More than a pretty face: why great workplace design focusses on user experience

Events | 25 October, 2018

More than a pretty face: why great workplace design focusses on user experience Studio Banana

The future of workplace design isn’t just creating beautiful open spaces. For any business looking to boost creativity, productivity and employee engagement, designing for user experience is a must.

Don’t be shallow and you can design for greatness

“People at the center, always people.” With these words Anna Gener, CEO of Savills Aguirre Newman BCN, welcomed a crowd of experts on technology, architecture, human resources, and executive management to Worktech18 Barcelona. Held on October 9th, the forum is part of an international series of Worktech events that explore the future of work and innovation.

Turns out, workplace innovation is more than cute desk plants and open plan spaces. Because, as Plastarc founder Melissa Marsh put it, architecture is “more than a container for culture.”

To explain why designing for user experience is so important (and how to do it), event host IESE Business School invited Studio Banana co-founder Key Kawamura to speak about our co-creation and discovery methodologies

Beyond aesthetics, good design is about understanding and shaping an employee’s experience within a space. Yes, it boosts productivity. And yes, it gives employees buy-in. But even more importantly, it creates an environment that encourages creative ideation and news ways of working, both crucial elements in the knowledge economy.

More than a pretty face: why great workplace design focusses on user experience Studio Banana (2)

The future is always changing but adaptive design is timeless

Using examples from our redesign of McCann Worldgroup’s Madrid headquarters and CARAVAN Coworking Café, Key shared the approach we use with each new project: Research and learn as much as you can about a company’s work culture and employees, then create clever and adaptive solutions that help people and ideas come together. Oh, and remember that technology and work habits are rapidly evolving.

Like most good ideas, it sounds simple enough, but co-design isn’t as easy as sending out a survey and getting a ping pong table. To do it right you need to watch employees work, talk to them about their needs, and identify those hard to pinpoint habits which make each workspace a unique ecosystem. Making insight and data-driven decisions is what helps us create solutions that fit the specific needs of our users and clients.

Good spaces are responsive, designed to immediately fit user needs, and also flexible enough to incorporate new advancements. We don’t know the future and unfortunately have no clue what tomorrow’s lottery numbers will be, but by taking the time to create thoughtful designs we can be confident that our adaptive spaces will continue to be a perfect fit for years to come.

As the foundation partner responsible for bringing Worktech to Switzerland, on November 8th we’ll keep the conversation going in Basel as Key presents why co-design is instrumental in creating truly bespoke space solutions.  

* Photography: Rubén P. Bescos for STUDIO BANANA.

To learn more about the future of work and how smart design can better shape our workplaces (and lives), follow Studio Banana on LinkedIn.