workout |workplace of the future

COMPETITION FOR METROPOLIS | 2013

 

 

The subject

“Workout” is a design proposal for a large, creative firm, for example a graphic design company or an advertising agency. The Multi-national corporate office scale calls for the variety of different thinking, working and meeting spaces in 'Workout'.

How will we work in 2020?

Evidence that we can think better while being in motion goes back to ancient Greece. Exercise creates vibrant new brain cells and also has a deeply calming effect. Both of these have a positive influence on creative and balanced work. Contemporary digital communication allows us to be more connected with people and information with less and less hardware. You no longer need your computer to access data online, the knowledge is wherever you are.  In 2020 we won’t need screens and keyboards, they will be seamlessly embedded in our environment. There is no perfect condition for focused and creative work process. Sometimes we want to sink into our own world without hearing or seeing what’s happening around us. Other times the energy  of our co-workers  can have an invigorating  effect on us. The workplace of the future offers both.

How does Workout address these new needs?

Working will be more fun than fun, because: You don’t have to sit at your desk but can walk or bike or skate around if you feel like it. And by doing so, the kinetic energy will be converted to electricity to power the projectors. You’ll never be bored with your desk at work, because you won’t have one. Your  phone and glasses will know who you are and you can simply plug in anywhere. If you don’t feel social, it’s OK, just pull down the cocoon light and you have the whole day for yourself.

Exercise is key to a healthy life. 'Workout' is shaped by a path of motion - It doesn’t simply foster exercise, but exercise is the organizing principle of the system. The flexibility of 'Workout' allows people to choose their workplace from a diverse set of spatial conditions according to their mood, need and speed. The pull-down function of the cocoon light allows for a wide range of between privacy and openness in any point in the open office.

Inspiration, concept and materiality

Exercise doesn't only make us feel better, but it fosters creative thinking and also has a calming effect on us. Instead of having to sit at our desk, 'Workout' allows us to bike, jog or skate on a curvilinear ramp that defines rooms on an open floor plate. Spaces for meetings, working  and presentation are defined by the continuous ramps.The ramp fans out to create a variety of stepped platforms that invite people for informal meetings and discussions. The convex and concave nooks lend themselves for collaborative or individual work sessions.

The undulating  guardrail creates more intimate working areas at its high points and more open collaborative spaces at its low points. The  guardrail is a perfect projection surface for both personal work and presentations. Any smooth surface including the tables can be used for projections as well. The  projectors are integrated into desk lights that are powered by the electricity that is converted from the kinetic energy of walking and cycling on the path.

As information can be wherever we are, people are not bound to a specific location in the office. Their phones and glasses know everything about them, they can plug into any desk light projector.

Collaborative spaces and private spaces are interconnected as people can simply pull down a cocoon light and be in their own bubble. Heads down areas are located in the corners where suspended hammocks invite the employees to take a break. The material palette is muted to create a quiet backdrop for the endlessly flowing projected information. The curvilinear bicycle and pedestrian path is clad with bamboo that is both sustainable and has a natural touch. The blue felt cocoon lights are soft and warm. 

The floorplan shows the open layout of the plan that is organized by a singular continuous  bicycle ramp to create different working environments. Renderings show different spatial configurations created by the ramp and how people use them. More intimate work areas are inscribed into concave nooks of the path where the guardrail shields and creates a projection surface. Collaborative and lounge areas are in more open spaces. The stepped platforms of the ramp invite people to have informal meetings and breaks.