The world of work is changing all the time. New Work and the effects of digitalisation are progressively transforming work culture. Individual, flexible and networked solutions are therefore needed for contemporary workplaces. But what do inspiring office environments of the future look like? And how do companies remain agile in the face of continuous change? The upcoming ORGATEC trade fair provides a comprehensive overview of new developments and forward-looking products for the office and commercial sector. From 23 to 27 October, around 750 exhibitors will be presenting a diverse range of trends and innovations in Cologne for the working environments of today and tomorrow.
In addition to new designs for furnishings, products from the areas of flooring solutions, lighting, acoustics and media technology will also be on show at the leading international trade fair. With “Culture@Work” as the key theme, the trade fair’s extensive accompanying events and congress programme will also deal with the very latest topics such as work 4.0, creative workplace design, health in the office and innovative materials.
Designing for change
Agility: The new buzz word for the spatial change from traditional working methods to New Work. Instead of rigid and hierarchically organised office structures, environments of today should react flexibly to different activities and working methods. In order to keep pace with the dynamic development, furnishings are becoming increasingly adaptable. New products are oriented towards a modern work culture that places emphasis on mobility, creativity and flexibility – such as the imaginative “Insula” seating system from Capdell, one of the Spanish exhibitors (Hall 10.1, Stand C 38).
Working in feel-good zones
Trend researchers and other experts agree: Well-being is a hot topic in modern workplace design. As work and leisure time blend together more and more, people want to feel comfortable in their working environment. A pleasant environment ensures greater productivity, promotes creativity and increases the company’s attractiveness. Lounges, quiet zones and other wellness-oriented office areas are therefore becoming increasingly important. Manufacturers are responding with designs that are as comfy, inspiring and often playful as possible. “Form follows emotion” is the new credo in office furnishings. Soft surfaces, organic shapes and friendly colours convey both relaxation and functionality. This can be seen in the “Stone” collections by True Design (Hall 11.2, Stand F 11) and “Waves” by La Cividina (Hall 10.2, Stand J 29). They consist of a series of padded poufs in different shapes and sizes that are inspired by nature. The individual modules have an intelligent connection system that allows them to be joined together to create continuously changing seating landscapes.
Peace and quiet in the office
Forward-looking offices are places of exchange and communication. This makes interior design even more of a challenge. Coworking spaces or other open office structures need the right balance between too much and too little acoustics. Acoustic solutions have become indispensable in the open office in order to be able to have informal conversations as well as do concentrated work.
At ORGATEC 2018, many exhibitors will show that good room acoustics and visual appearance are not incompatible. One example that offers ample scope for design is the “Rausonic” panel system from Rehau. Freely formable diffuser walls made of “acoustic bricks” scatter the sound and create natural-sounding room acoustics.