President's Column

Office Environment Creates Better Life

                                                              Author:Professor Dr. Peter Zec|2019-1-7(This passage is concurrently published on the Economic Daily)

Office has become one of the most important places in life as we spend a lot of time there. Office design now has a new meaning – to facilitate work. I am very lucky to work in one of the best places in Germany. My office is located in the Zollverein in Essen coal industrial complex in Germany, which is a UNESCO world heritage site and a shrine of industrial culture. My office is on the top floor and used to be a boiler house. This means a lot to me. I am able to generate new ideas and exchange ideas with my colleagues. In the spare time, I enjoy the spectacular view of Essen(a German town). I put a few classic designs in my office, such as a desk made by Tenco, an Italian furniture company, and designed by Norman Forster, a British architect; My office chair is from the FS series of Wilkhahn, Germany. Both designs received the appreciation from design jury of Red Dot Design Award.


Desk chair – se:joy


Perhaps not everyone has the opportunity to work in a magnificent building. However, most office blocks  shouldn't just have a monotonous design, compressing hundreds even thousands of  cubicle offices in a narrow work space, which resulted in uncomfortable working experience. Work has increasingly been seen as a part of life quality. The younger generation questions the meaning of work itself. It has to be fun, and it has to fit into the younger generation's perception of life. On the other hand, employees also start to value the comfort in the office, so the enterprise should not only make improvement on payment, but also on working space and environment. The pioneers of this issue are enterprises like Google and Facebook. When, where and how employees work is not the point. Offices look like playground or theme parks in which pool tables, mini-golf courses and meeting rooms designed like leisure bars fill the whole room.  Graffiti on the wall provide staff interactive and creative working environment.


Workstation – ThinkingQuietly

Of course, it doesn't have to be this extreme. Both functional and aesthetic space design, under the principle of improving the creativity and health of the staffs, a piece of ergonomic or comfortable back seat is one of the ways to change the working environment. The product "se: joy", designed by Design Ballendat for Sedus Stoll, is exquisite in ergonomic details with light and simple appearance. Another winner of the Red Dot Award: Product Design is the five-wave chair produced by Harvest Link International. The colorful chair carries the body by five different areas and provides the user with dynamic comfort. In addition to the choice of office desks and chairs,  the nature of the user's work, the relationship between the space and people is also one of the design priorities. For example, Red Dot Design Award winner  'ThinkingQuietly' by ThinkingWorks workshop uses materials that insulate noise, creating a balanced sound environment that is both organized and comfortable. The components on the wall create a quiet area and temporary isolation from its neighbors, allowing the user to focus on the work at hand. In order to meet the emotional needs, flexible units and open structure are used to facilitate communication and interaction with people. Lighting and color intricately blend into the space, malleble to various types of offices.

The above methods and principles can be applied to any company, regardless of the size. In recent years, the trend of shared work space is a manifestation of the efforts of designers who actively create the high-quality work environment. Finally, I want to remind readers that a good cup of coffee or tea can also enhance the atmosphere. I'm already looking forward to see more innovative products that enhance the work atmosphere in the Red Dot Design Award 2019.

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