Announcing our 2014 Work Design NOW Projects

After much deliberation over stacks of compelling entries, we are pleased to announce the top three 2014 Work Design NOW projects. The annual research series, sponsored by Haworth, brings together industry practitioners to explore the goals, challenges, issues, and solutions driving modern workplace design. Each of the top three projects will be explored more deeply through case studies, on-site roundtable discussions, interviews, and videos, which will be made available to you here on the site once research has been completed. Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s submission process. Without further ado, congratulations to:

AIREA STUDIO, Detroit

A workspace at Airea Studio in Detroit. Photo courtesy of Airea.

A workspace at AIREA STUDIO in Detroit. Photo courtesy of AIREA.

AIREA STUDIO — sister-site to the larger AIREA Inc. dealership in Farmington Hills, Mich. — is an innovative work lounge and event space located in the heart of downtown Detroit. Free and open to the public, the 2,500 square foot STUDIO gives clients, designers, and regular folks like us the opportunity to drop-in and interact with one other, as well as with the latest products and workplace ideas coming from the over 300 manufacturers and service providers that Airea Inc. represents.

IdeaPaint, Boston

A shot of the IdeaPaint reception area, which employees refer to as the "hello space." Image courtesy of IdeaPaint.

A shot of the IdeaPaint reception area, which employees refer to as the “hello space.” Image courtesy of IdeaPaint.

Nearly two-thirds of IdeaPaint‘s new 7,600 square foot space in Boston is — you guessed it — erasable. Designed by Fusion Design Consultants, the office is both a working showroom for IdeaPaint products and accessories as well as a collaborative office environment for their employees. “Not only is our new space in a great location,” said IdeaPaint’s president, John Stephans — the company moved from Ashland, Mass., a town about 30 miles west of Boston, in February — it is also “fully representative of our brand and conducive to driving greater collaboration and better results.”

Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Sunnyvale, Calif.

A casual, partially enclosed meeting space allows for small and focused group conversations at MBRDNA’s new HQ. Photo courtesy of MBRDNA.

The employees at MBRDNA focus on research, advanced engineering design, product development, and testing for Mercedes-Benz cars and other Daimler Group business units. The goal for their new office — a 68,000 square foot space designed by IA — was to consolidate the headquarters (previously two locations) and create a space that would help Mercedes to recruit and retain the best engineering talent in the Bay Area. “What Mercedes has done is something unique,” said Pietro Silva, a principal and design director at IA. “This renovation went above and beyond what IA normally does, really focusing the strategy on how the space can allow teams to work both independently and interact with each other.”

We hope this is just enough to whet your work design appetite. Stay tuned throughout the summer for updates and content featuring the three winners, as well as project profiles featuring other finalists. For more information on the series, as well as videos featuring last year’s projects, check out our YouTube channel.

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