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7 January 2019

Top 10 Space Fusion Trends Influencing HOK’s Workplace Designers in 2019

Photo by Arnold Gatilao

When space collides: New hybrid workplaces are poised to take a giant leap forward in the upcoming year.

Chefs like Wolfgang Puck and David Chang have helped popularize a trend that has been around for as long as cultures have overlapped: fusion food. The idea is to blend different culinary techniques, flavors and ingredients—think Korean tacos (above) or Pad Thai pizza—into a single, mouthwatering dish.

HOK’s diverse team of designers work on buildings of all types in locations all over the world. This diversity of perspective and practice is one of the advantages of working with a large firm. Just as fusion cuisine is pretty much unavoidable when cultures mix, our international and multidimensional design teams are constantly learning from each other and devising innovative space mashups.

Nowhere is the impact of this space fusion being felt more deeply than in the workplace, where the blurring of lines separating work, life, play and learning is rendering conventional workplace design solutions obsolete. People are looking for choices about where and how they work, and our designers are looking to sectors like hospitality, healthcare and education to create next-generation workplace experiences that help employees feel and perform their best.

Below are space fusion trends from 10 different building types set to influence our workplace design solutions in 2019 and beyond. Bon appétit!

1. Healthcare

Mindshare Office, Los Angeles

Incorporating healthy, biophilic design elements into the workplace creates healing environments for all.


2. Retail

Sealed Air Headquarters, Charlotte, North Carolina

Retail-inspired amenities include tech bars and on-site coffee shops that promote casual interaction and collaboration.


3. Higher Education

Teach for America Headquarters, New York City

Millennials will make up half the U.S. workforce within two years. The workplace needs to provide flexible spaces that provide the opportunities for socialization and collaboration they have grown accustomed to in school—and that are so important to continuous learning.


4. Science + Technology

The Francis Crick Institute, London

As with research labs, today’s workplaces are incubators for experimentation and discovery. Providing environments that promote speed to innovation and productivity is a must.


5. Hospitality

OpenText Office, San Mateo, California

It’s becoming harder to distinguish between a hotel lobby and the social hubs of a workplace. Both strive to offer memorable, welcoming experiences.


6. Residential

Dairy Farmers of America Headquarters, Kansas City

Designing offices with a relaxed vibe and comfortable places to relax helps employees feel like they are in a safe haven and have a “home away from home.”


7. Wellness

GroupM Office Wellness Center, New York

On-site wellness centers offer another much-valued amenity that enhances work-life integration and, most importantly, helps people stay happy and healthy.


8. Airports

Chicago Bears Office, Chicago

Workplace designers are looking to civic icons such as airport terminals for ideas about instilling a strong sense of place, improving navigation and enhancing security.


9. Cultural

Porsche North American Headquarters, Atlanta

Exhibits that tell a company’s brand story and highlight its history can enrich the workplace culture.


10. Sports

AMC Theatre Support Centre, Leawood, Kansas

Designers can look to premium seating solutions in a new generation of stadiums, arenas and ballparks for inspiration about infusing a workplace with social experiences and unexpected amenities that draw people to the office.

Questions about space fusion? For answers contact Kay Sargent or Gordon Wright, directors of HOK’s global WorkPlace practice.