We are living in a time of incredible technological advancements, allowing for interior designers to flex their creativity to a wide range of possibilities. New design innovations will allow us to disrupt traditional workplace trends and introduce more dynamic and engaging spaces.
Below, we’ve outlined the top five design trends to look for in 2018:
Incorporating Biophilic Design Elements
It has been proven that spending time in nature leads to people feeling more calm, creative, happier and healthier. Knowing this, it’s no surprise that companies are actively trying to bring nature into the workplace. Biophilic design builds around humans’ innate need to feel more connected to nature by incorporating live plants into design plans, which increase air quality and improve happiness levels.
In 2018, we expect designers to do more in order to fully integrate biophilic principles into workplaces, by using nature as an architectural framework instead of an afterthought. More focus will be put on certifications, such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) or BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), which focus on sustainability and environmental performance of office spaces.
Greening the Office on Every Level
After bringing nature into the workplace, companies are taking a deeper dive into how to create an environmentally-friendly office space. These processes include:
- Renewable energy sources, such as solar panels to power the office
- Grey water systems
- Air purification renovations
- Carbon offsets
- Green web hosting
- Locally sourced food
- Bike and electric car rentals
Companies are also starting to get more creative with their outdoor spaces, incorporating walking meeting paths, community gardens, indoor greenhouses, running paths, parks, and more.
Use of More Textures, Materials and Patterns
While minimalistic style continues to be popular, textures and patterns introduce a playful side to design. Incorporating a variety of textures, materials and patterns will help create a cohesive, engaging and visually interesting workplace. These textures also liven up the sensory elements of a room — increasing the comfort levels of a workplace and giving it that homey feeling employees are looking for in an office space. Examples of trending materials include woven rugs, handmade baskets, faux sheepskin chair throws, fabric wall panels, and more.
Incorporating the Maker Movement
Many of these products that add texture and patterns to workplace design are also part of the maker movement, which includes crafted furniture, local art, handmade utensils and appliances, and more. The maker movement allows designers to create and source pieces that are functional, practical and trendy. Moving away from a utilitarian design will give an office space more personality, making it more approachable, and inspiring employees to be more engaged.
Unconventional and Dynamic Work Spaces
The new workforce prefers open spaces, collaborative environments and flexible settings. Spaces should be dynamic in that they are able to support the constantly changing needs of a room, and therefore be more engaging to employees. These spaces could include couches, plants, yoga mats, walking or standing desks, movable furniture, garage doors, colorful whiteboard walls, and more. Dynamic spaces empower employees to be more creative and engaging with their environment, and these design elements make spaces more fun and flexible, helping to attract and retain young talent.
Given the changing demographics of employees in 2018, designers should focus on improving spaces in order to recognize the value of individuals in the workplace. We’re curious to hear what you think. What other design trends should we be looking for in 2018? Let us know in the comments below!