The Workplace of the Future through the Eyes of Design Students

The winning student design competition entries from Benjamin Moore and the ASID Foundation‘s recent scholarship contest.

Student design competition entry
Rendering by Tess Messina, courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Benjamin Moore, in partnership with the ASID Foundation, recently held its Workplace of the Future student design competition for interior design students (we were proud to be a judge!). Entrants were challenged to submit renderings of a design solution that envisions what a workplace will look like in 5-10 years, incorporating the following key design elements: modular and adaptable workspaces, eco-friendly materials, technology driven environments, and promotion of employee wellness.

The three winners received a $5,000 grant each. Snippets from their entries are featured below…

An emphasis on human centered design

Student design competition entry
Rendering by Emily Messina, courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Emily Manasc — a rising junior at Savannah College of Art and Design — submitted a concept that focused on human centered design. Her goal was “create a productive and flexible work environment to accommodate all employees’ needs,” she said. “I decided to create a space with no fixed elements, therefore there are no walls separating the space.”

A workplace that “restores imagination” in employees

Student design competition entry
Rendering by Tess Messina, courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Tess Messina — a rising senior at Ringling College of Art and Design — submitted a conceptual project for the real company, Life is Good, where she proposed her design would help to “restore imagination” in their employees. “My goal is to remind employees of their childhood fun before the time of technology, when all you needed was imagination,” she wrote in her abstract. “The design of the space will encourage collaboration through technology. There are many areas where capabilities allow for brainstorming, video conferencing, and group meetings.”

What “personality-based design” looks like

Student design competition entry
Rendering by Heather Sutherland, courtesy of Benjamin Moore.

Last but not least, Heather Sutherland — a graduate student in her final year that The University of Texas at Austin — focused her concept on personality-based design and functionality. According to Sutherland, offices should be “a place that allows workers of all activity levels, work types, and extroversion levels to find a place to get work done.” For this entry, she separated the space in to three work zones: the Co-Lab, the Social Hub, and the Library. “Each zone uses different lighting, materials, and acoustics to achieve the optimum level of work,” she said.

Congratulations to the three winners and thanks again to Benjamin Moore and the ASID Foundation for having us on as a judge!
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1 Comment

  • Three fantastic ideas in your competition and thoroughly deserved winners. We particularly liked the idea of designing an office space that helps to restore imagination and how it is shaping itself for the future by encouraging collaboration through technology.

    I read a blog recently from a UK based interior design company, Paramount Interiors. They ran a very similar competition with the University of South Wales for the RSA Student Design Awards, encouraging them to think of innovative ideas for the offices and workplaces of the future. Similar to the ideas in your article, there were some fantastic entries, including creative healing in hospitals! Here is the article if anyone is interested:

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