Materiality in Workplace Environments

We recently spoke with Kerry Deffley, Design Manager EMEA, Shaw Contract who told us how COVID19 may impact materiality in workplace environment, here is what she said: 

‘Post COVID-19 lockdown it is likely that we will all be adopting new ways of working for a considerable period of time. This will certainly impact both workplace design and materials and looks specified for interiors.

While a connection to nature has been a trend for some time in workplace design, it will come into a sharper focus through deliberate interventions and a deeper focus on the psychological and physiological effects of a space. Breakout spaces and areas for ‘refuge’ and recuperation, thermal and acoustic comfort, and the use of patterns, textures and materials which reference a connection to the natural world.

We think the popular ‘resi-merical’ trend that we have been seeing adopted into workspaces over the past few years will also resonate. The emotional connection to home again is also about comfort, wellbeing, and with it warmth, softness and sense of place.

But new ways of working are likely to include provision and guidance for social distancing in the workplace. Modular flooring offers great flexibility for creating zones, wayfinding and distancing using colour and textures, and installation methods.

Trend reports are also predicting some interesting choices post-COVID which summarised are about restorative colour. These include colours to enhance wellbeing – tones to create a clean, hygienic feel including mints and aquas. While pale and dusty pastel tones associated with calm and comfort are being introduced.

Nourishing earth tones are also on trend, with plant-based colours to help us reconnect with nature and the outdoors. We are also likely to see colours to enhance wellbeing by embracing fun and joy – brights such as reds, oranges, lime green and cobalt blue – as accent colours and to zone floor spaces.’



About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
View all posts by Alys Bryan →