Mar 02 2021

Modular Office - Design for new work environments

Even before the Corona pandemic, work was becoming more mobile and digital. With the current increase in remote working and changing office presences, this trend is intensifying. Change is constant, which means that the requirements for a flexible working environment are growing. Clever room concepts and office systems therefore adapt. Modular furnishings can be changed depending on the situation.

Ability to adapt 

Offices are multifunctional places per se: concentrated individual work takes place here just as much as communicative teamwork, confidential meetings and relaxed conversations among colleagues. For some time now, floor plans and room layouts have been adapted to these different needs. 

Mobile forms of work and a permeable organisation often determine the planning. Flexibility and adaptability are therefore also playing an increasingly important role in furnishing: newer products can be individually designed with a modular structure, and can be combined or extended in many ways.  

Change with a system 

Modular furniture and furnishing systems with coordinated elements enable numerous combinations for changing requirements. Current modular systems for office furnishing such as "Link" by the Spanish manufacturer Actiu or "Atelier" by Fantoni offer almost unlimited design solutions. 

They enable customised configurations of work environments of different sizes. A change of the whole is feasible at any time. Especially for spacing and changing office occupancies in the Corona pandemic, such flexible systems offer great advantages in space planning.

Room planning system

For office or home office 

Today, even individual pieces of furniture can be flexibly assembled and extended. Cupboards and shelves are designed to be adaptable and can be rearranged with just a few handles. The idea is actually not new. The Dauphin HumanDesign Group, for example, sees the "Modul Space" modular shelving and sideboard system from its subsidiary Bosse as being in the Bauhaus tradition.

The system, which can be changed using tubular steel nodes, is based on a basic idea by the designer Paul Cadovius from the 1960s. A Black Edition of the range is currently on the market, which, with its matt black colour scheme, fits flexibly into both office environments and home offices.

Black Edition of the Bosse

Design to suit your mood 

The principle of modular office furniture is: one solution for many applications. This means that not only the form but also the use can vary. For example, a wall shelf can be transformed into a room divider or a sideboard in a few simple steps - the user decides on the function and perception of the furniture. This is now being continued in the design of almost all office elements. 

The new "conexius.w" movable wall system from Mauser Einrichtungssysteme can be fully or partially glazed or fitted with a whiteboard coating. Thanks to innovative connection technology, it can also be transformed into other types of furniture, a shelf, a coat rack or a plant box wall. 

The partition and room-within-a-room systems by the Stuttgart-based manufacturer Movisi are also modularly optimised. The lightweight furniture for the working environment can be designed as the mood takes you, without tools. The special feature: They are produced from a sustainable plastic foam that consists of up to 95 percent air and is fully recyclable.

New concepts for new work 

In the future, companies will need even more working environments that can easily be adapted to the needs of the users and the respective framework conditions. With multifunctional spaces that support different ways of working, collaboration at a distance can also be significantly improved. 

The "Fields" furniture series from the Swedish office specialist Kinnarps has been specially developed for the new working world. It is suitable for creating shared working environments as well as for meeting areas, room-in-room solutions, meeting situations or individual workplaces. A comprehensive range and a large selection of colours, materials and accessories provide even more design freedom. 

The British design and technology start-up Automated Architecture goes one step further in making the working world more flexible: using an automated construction technique, the manufacturer produces a mobile mini-office complex from individual building blocks. Due to the unique construction method, the mobile office can always be adapted to changing requirements and set up in the new configuration. 

Everyday working life remains flexible, mobile and virtual and continues to be characterised by diversity. With the corona pandemic, awareness of health-promoting work behaviour is growing at the same time. Work environments must not only meet changing hygiene standards, but also all age groups. Modular systems can help to design the office for these new requirements.

Author: Broekman+Partner

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