A select crowd of interior designers and architects came together on the first weeknight of Ramadan to find out what the top workspace trends of the future will be.
Phil Pond, trend mogul at international trend forecasters Scarlet Opus, presented his primary insights for workspace design, including exciting innovations from the Millennial generation, social solitude, flexible spaces, nomadic office landscapes, cafe culture, wild urbanism, sustainability, bringing nature inside, creating a home-from-home atmosphere, as well as authentic-looking ceramics that deceive the senses.
“What’s the big difference between people born before the 1980s’ and those born after?” Phil asked the audience. “Millennials were born with the internet, so they are not used to waiting for anything, especially information, which makes them very productive and quick thinking.
“Well-being and health are also very important for Millennials, and we will see more sustainability, and green, natural areas in the workplace. They are also extremely competent with technology – gone are the days when being interested in computers meant you were a geek; they are the new entrepreneurs and millionaires. They are interested in sharing – photos, experiences and ideas. They want to be part of a community, and are interested in collaboration and teamwork, so they want to work in open spaces.
“Adaptable, flexible spaces are important, creating a nomadic office landscape, where you can work with the people that you like to work with most in the company, not necessarily with people that are doing what you are doing. If you work in the marketing department you don’t have to work next to other marketers. This will encourage collaboration and co-working.
“Green is making a comeback that we haven’t seen since the 1970s, and it will be a strong trend for a decade at least. And I don’t mean Pantone green, I mean really lush greens of all shades. Predominantly white spaces will be replaced with colour, especially green areas with plants and living walls, even herbs growing in the middle of desks or along staircase balustrades.
“Texture is also very important, to create a sensory experience. More and more, ceramics will look and feel like the real material, such as wood; so when you touch it your brain will think ‘yes that’s wood’.”