Office Evolution: How dynamic design helped shape the modern business
The world is a fast-paced place, but the business world is supersonic by comparison. For companies to keep pace in the modern business climate they need to be able to adapt to new technologies, focus on innovation, anticipate challenges, and make adjustments on the fly. No design trend helps modern businesses achieve these obligations better than the Dynamic Design trend – a trend for the modern era.
Dynamic design is one of the key evolutionary trends to play a role in successfully pushing the entire business world forward, creating top-down and hyper-functional businesses each step of the way.
In this article we’re going to explore how a simple shift towards dynamic and flexibly designed office spaces shifted how companies think, work, build, plan, and perform; and how design helped to create more collaborative, proficient, and successful organizations throughout the world.
Why dynamic design matters
Smart and forward-thinking companies are constantly working to improve themselves and adapt. Success requires versatility and resiliency in order to prioritize each and every aspect of the business. This is a major shift from the hyper-focused attitudes of the past that prioritized sales, products, services, and technology above all else.
It’s no secret that sales-focused priorities are crucial to a company’s success, but they’re still only part of the equation. Businesses have learned that taking into account the entire ecosystem is the most effective strategy.
Dynamic design fits into the total ecosystem strategy in two key ways. One is by creating a foundation of versatility and adaptability across the entire business, including facilities. The other is by optimizing efficiency, space, and outcomes. By creating spaces that allow office professionals to do their job wherever and whenever they need to, the business significantly reduces operational or facility-related friction.
Breaking down dynamic design
Let’s break down how dynamic design fits into a total ecosystem strategy even further. A great example of successful dynamic design is the modern meeting room. Traditional or static meeting rooms fill up fast and are generally designed for only one or two purposes. However, if a room is booked solid for all-day meetings, then employees who might need it won’t be able to do their job properly, halting progress. Essentially, static meeting spaces inhibit progress by limiting the flow of work that can be accomplished in them during logjams.
The modern dynamic meeting space aspires to create meeting areas that are equipped for all purposes, eliminating workflow gridlock. In a multimedia company, a meeting room could potentially have the tools and equipment to transform into a podcast studio, storyboarding workshop, writing room, or video studio. The ability for all of these spaces to accommodate nearly any purpose is the epitome of dynamic design.
How dynamic design builds better businesses
If a company’s office facilities are arranged to meet any need of the employees operating within its walls, the company will be more efficient, dynamic, and ultimately, successful. Dynamically designed offices allow companies to be moving at near 100% effectiveness at all times due to the protean nature of the design itself.
One of the core objectives of dynamic office design is to remove prohibitive roadblocks and ordinary challenges that face office workers through productivity-enhanced and experience-driven design. By allowing people to work wherever and whenever they need, unobstructed by room or resource availability, the business wins. When employees are provided the resources necessary to accomplish their tasks, including natural collaboration areas with tools and technologies to help them be more successful, the business wins again.
Essentially, when traditional office environments convert to a partially dynamic or fully dynamic design model, the business becomes more productive, efficient, creative, and successful by design.
The evolution of the Dynamic Design office trend
Coworking Spaces – Early 2000s
The Dynamic office design trend began around the early 2000s. The design’s DNA is similar to that of the early coworking office spaces made famous by the Tech Boom that occurred around the same time. Coworking spaces allowed for people to do a variety of different jobs within the same space. By encouraging collaboration, adopting a community feel, and championing productivity, they worked to eliminate the obstacles presented in most traditionally designed offices. Dynamic spaces now utilize a lot of these same hallmarks.
The Original Dynamic Spaces Trend – Early 2010s
Merriam Webster defines “dynamic” as: “marked by usually continuous and productive activity or change.” This is an appropriate description for the original Dynamic Design trend, as it’s what the design promised to do for those who adopted it. Just like modern dynamic offices, these spaces were designed with movable furniture. This allowed the transformation of a space to meet the desired purpose and encourage collaboration. However, they weren’t as community-focused or imbued with technology for multiple professional purposes. You had a space that could transform from meeting room to party area, and then to an all-purpose room geared towards activity. But what did that do for productivity? Not much.
- All-purpose capabilities
Experiential Spaces – Late 2010s
The experiential phase of the Dynamic trend was a combination of Experience-Driven Spaces and Free-Range Cohabitation Spaces. This phase of the design took the co-working and the dynamic design trends of old and reimagined and retooled them for the modern business world. This resulted in the design equivalent of the Swiss Army knife, with spaces that facilitated collaboration and creativity while incorporating technological modification. Such innovations pushed the boundaries of how a space could be used.
These spaces incorporated plants and greenery, furniture on wheels, color diversity, and aesthetic touches. Such features brought much-needed imagination to traditionally sterile office environments. Ultimately, experiential spaces aimed to maximize not just creativity and idea generation, but never-before-seen functionality and productivity-enhancing elements. Despite the design’s innovation, these spaces remained on the peripheries of office design.
- Experience-driven / Creativity & idea generation
- Introduction of innovative technologies
- Multi-functional capabilities
Dynamic Flexibility Trend – Early 2020s
Today, dynamic spaces are much more common than they used to be. But like with most things, spaces continue to evolve, pushing the design forward into the future. The Dynamic Flexibility trend focuses on making the most out of all available real estate. That means that entire floors, hallways or meeting areas, and even entire properties are adapting the dynamic model to maximize efficiency. The biggest difference here is scale, which makes these spaces more available to employees than ever before. Dynamic Flexibility is a way of breaking down barriers and embracing flexibility, allowing employees to use the room or space that best suits their mood or their requirement for the day.
Aside from scale, the biggest evolution is in design and technological integration. The designs are typically more artistically inspired than previous iterations with paintings, plants, moveable dividers, and other creative influences. Garage doors, step-seating, and other like features are also increasingly common. In terms of technological innovation, these spaces have audio and video equipment, adjustable lighting, computer stations, flat-screen TVs or projectors, and more.
- Scale and integration into business
- Full technological integration
- Design-oriented to inspire creativity
Is “Dynamic Design” the future of office design?
The Dynamic design trend is on its way to becoming as ingrained as the open office plan was in its early days. It’s being adopted in nearly every industry, as it’s proven to create a more seamless, productive, and creative working environment. It is environments like these that allow businesses to work smarter rather than harder.
In the next installment of our Office Evolution series, we will be discussing the rise in sustainable office design and biophilic design integration in our modern office environments. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, stay ahead of the curve by diving into our growing library of commercial design trend articles. You can find them here:
- The Biophilic Design Trends for Commercial Environments Report
- Holiday Decor Design Trends of 2019 Report
- The Office Design Trends of 2019 Report
- Hospitality Design Trends Report: Part 1
- Hospitality Design Trends Report: Part 2
If you want to incorporate these trends into your workspace or discuss how plants can help invigorate your employees and improve productivity, contact your local Ambius office today to bring your visions to life.