The COVID-19 has profoundly impacted to a general frame of the environment in an office. While the pandemic has been breaking out, office workers have reported their emerging issues of life and work balance, needing appropriate tools for their job complete, and losing the motivation by disconnecting from their collaborators. In 21c, office design has been focused on two main issues to improve work productivity. One is the employee’s physical, emotional, social wellbeing, and the other is collaboration. For this competition, we consider one of the collaborative spaces, MR. A meeting room will be a crucial challenge in post-COVID-19 office design because it is mainly not for creating a social distance but for being closed in order to create good teamwork as well as to socialize with colleagues and clients. MR could be categorized by sizes (small, middle, and large) and purposes (formal and informal). Small MRs (Huddle room, Phone booth, and War room) are for up to 4 people and usually spaces for informal conversations. Middle MRs (6Pax, 8Pax, and 10Pax) are for up to 10 people and large MRs (12 Pax, Large conference room, and Town-hall MR) are for more than 10 people. These two types of MRs are likely for formal conversations. Before COVID-19 pandemic, the elements below were required for MR design: 1) quantity and quality of tables and chairs; 2) multi-media systems with connections; 3) room reservation system; 4) wayfinding and accessibility; 5) branding; 6) lighting control including both artificial and natural; 7) acoustic and visual control for privacy issue; 8)HVAC control system for thermal comfort. However, for MR designs in Post COVID-19, potential subjects below should be considered: A) Social distancing; B) personal hygiene; C) cleaning procedure and frequency; D) air flows and quality; E) employees’ mental health.
Winner of Collaborative Space in the Next Work Environment Competition
Yongyeon Cho, Assistant Professor, Interior Design Department at Iowa State University