This February the Corstorphine & Wright Interior Design team attended the annual Workspace Design Show which took place at the beautiful Grade II listed Business Design Centre in London. Bringing together the UK’s workplace interiors community and over 3000 attendees from the world of Workplace Design to explore tomorrow’s workspaces read on to hear Corstorphine & Wright’s very own Senior Interior Designer, Richard Liddle share his experience of this year’s event.
“Our focus at the Workspace Design show was to discover innovations from across the office sector and identify potential new approaches and solutions to the space planning challenges we are presented with daily in our current projects. Our research not only took us to numerous stands to enjoy learning about over 300 products on display but also meant we spent a lot of time listening to many of the industry experts, architects and interior designers discuss and debate various aspects of the current world of workplace design.
Our team browsed and engaged with the various exhibitors observing the current and future trends that are likely to take the workplace sector forward. One particularly interesting aspect was the current environmental ideas that are helping to direct the commercial interior industry towards its zero-carbon target.
This included an increasing desire of clients to refurbish existing property rather than go down the demolition and rebuild route. It was also noted that many new buildings are leapfrogging the traditional CAT A fit-out from ‘Shell & Core’ straight to CAT B. This is becoming increasingly popular now that CGI and interactive software can provide potential tenants with the visual experience, they need to get on board with a scheme without the wasteful generic CAT A fit out which is ultimately ripped out and replaced by the occupants.
Another interesting takeaway from the design discussions was the notion that the office environment must provide more variety for the many different user types that occupy it. The one size fits all approach of the past is dead and was exacerbated in the home-working revolution during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.
Alongside this, there is now a greater variety of generations working together within an office space, presenting at times different requirements and types of experience. “Connection rather than collaboration” was proposed as a new approach to office layout design, something that would help new starters gain the vital experience they require from going to a place of work, from those within the organization who have been in the workforce for several years.
Interestingly, the hotel industry is a leading light on how the future office environment is being designed and planned. This is a direction of play that has the office space providers and developers including much more amenity space and facilities within the building for the staff to use whilst at work. In these spaces, traditional desk space is now being replaced by gymnasiums, coffee bars, relaxed areas featuring sofas etc. which is more akin to the communal spaces in hotels.
At Corstorphine & Wright, our cross-sector experience allows us to design interior spaces that cater to the needs of different user types and draw inspiration from emerging trends across sectors. Our extensive expertise in both office and hospitality design, for instance, has enabled us to incorporate concepts from the communal spaces found in hotels into our office designs. By using our experience across different sectors, we can deliver innovative solutions.
Overall, the event was a great opportunity to discover innovations and solutions within the office sector, including the focus on environmental ideas and the shift towards refurbishing existing properties instead of demolition and rebuilding. It’s exciting to see how the future of office design is being shaped. The Workspace Design Show 2023 was a great example of the industry coming together to explore tomorrow’s workspaces, and the Corstorphine & Wright team left feeling inspired and excited about what’s to come.”