The Trend Report 2015 is the result of hundreds of interviews, analyses and solid research work that was presented by Kinnarps during the Stockholm Furniture Fair. Five global workplace trends have been highlighted in the report. The first is Diverse Design.
Back in the day, most workplaces looked the same. Standard solutions were all the rage, where the norm was a middle-aged man in the prime of life. One thought-provoking story in the Trend Report is told by Sheryl Sandberg, now CEO at Facebook. She arrived once at Google for a meeting, but due to lack of space, she had to park her car furthest from the office and then trudge laboriously along the building's never-ending corridors. And on top of that she was heavily pregnant.
"One wonders how many women have always put up with this without uttering a word and just accepting it," says Sheryl. Since then, parking spaces designated for pregnant persons have been put in place at Google. A classic but sadly not an unusual instance of how 50 per cent of the population are just forgotten about... When we look into the future, design equality and inclusive environments will be a matter of course in all workplaces. This is especially important in relation to an aging population, which in the USA even has its own name - The Silver Tsunami. It will not be unheard of down the line that four generations will work side by side. How will companies adapt their interiors and design to facilitate and take care of all of these? This is an issue that should be high up on agendas, but it is not even a point for discussion in most HR departments. Or how can we ensure that introvert and silent people can have their say in noisy environments that best suit loud and extrovert people? Diverse Design is all about putting the focus on people.
"The challenge is to find some middle ground with a design that works for everyone. A chair is still a chair, and there’s not that much difference between a chair of today and one from 50 years ago. The design potential is more about the way the whole environment works," says architect and designer Ola Rune.
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