Yesterday kicked off the judging for the annual WIN Awards (World Interiors News) and this time they enlisted the help of future-proof design guru Lee Penson to judge the Workspace category. This category is always a tough call when it comes to the entries and this year was no exception. Hailed as the modern workspace ambassador, Lee offered his knowledge on all things dynamic experience & design creation to help select a winner. With over 60 workspace projects judged, Lee had the job of distinguishing the great from the game-changers. The annual WIN Awards recognise and showcase the designs that have made the biggest impact on the cultural landscape during the previous 12 months. With 20 categories, the diverse range of project and studio submissions are awe-inspiring. It’s the design awards event of the year.
Here, Lee shares his thoughts on what makes a visionary future-proofed workplace:
Q. Modernity in the office…?
Lee. “You have to be modern in every way possible. A modern mind-set lets everyone know that your business is future-proofed. PENSON use the simplest innovations to reconnect spaces to the people who work in them. It’s all about the human.
It’s not immediately ground-breaking but all workspaces should have integrated IT to allow everyone to have a seamless connection– whether you’re at the office in Seoul or London. Global connectivity in the workplace is vital in realising a business’ connections and market. By adding the right revolutionary tools, you create a revolutionary workforce.”
Q. What does the modern workplace have in it?
Lee. “The modern workplace is a no-clutter zone. Rip out the desk phone & get rid of the wires that tie people to their desks. Life is so much bigger than being sat at your desk for hours every day. My best work is done on my tablet and phone. I don’t need to worry about being away from my desk. Remember that your smart phone is not only a phone – it’s a portal to everything you need. It’s a fully mobile video-caller that connects face to face with clients, colleagues and suppliers. Freedom of work ethic and freedom of movement go hand in hand.”
Q. How do companies future-proof their workplace?
Lee. “If you create a space that’s all about humans and life in general then you’ve already future-proofed your workplace. Build a community, not an office. Humans will always operate in the same ways and live by the same values; even as new tech comes and goes. The equilibrium of work and life mantra is what PENSON lives by. Sometimes the simplest tech, say a laptop, is the best future-proof accessory you need.”
Q. How are you planning for designs of the future?
Lee. “Products that exist now, such as touch screen phones and tablets, are being used by two year olds. If this is happening now, what are the implications for these generations entering the working world in twenty years’ time? The benchmarks need to be set higher for their workplace experiences so we can fully embrace the knowledge they will bring to the workplace. This is something PENSON is researching and implementing now to future-proof office design. The IT in the workplace now needs to be stripped back to free up space and movement. Being tied to your desk is so ten years ago.”
As the entries were all painfully chosen and selected in yesterday’s WIN Awards judging session, all we can do now is wait to see the final result at the Awards ceremony early next year. Keep updated with the event at World Interiors News.