The Work Design Now Treatment: fairlife (VIDEO)

This is the first in a series of three summaries to showcase the winners of the Work Design Now 2013 competition, sponsored by the wonderful folks at Haworth. Whet your palette with this recap and video, then pour yourself a cuppa and dig in to 25+ pages of images, floor plans, and inside scoop in the full case study. If you like what you see, submit your latest project for consideration to receive the same treatment in this year’s competition. Click here for everything you’ll need to know about submitting your project for Work Design Now 2014.

Case study:

Click here to read the full fairlife case study: Designing for Transparency, Serendipity, and Branded Marketing

The case study is chock full of images, floor plans, and interviews with fairlife employees, a Haworth workplace strategist, our very own Bob Fox, and the design team from BOX Studios.


The milk product company fairlife increased its market performance, employee engagement, and innovation capabilities inside its new Chicago headquarters by:

1.  Establishing a culture of transparency for growth — one that connects employees with each other, the executive staff, and the farm, and that provides clear views of the
research happening in a pilot lab and dry lab.

2.  Facilitating performance through serendipitous interactions in a space that encourages employees to work in ways that are best suited to their individual styles.

3.  Showcasing its evolving brand — an evolution from its prior name, Fair Oak Farms Brands — by using long sightlines through the space, floor-to-ceiling glass, skylights, raw materials, and structural elements that convey their agricultural roots and values.

Since moving into its new office, fairlife is experiencing a greater sense of connectivity from its farmers to its staff, executives, and R&D teams, and an explosion of demand for its all-natural milk products. By actively connecting its urban staff to each other and to the company’s foundation at the farm, fairlife effectively serves as a case study for other product companies seeking to design offices that enable greater employee engagement, market positioning, product development, and — ultimately — sales.

Take the tour:

Of course, yes, we’re publishing this all in the name of getting you to submit your latest project for this year’s competition, but it’s only because we think what you could win is unique, attractive, information-rich, and will really benefit your brand. The top three submissions will get this same treatment: We’ll travel to your city, film on location, interview the key people involved, and write up a case study — just like this one, above, for fairlife. And even if you don’t make the top three, you might still get a trophy: Exceptional projects like this one about a historic restoration project in Milwaukee, submitted last year by Zimmermann Architectural Studios, will be covered in a short article here on the site.

So what do you have to lose? (If you can think of something, put it in the comments email Bob, but we’re pretty confident that we’ve got you covered.) Submit your latest project for Work Design Now 2014 today.

More from Natalie Grasso Cockrell

Not Your Average Spec Suite: The Explosion of Tech Suites in Chicago

BOX Studios Ferdinand Dimailig on the influx of tech suites in the...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *