Sheridan Grady’s The Future Workplace Submission – Student Winner In Office Building

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Chair of the Month

Emma Weckerling
Emma Weckerling
Emma is the Managing Editor of Work Design Magazine.

Meet Sheridan Grady, a student at Rochester Institute of Technology and her winning submission in the Office Building category. Thanks to our partner Tango, Sheridan has been awarded a generous scholarship. Check out her full submission below. 

Sheridan Grady

We recently connected with Sheridan to learn more about what she’s been up to since she submitted.

“My idea has evolved immensely since submission in many ways. Since submission I have begun an internship at Clark Patterson Lee in Rochester, NY. This internship has taught me so much about the field of interior design and how it relates to the work environment. Which has led me to expand my thinking and bring new ideas into previous projects such as my project at 17 East Main Street.

Wood being the main focus of how the story of a person’s career and life moves fluently through their work environment remains the same within this project. But evolving from my new knowledge comes more focus on the importance of the employees comfortability and desire to come into the office. This being said the evolution of singular workstations and pods of comfortability would be at the forefront. Creating stations for individuals to feel a sense of home and mobility would increase work ethic and sense of ownership. After working within an office space I see the importance of community. So along with singular work spaces I have expanded upon the necessity of collaborative spaces when desired that are bright and inspiring. Both evolutions in my idea lead to an overall sense of place and ownership of one’s own work environment which is very important given the times of Covid-19.

But with evolution of my ideas the principle of creating a positive work environment that will overall impact the end user’s entire life remains the same. I am honored to have been chosen as a finalist and know my impact on the design world is just beginning and I cannot wait to continue to learn and grow just like the fluid grain of wood.”

Check out the slideshow and summary of Sheridan’s submission below:

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“No varnish can hide the grain of the wood; and that the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself.” – Charles Dickens

Wood holds a story through the grain and movement of lines. The life story of a piece of wood is expressive and distinct to its location. Similar to wood, the space at 17 East Main Street and the Future of the Workplace will allow for individuals to create their own movement and story within their work environment. Due to covid the workplace has had to add exorbitant changes to design which allows offices to become more expressive. Wood comes in many shapes and forms from being described as light and bosk to dark and thicket, it seems analogous for the many shapes and forms of humans that will be accounted for. Using wood and complementary materials individuals will feel galvanized within their spaces. This new encompassed atmosphere will indicate Rochester’s urge for change and reimagination of the city’s purpose for better collaboration, energy, and overall well being. The solution to the newly envisioned office space after covid comes in the form of a six floor office building. First floor housing a lobby and reception area, second floor being a business resource center for the community, third floor is a single rentable office space, fourth and fifth floors house a two floor attached rentable office space, and the sixth floor a coffee shop with access to community and internal companies. Overall, this concept is for the new world as we know it. Spread out work spaces, different varieties of touch points and collaboration spaces. The world after Covid-19 is unpredictable. But creating a positive work environment will overall impact the end users entire life.

Overall, this concept is for the new world as we know it. Spread out workspaces, different varieties of touch points and collaboration spaces. The world after Covid-19 is unpredictable. But creating a positive work environment will overall impact the end user’s entire life.

Here’s what our jurors had to say about her submission:

“How designers are re-thinking the use of material, especially their sourcing and sustainability, is a key highlight of this project.”

A special thank you to Tango, our 2022 Scholarship Sponsor! Learn more about Tango:



A leading provider of cloud-based real estate and facilities management solutions, Tango provides the best workplace management and employee engagement solutions to address the unique requirements of hybrid work. Most organizations are focused on planning, building and managing the operations of their real estate locations and the assets within them. Tango merges those key “Place” factors with the equally important “People” side of real estate, ensuring employees are engaged and productive at the workplace. Tango’s multi-tenant SaaS and mobile solution is utilized in over 130 countries by companies ranging from small enterprises to large global brands with more than 40,000 locations.


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