February 12, 2024
This year’s edition of the Workspace Design Show (27-28 February 2024, Business Design Centre, London) will once again present an impressive array of features, ranging from an immersive forest stage to an interactive lighting installation, which bring together some of the industry’s leading designers, architects and built environment partners. We’ve been given an exclusive early look at what we can expect to see at this year’s design extravaganza.
The design concept for the Design Talks Lounge, curated by Gensler (below), delves into the overarching theme, ‘Bloom – Exploring the Thriving Ecosystem of Work Life’. This engaging experience aims to shed light on and draw inspiration from nature, encouraging a positive perspective on the evolving worlds of work and life.
Leading furniture consultants, Hunters, have partnered with sustainably-focused firms to help bring this feature to life. Office plant supplier, Exubia, plays a central role with eye-capturing biophilic design, seamlessly merging live planting with innovative moss elements. This is complemented by a 66m custom printed fabric backdrop provided by Kvadrat, featuring a forest design and crafted by the incredibly skilled seamstresses at Waverley.
The flooring, supplied by Material Hangout and Mogu, known for its bio-based solutions, reinforces the Design Talks Lounge’s environmental ethos, with the furniture carefully selected from Andreu World, a firm renowned for its commitment to sustainability, with products made from biodegradable and compostable properties. To extend the life cycle and impact of the design of the feature, the plants and furniture will be redistributed post-event, while the fabric will find a second life in charity projects, ensuring a sustainable and waste-free approach.
tp bennett is responsible for the design of the feature at the entrance to this year’s Workspace Design Show (below). A series of elegant columns will be arranged in a conceptual maze, serving as a symbolic representation of the intricate ecosystem of work life. Each column embodies the essence of ‘Bloom’ – another nod to the event’s theme. They will stand tall and varied, representing the diversity of experiences and challenges often experienced in life and, at the same time, the structures will symbolise the growth, development and resilience of trees in a garden.
As visitors navigate through the varied paths, they will encounter different sculptural pieces created by Aectual, each one illustrating a delicate bloom, composed of recycled sustainable materials and textured 3D printed surfaces with accompanying organic biophilia, provided by Vantage Spaces and Planteria.
Vantage Spaces will be using preserved foliage, harvested sustainably using natural dyes to preserve the stems and ensure they are VOC free, 100% natural & biodegradable. Overall, this conceptual maze will invite contemplation on the organic nature of career progression, encouraging individuals to appreciate the beauty and resilience inherent in their professional journey. The feature will be finished with a captivating modular, linear lighting system, subtly integrated by iGuzzini with contemporary textiles from Kvadrat and specialist plant lighting from Soltech.
Both the Occupiers Forum and our own Sustainability Works sessions will be held in the Insights Lounge (below), designed exclusively by Lisa Pasi, graduate interior designer with BDP. Also addressing the theme of ‘Bloom’, Lisa’s concept will focus on the symbiotic relationship between man and nature. Hunters once again play a key role in terms of sourcing sustainable partners.
Lisa’s vision promotes the purpose and validity of using natural materials within the workplace environment. To this end, wood and stone are not only aesthetically pleasing and foster a sense of warmth but also positively influence mood and wellbeing.
“Despite being constantly reminded of our connection to nature through our senses, this association tends to diminish when we find ourselves indoors, surrounded by artificial light and synthetic materials,” Lisa says. “Therefore, by adhering to biophilic design principles, the inclusion of natural materials will establish a connection to nature, bolstering concentration, creativity, and job satisfaction.”
The sustainable credentials of flooring firms Mogu, Material Hangout and Ege Carpets will further underpin the concept. Overall, visitors to the Insights Lounge will enjoy a tactile experience and encounter the customisable options and unique qualities of natural materials.
Elsewhere, Jason Bruges Studio will present two interactive lighting prototypes on the theme of ‘Living Workplace’ (main image, top). Each prototype is a 1:1 section of an existing, full-scale permanent artwork. The first prototype, called Energy Dynamics, originally developed for the Ukrainian energy company, DTEK, will use technology for storytelling. The second prototype, entitled The Experience Tunnel, was created for trading firm XTX Markets and introduces interaction to foster human connection and collaboration.
There is a captivating oasis featuring the exquisite Pebble Rubble modular seating range from Moroso that will transport us to a serene forest-scape, with plants incorporated by Oasis Plants. Amidst the lively atmosphere of the show, visitors will have the opportunity to be immersed in nature-inspired surroundings, where tranquillity and rejuvenation seamlessly converge. As the name suggests, this Recharge Lounge (above) offers an opportunity to reset, refuel and recharge – before delving back into the throng of the Workspace Design Show.