Inside the 2030 Office

11 Technologies & Innovations that will Shape the Future of Office Design

future office technology

First & foremost, it’s almost impossible to talk about the future of office design without mentioning artificial intelligence. From enabling improved modeling capabilities to optimizing building construction to changing the very nature of working taking place within offices, the potential for AI to dramatically transform the office design world is limitless.

As workers across all industries and functions will be working with closely AI and robots throughout the day, offices of the future will need to be fully outfitted with touchscreens, virtual technology and other interfaces to facilitate human/bot interactions. Furthermore, though we may be years away from fully AI-designed buildings, it's only a matter of time before AI becomes commonplace in office design. AI systems of the future will be able to provide office designers and architects design suggestions or, with procedural generation, generate numerous physical spaces that can “work” based on a set of defined criteria and pre-written rules (12). In fact, Autodesk is already experimenting with AI-powered generative design to produce over 10,000 potential office designs based on employee feedback (13).

Offices of the future will be able to use sensors and AI powered ambient intelligence to identify who is in the room, what activities they're performing and then adapt to those needs. For example, if a person is working on a complex task, the system will automatically adjust the lighting and temperature to promote deep concentration. If a lively meeting is going on, the room will adjust its settings to promote alertness.

However, the benefits of ambient technology extends beyond productivity and wellness. For example, in potentially hazardous workspaces such as factories and hospitals, Ambient Intelligence could identify and alert workers when they violate safety rules or are at risk for injury. Eventually, ambient intelligence will also be fully integrated into security systems. Using the biometric data these ambient systems organically collect, organizations will be able to more effectively identify and confront potential intruders.

Ambient intelligence enabling technologies of the future such as sensors, processors, communications and adaptive software will be unobtrusive and fully integrated with office design. For example, chairs, desks and other office furniture could all potentially be outfitted to collect and process sensory data without employees ever noticing.