New working environments

The future office: co-working spaces

Coworking is a popular model for creative and productive work in a community that is fun and has a future. Besides the latest digital technology, ergonomic workplaces and imaginative lounges are available for users in the coworking spaces. Completely flexible, for a few hours or long term. Interior decorators, designers and planners can really go all out in terms of design when furnishing such office spaces. Due to the constantly growing number of coworking spaces, traders should adjust to increasing demand for suitable products.

Sep 19 2018

An increasing number of freelancers, creatives, start-ups and business travellers make use of the advantages of openly designed coworking spaces: very flexible rental agreements, spaces suitable for concentrated work, lounging or teamwork, the latest digital technology with all-round service, creative networking and especially original furnishing – including cafe or restaurant. The popular rental offices are long since not only found in major cities like London or Berlin, from where they originate. Companies also like to rent the modern and flexible offices, sometimes even on several storeys. The result is a growing field of activity for architects, interior decorators, designers and traders. One of the pioneers among the innovative coworking companies is WeWork, which was founded eight years ago in New York as a start-up. The network in the meantime encompasses far more than 400 locations, the most recent of which include two just completed WeWork spaces in Munich.

Work as a creative experience

Like the atmosphere, the furnishing of the space is also lively, cool and relaxed. It extends from zones with desks and team rooms through lounging areas to the cafe area with table tennis or foosball. The playful component is important for typical tenants like digital natives, who belong to the start-up scene. The furnishing is appropriately colourful and imaginative. Of course the office spaces are primarily for productive work – but the fun factor has to be there. Ideal for coworking is therefore an imaginative mix of ergonomic, acoustically effective and mobile office equipment and cosy zones that stimulate creative exchange. Innovative manufacturers should keep this in mind.

It can happen that designers furnish entire coworking spaces with their own furniture. Together with the team of his design studio, Tom Dixon designed the London "Atrium Office Camden" of the office space provider Interchange. In addition to pieces from an office furniture series that Dixon presented as a market novelty at ORGATEC, his "Y-Chair", lighting from the "Bell" series and the upholstered armchair "Wingback", desks and table lamps are part of the furnishing, and were created exclusively for this place.

A colourful mix that inspires

The programme of the manufacturer König+Neurath includes variable product lines for the design of individual work environments. One can set up diversified coworking areas with versatile series like "Work.Place.Organic": long chairs in fresh colours and comfortable upholstered elements can be effectively staged in the open space with attachment walls and side tables. Bar tables and organically designed retreat zones of the extensive equipment line make intensive work phases quiet and pleasant.

The concept of the furniture manufacturer COR looks different. Instead of a modular system, the company has brought a series of multifunctional pieces of small furniture onto the market, especially for flexible use in coworking offices. The series includes, among other pieces, the practical and beautiful "Floater" sofa. It can be equipped with various upholstery modules and shelving elements as desired, and has an integrated electrical socket. A space element surrounding the seating furniture provides quiet and privacy.

Movement, acoustics and ergonomics

With the "Cellular System" from Brunner, entire rows of workplaces or individual seating groups can be defined. The upholstered, wave-shaped modules can be easily placed in a row in order to structure the space and improve the acoustics. Another important theme in the coworking space is dynamic seating and mobility – ((Link to the article "Live OS: The smart office") ergonomic factors that make office work healthier. Interstuhl has developed the "UPis1" stool for active sitting at the desk. Its rounded base plate enables movements in all directions and the height can be adjusted steplessly. In the lounge, the sculptural "Bird" chaise longue from Cappellini playfully ensures diverse seating positions with its rocking effect.

A colourful mix of practical and original furnishing objects makes coworking spaces individual places of well-being. ORGATEC offers unique insight into the most varied product worlds in order to find the appropriate selection. To ensure a detectable design thread in the mix’n match of the offices, interior decorators, designers and traders should work together intensively on the design of interiors.

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