Unsupported browser

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Sign up for an Award

Participate with your entry in one of our professional or student awards.

Sign up for an award

Sign up for a Profile

Create your own profile and publish it in the iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE.

Sign up for a profile

Learn more:

iF SOCIAL IMPACT PRIZE

Present your project for free and win your share of EUR 50,000 in prize money.

Publish your project

iF trend exhibition 2020: Working Environments

Desks and office chairs, once the insignia of the working world, have long since been subjected to the rules of ergonomics. The same applies to the mechanical devices used in production. Awareness of the importance of physical health in the workplace has become an integral part of our industrialized countries. Most employers now also take mental health aspects into consideration. These include, for example, systems for employee participation in decision-making, but also fitness and retreat opportunities, flexible working hours and support for personal development. Digitization is opening up new perspectives for reconciling family and career for everyone concerned. This requires working environments that support and think along with the employee – and encourage creativity for productive collaboration.

Five Design Highlights of Working Environments

Although the history of office architecture does not begin with the Larkin Building by Frank Lloyd Wright (1904-1906), the building's internal structure is a perfect example of early work organization. Spacious open-plan offices created transparency and a sense of community, core values of the company at that time. With the technological revolution, other needs were constantly being added, ergonomics became a buzzword, as did shared offices and mobile working. Nowadays, possibilities for retreat are integrated into open space concepts. Like the se:cube office pods. Flexible elements in three sizes allow employees to concentrate and focus in well thought-out design.
se:cube (Sedus Systems GmbH, Germany) | Office pods

Although the history of office architecture does not begin with the Larkin Building by Frank Lloyd Wright (1904-1906), the building's internal structure is a perfect example of early work organization. Spacious open-plan offices created transparency and a sense of community, core values of the company at that time. With the technological revolution, other needs were constantly being added, ergonomics became a buzzword, as did shared offices and mobile working. Nowadays, possibilities for retreat are integrated into open space concepts. Like the se:cube office pods. Flexible elements in three sizes allow employees to concentrate and focus in well thought-out design.

Industrialization 1.0 came along with the introduction of the assembly line and the mechanisms of Taylorism. Henry Ford recognized the signs of the times and not only used the latest technologies to manufacture his cars, but also tried to make workplaces more ergonomic, including criticism of capitalism. In the age of Industry 4.0, digitization and transformation have changed the working environment. Nevertheless, manual production steps carried out by humans are still part of everyday life. The Skelex 360, designed especially for overhead work, uses carbon-fiber suspension to reduce weight and make the assembly worker’s life easier.
Skelex 360 (Skelex, The Netherlands) | Exoskeleton for workers

Industrialization 1.0 came along with the introduction of the assembly line and the mechanisms of Taylorism. Henry Ford recognized the signs of the times and not only used the latest technologies to manufacture his cars, but also tried to make workplaces more ergonomic, including criticism of capitalism. In the age of Industry 4.0, digitization and transformation have changed the working environment. Nevertheless, manual production steps carried out by humans are still part of everyday life. The Skelex 360, designed especially for overhead work, uses carbon-fiber suspension to reduce weight and make the assembly worker’s life easier.

Anyone who has had to convert the breakfast table into a workplace in their home office during Corona times knows how tedious this can be. You throw together an eclectic mixture of individual parts, cables are hanging every which way – this isn’t the way the beautiful new working world is supposed to look! So why not find a permanent solution right from the start? The classic secretary might be what you need here – but bulky part-time furniture is not the solution to the problem. The filigrino writing desk, however, is perfect for managing the balancing act between elegant, minimalist sideboard and functional desk, including a wireless charging station.
filigno writing desk (TEAM 7 Natürlich Wohnen GmbH, Austria) | Wooden secretary desk

Anyone who has had to convert the breakfast table into a workplace in their home office during Corona times knows how tedious this can be. You throw together an eclectic mixture of individual parts, cables are hanging every which way – this isn’t the way the beautiful new working world is supposed to look! So why not find a permanent solution right from the start? The classic secretary might be what you need here – but bulky part-time furniture is not the solution to the problem. The filigrino writing desk, however, is perfect for managing the balancing act between elegant, minimalist sideboard and functional desk, including a wireless charging station.

The crux of modular office landscapes? They are integrated into existing structures as add-ons. They do not supplement, but create new sub-areas and uneasy work situations. The change from rigid room construction and permanent sitting to flexible, ergonomically demanding furniture requires mobile and at the same time stable solutions. The normcore Office Furniture Collection possesses this lightness, which leads to more inspired working. It is reduced to essential design features and accompanies everyday office life while staying on the quiet side.
Normcore (gumpo GmbH & Co. KG, Germany) Office Furniture Collection

The crux of modular office landscapes? They are integrated into existing structures as add-ons. They do not supplement, but create new sub-areas and uneasy work situations. The change from rigid room construction and permanent sitting to flexible, ergonomically demanding furniture requires mobile and at the same time stable solutions. The normcore Office Furniture Collection possesses this lightness, which leads to more inspired working. It is reduced to essential design features and accompanies everyday office life while staying on the quiet side.

High-rack warehouses where forklift trucks drive back and forth – this is how many people still think of goods logistics. And if flour, yeast and toilet paper do not reach the customer in time, the driver probably didn’t load enough pallets. The fact that today’s goods are picked up and forwarded by automatically controlled vehicles not only serves the purpose of speeding up the logistics process, but also enhances the well-being of the staff. Precision and safety are two essential aspects of this. The SAFELOG AGV M3 driverless transport vehicle can move up to two tons and uses agents to communicate with several hundred "colleagues" at the same time to increase efficiency.
SAFELOG AGV M3 (SAFELOG GmbH, Germany) | Automated guided vehicle

High-rack warehouses where forklift trucks drive back and forth – this is how many people still think of goods logistics. And if flour, yeast and toilet paper do not reach the customer in time, the driver probably didn’t load enough pallets. The fact that today’s goods are picked up and forwarded by automatically controlled vehicles not only serves the purpose of speeding up the logistics process, but also enhances the well-being of the staff. Precision and safety are two essential aspects of this. The SAFELOG AGV M3 driverless transport vehicle can move up to two tons and uses agents to communicate with several hundred "colleagues" at the same time to increase efficiency.

  • 01/05

>> Find more interesting entries of seven further trends here:

Healthy Living  ·  Holistic Nature  ·  Information Intelligence  ·  Urban Mobility  ·  Smart Living  ·  Sustainability  ·  User Experience