Tight-spaced office cubicles are slowly disappearing. Companies and corporates are opting for more open-plan offices or even shared work spaces. Even the world’s biggest company, Google, is known for its idea of a “work-ground office” plan (the office as a playground), with coloured couches, work pods, and even a giant slide in Zurich’s Google office that slides you right into the canteen! Following this trend, ÉCAL University design students have come up with another version called the Workbay Village. You can find flexible dividers forming spaces for office workers to nap, socialise, and even grow plants.
ÉCAL University design students get creative with work space
The idea of custom-designed office pods dividers was borrowed from designers’ Camille Blin and Erwan Bouroullec’s Workbay system. Following on that, Master of Product Design students of ÉCAL created further projects around the Workbays created by Ronan and Erwan Boureoullec and edited by Vitra, a Swiss family-owned company making furniture and creating retail environments.
Through this workshop we tried to emphasise this ‘organic’ vision of the office by adding functionalities to the Workbays and the work environment in itself, that would create more interaction between the users and with the furniture. Just by adding really simple structures to an existing Workbay, it becomes a space for employees to step away from work and exchange in a more casual way.
What probably sets Workbay Village apart from other open-spaced offices is its Farm Bay, designed by ÉCAL student Paula Cermeno. It focuses on including indoor greens and plants to be placed around the work spaces. Not only do these plants add earthy and sophisticated aesthetics to the office interiors, they also help in purifying the air in the room, making workers healthier and boosting their productivity.
Spending eight hours a day under the same roof does not necessarily give you the chance to socialise with your colleagues, especially if your to-do list never seems to end. Inspired by Japanese sushi bars, Sara de Campos created the Bar Bay for post-work happy hours. You won’t even have to step out of the building to find a watering hole for some chilled drinks to take the edge off and put a cap on a long week—it’s right there in the office!
Dozing off at your desk after lunch can be quite embarrassing, not to mention it inevitably hinders the quality of your work as well! But with Yasunori Morinaga’s design for quick power naps, staff can tuck themselves into a cozy bed and pull down the curtains for a quick snooze. Just don’t forget to set an alarm if you don’t want to oversleep and miss your meeting.
Check out more exhibitions here.
Proof: napping is good for you, so go take a snooze.
Written by: Sumichhya Gurung