What does the office of the future look like? If you’re design firm Knoll, you know that this vision is constantly changing. Meeting the demands of the modern worker happens through continual adaptation, a spirit of thinking embodied in Knoll’s r/evolution workplace platform.
Four different interior planning approaches form the basis of the r/evolution workplace, each of which has its own distinct look, feel, and function, says Kylie Roth, LEED AP, Knoll’s Director of Workplace Strategy.
Like all projects, designing the workspace of tomorrow – whether it’s a complete transformation or a minor modification – starts with a conversation. “We don’t believe that any of our products fit into just one of the planning strategies,” Roth says. “We make a lot of different furniture and you don’t have to just stick within one product line – it’s about the mix and how you can arrange those different pieces and parts to create the office that’s just right for you.”
The four planning approaches – Perimeter, Core, Efficient, and Adaptive – are considered “points on a continuum,” adds Roth. “We know that the lines cross over and it can get blurred. We just try to provide some definite points to help have the conversation.”
Perimeter Planning is “a more classic approach to workplace design,” more structured and more supportive of individual focus work, while Core Planning features open spaces along the architectural perimeter. “There’s more parity to natural light because enclosed spaces move to the building’s core, allowing a balance of more focused, shared, and team work,” she says.
Efficient Planning focuses on more space for shared and team work, as primary workspaces shrink in size. “That’s often because companies are looking to maximize space utilization and minimize real estate costs,” says Roth. This planning approach is often coupled with alternative workplace strategies, like telecommuting or flex-time.
The newest and more emerging model is Adaptive Planning, which uses movable elements to define a variety of flexible workspaces, enabling people to respond to change and shape their own work experience.
“The office no longer just needs to support work processes, but it also more importantly needs to support people, culture, and innovation, and that’s kind of resulted in this diversity of work modes and that explosion in a variety of space types and now with us, an array of work tools which consist of technology and furniture and personalized accessories,” says Roth. “There’s just a lot more freedom and opportunity within the work environment today.”
– Jennifer Pullinger