Workplace of the Future: Student Competition

Posted by Interaction on 5/06/2017

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Interaction and Vitra explore the workplace of the future in student competition

Interaction and global furniture manufacturer Vitra have teamed up to explore the workplace of the future. Recently, Interaction tasked Interior Design students from three universities, Art University Bournemouth, University of South Wales and Kingston University: to design and conceptualise the workplace of the future. 

The students were given this brief as part of their Interior Design course modules. After their designs were submitted, their entries were shortlisted and the chosen students then presented their concept schemes at the Interaction office in Bath. After providing a unique solution to the workplace of the future, James Gould, 26, from University of South Wales was chosen as the winner. James has been given the opportunity along with all of the shortlisted students, to visit Switzerland for a personal tour of the incredible Vitra campus in Basel. 

Gary Duguid, Design Director at Interaction said “The standard of the competition was extremely high, all the students clearly put in a considerable amount of effort into their submissions. In the context of the ever-evolving workplace, we think it’s vital to explore the most contemporary ideas about the future of the workplace, and we thought what better way to do this than to task those who will be working in these environments to conceptualise their ideas. At Interaction, we have always ensured we are ensuring students integrate into the modern workplace and enjoy collaborating with future designers and their innovative approach to design.”

The Winning Design - A Transportable, multipurpose research base

The concept involves researchers, scientists and conservationists being able to conduct long-term experiments, studies and public awareness from a temporary base of operations. The base includes living and working areas for a small team of people. The initial inspiration came from ephemeral architecture and transitory temporary structures, such as wooden pavilions, which are distinguished in terms of time, rather than through space or form. The design is all about celebration, display, invention and intervention.

The skeletal design structure will leave little impact on the Earth, using an eco-friendly and lightweight approach to material use and has the ability to stand in a variety of locations by raising it from the ground.

James demonstrated a very clear thought process through a series of images that told the story of the concept, providing a unique solution to the workplace of the future. 

The winner, James Gould, discusses the value of being involved in the competition; "From entering a competition such as this, you get real world capability, and being able to add this to your CV for future job prospects is invaluable. Extra work on top of academic modules really adds an extra dimension to your experience and I’ve learnt so much through this process."

"I really didn’t expect to win, but I knew I had to go for it and think outside the box. Knowing that my work was going to be considered by a professional company like Interaction, who design and build workplaces day in day out, gave me an added impetus to win. The opportunity to go to Switzerland to visit Vitra’s campus is really exciting, it’s not something I would’ve been able to do off of my own back and I get to see the work of designers I love."

Below you can see the Interaction and Vitra teams, at the furniture manufacturers' showroom at Clerkenwell Design Week, gathered for a special presentation for the winner James Gould and the runners-up.

What do you think the workplace of the future will look like? Let us know in the comments!