In your opinion, what is the future of the workplace post the pandemic?
Every learning experience that we humans are subjected to, we evolve so as to face and overcome a similar or more adverse situation in the future. It is the process of evolution that helps us fight back and survive. Our workspaces are an integral part of our daily routine and it is imperative that these too have to evolve to assist in our evolution and the way we will live and work in the future.
How is the Covid-19 pandemic impacting office design and its effect on the future of work?
For one, the pandemic has taught us to work online and collaborate without the need to interface physically. Hence, the need for attending a 9 to 5 office and commuting to a fixed designated space called office has been eliminated. Office design will thus evolve to a space where employees go to, only for specific requirements on a need basis instead of a default activity. This is great for sustainability if not for efficiency.
Given the firm has been at the forefront of office design; what are some key changes that the firm is adopting in their design approach for office design?
As the world evolves, designs will steadily move towards touch free sensor based interfaces. An ideal work place will be where one can move through the office the entire day without the need to physically be in contact with any person or material. It will be like moving around in an invisible floating bubble. Technology will reign supreme where all mechanical, electrical and electronic data will be reviewed through AI based systems which will regulate the safety and cleanliness of our internal environments.
Disease containment was never really a priority within workspace design; how important is it to consider interior architecture in its prevention now?
With the increase in pollution in the environment, the office environments were already gearing up to create their own micro climate that could provide superior conditions within, and shield it from external pollution hazards and other harmful microbial conditions. This will now expand to more stringent methods that will not only protect the spaces from external air and microbial conditions but also external viruses. Currently the interventions are more localised at entry locations, however, as systems evolve we will have central systems catering to these requirements.
What are we learning about the role of design in the current coronavirus outbreak?
The role of design is to adapt, adapt and adapt. These are changing times and the role of design is to support and assist the changes in the most innovative and effective manner even while we uphold the priorities of being human and create spaces which propagate and nurture our inherent characteristics in spite of the changing scenarios.