With 2019 just around the corner, what office design trends and developments can the world expect to see over the coming year? Area’s Design Director, Dan Callegari, shares his predictions.

The inner urban landscape

The flowing, cohesive framework of well-designed public spaces, with muted colours and connected structures, will inspire designers to create seamless, integrated office landscapes with a more neutral aesthetic. Furniture will increasingly act as the connecting elements, integral to the overall concept, rather than standalone accent pieces. Green infrastructures will become the norm as sustainability ceases to be an afterthought and begins to drive the direction of schemes.

Opposing elements

Designers will increasingly experiment with contrasts and extremes to characterise different functional spaces within the office environment. This ‘yin and yang’ approach will create differentiation within a balanced whole. Breakout space in particular will evolve to meet the need for a more tangible, psychological separation from the life of the office. We should see a move away from clichéd, generic solutions as designers seek effective approaches backed by research. One such trend is the growing interest in acoustic ecologies, in which sound is used to help connect or indeed disconnect people from their environment.

Space for introspection

As it becomes more accepted that people need space to retreat and reflect on their own mental and emotional processes, it’s likely that designers will combine technology, furniture and space in solutions that directly address mental wellbeing. Enhanced lighting will play a part, as will innovative approaches that create personal experiences through human-centred sensory perception. Already we are seeing pilots and prototypes of developments such as neuron activation pods, which combine sound and vibration to help achieve a temporary meditative state.

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