Tracy Wymer, Knoll vice president of workplace research and strategy.
The spring/summer 2017 edition of Perspective features an interview with two designers and their respective takes on the future of the open-plan workspace; one of the designers featured is Tracy Wymer, Knoll vice president of workplace research and strategy. Perspective believes that open-plan workspaces, “once the darling design choice for the coolest startups and the biggest tech companies,” are greatly evolving to potentially on their way out.
Both Wymer and Noa Santos, CEO and co-founder of Homepolish, believe that the open-pan workspace is very much not on its way out. The workplace has evolved from perimeter planning, with offices around the windows and workstations in the center, to open planning which is focused on efficiency from a real estate perspective. The next phase for open-plan workspaces, Wymer notes, is a new focus on the people that inhabit those spaces. “If we look at adaptive or immersive planning, those techniques are people-driven experiences that are starting to occur,” notes Wymer. Santos agreed that spaces should not be prescriptive about how people use an open-plan environment.
In response to Perspective’s question on whether or not an open-plan workspace helps bridge the gap between introverts and extroverts, Wymer states that, “good design encompasses experiences for all people. There is no one ‘type’ and I would argue there are more than two.” What does help bridge the gap between different workstyles is a space that allows for individual and group work to coexist. To have multiple kinds of work in an ambiguous, open space can “revitalize and reinvigorate a space to make it more enjoyable,” he adds.
Rockwell Unscripted by Rockwell Group.
A response to this challenge is Knoll’s latest furniture workplace collection, Rockwell Unscripted™ by Rockwell Group, which creates an unrivaled work experience designed to let spontaneity unfold and people complete the story. For example, a user can have a private space at a Rockwell Unscripted big Easy Table with a Pop Up screen, while also having easy access to a more communal space where employees gather around a Library table whether it’s to have a meal or work together.