Design Group

 

Image courtesy of Schrimmer Design Group

Image courtesy of Schrimmer Design Group

 

Perkins&Will's co-working space for Signify Health offers a new sense of connection. To promote a healthy and trusting office culture in the post-epidemic era, the design is about connecting space, culture and people. The designers have designed diverse office spaces, a variety of meeting rooms and lounge areas that can accommodate flexible office needs. Social distances are regulated with large, wider tables, teamwork and communication are highlighted with a striking staircase, where greetings are exchanged with colleagues on the staircase to promote human connection.

Image courtesy of Perkins&Will

 

Image courtesy of Perkins&Will

 

Image courtesy of Perkins&Will

 

Image courtesy of Perkins&Will

 

Image courtesy of Perkins&Will

 

Image courtesy of Perkins&Will

 

Modular furniture customisation to suit more flexible office needs is also something designers are thinking about, such as PRINCIPLES, a new furniture collection designed by OMA in collaboration with UniFor. The basic concept of PRINCIPLES is furniture that meets all the needs of people to support flexible working, meeting, social, intimate or semi-private needs. The collection consists of more than 100 different sized elements that companies can configure in a variety of ways, choosing to work in groups or independently. PRINCIPLES offers employees a wide choice of interactive communication, supports all types of spaces and uses from working, waiting, meeting and relaxing, and incorporates lighting, soundproofing and cable outlets to start the day at any time, anywhere. Isn't it tempting to work in a fun and comfortable environment?

 

Images courtesy of OMA and UniFor

 

Images courtesy of OMA and UniFor

 

Images courtesy of OMA and UniFor

 

Images courtesy of OMA and UniFor

 

Images courtesy of OMA and UniFor

 

Images courtesy of OMA and UniFor

 

Images courtesy of OMA and UniFor

 

II. Selection of materials

more conducive to environmental protection

 

Environmental issues are the greatest test of human economic development in the post-epidemic era, bringing with them an energy crisis, a raw materials crisis, a food crisis and the resulting health problems. Designers are able to contribute more to environmental protection not only because sustainability has become a design trend, but also because of a sense of responsibility. Designers and design companies are pioneers for their clients in the application of new technologies and techniques. They often come up with energy-saving and emission-reducing solutions that their clients have not thought of, which may cost extra costs and time in the short term, but which will benefit society as a whole in the long term.

 

BIG and Vestre have recently collaborated to build The Plus, an energy-efficient furniture factory in Norway, a low-rise structure in the shape of a cross with around 900 solar panels on the roof that will generate around 250,000 kWh of renewable energy per year, while reusing 90-95% of the water used in production. According to the design team, the building uses environmentally friendly and hard-wearing materials, robotically assisted production and will consume 60% less energy overall and emit 55% less greenhouse gases than a conventional factory. the Plus factory has also designed activity areas for children in the surrounding community to further promote environmental protection.

 

Image courtesy of BIG

 

Image courtesy of BIG

 

Image courtesy of BIG

 

Image courtesy of BIG

 

Image courtesy of BIG

 

Image courtesy of BIG

 

Image courtesy of BIG

 

For Torre Universal in San José, Costa Rica, Gensler has created an energy-efficient and contemporary office space system consisting of two basement levels and eight structured parking levels, topped by a lobby, retail floor and 14 floors of office space. The interior spaces are light-filled and the outdoor lounge terrace offers views of the city. The designers have used sophisticated materials and high performance design, a unitary glass curtain wall system to improve construction efficiency and control temperature, and a rainwater and groundwater irrigation reuse system which according to the designers will save 21% in energy costs, 82% in construction waste, 50% in indoor water costs and 100% in outdoor water costs.

 

Image courtesy of Gensler

 

Image courtesy of Gensler

 

Image courtesy of Gensler

 

Image courtesy of Gensler

 

Image courtesy of Gensler

 

Image courtesy of Gensler

 

Image courtesy of Gensler

 

With the post-epidemic era challenging companies to inspire innovation, it's time to unlock the 'egg' of office space design and shift the concept of the traditional workstation. By creating a more adaptable, humane and safe work environment, promoting a trusting and collaborative working atmosphere and encouraging employees to think outside the box, a flexible working environment and social distance will make them more comfortable and will further stimulate innovation. Encouraging the use of green materials and clean energy can strengthen the company's exploration of new materials and technologies, making it more competitive in the future. Designers' actions can create and change the future, and the opportunity of our time is with us.

 

In this issue we have presented the middle part of 'Transforming Businesses in an Epidemic', about the empowerment of design in physical spaces, and in the next issue we will continue with the next part of 'Transforming Businesses in an Epidemic'. Please feel free to share with us your thoughts and insights on the industry's cutting edge!