Summer Design Charette


2020 was the year when working-from-home (WFH) became the new normal – nearly half of the UK’s 30 million employees were WFH during the pandemic.

As designers of office space in central London, we were keen to explore the implications of this dramatic change in working practices. Mid-summer, we undertook a design charette on the topic – the future of the office environment.

Largely, there was a consensus that WFH was a mixed blessing. In some ways, there was more time to focus on particular, individual tasks, but in the others, we perceived an erosion in the office atmosphere and it’s shared purpose.

Themes also interrelated the climate crisis with the covid pandemic – there was optimism that changes could be made when the situation requires them.

Ultimately, the future of the office would need to function as a physical space to support individuals to form a strong collective identity. Social spaces need to become more important and physical meetings / chance encounters / team bonding are all vitally important elements that cannot be addressed when WFH.

What will happen next is anyone’s guess, but it looks like the office is changing for good.

We divided into 5 teams and here are a few of the ideas we explored.

Team 1.
Team 2.
Team 3.
Team 4, part 1.
Team 4, part 2.
Team 5