11 July 2022
Curated by: Redazione IVM

Human Centred Design: how technology has changed the office

Reading time: 3 mins
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The digital acceleration seen in the post-pandemic era has had an inevitable impact on the world of office design, marking radical changes in the approach to the organisation of space.

Previously “design oriented”, offices are evolving into “human centred” spaces, paving the way towards new models that focus on technology as well as on personal well-being and comfort.

In this scenario, offices are more intelligent, hybrid, shared, fluid and interconnected. A place in which to experience well-being, in harmony with the various forms of interaction between individuals.

This is Human Centred Design (HCD), a concrete approach that integrates technology with both tangible and intangible design elements, such as, for example, furniture, or human and relational factors such as ergonomics, sustainability, cultural diversity and forms of collaboration and relations between people.

By adopting the point of view of the worker, through this model, planners, designers or architects can construct customised solutions and obtain input and feedback that can be used to optimise office layout.


HCD & Sensory technology

The technology used in “human centred” design includes sensory technology.

Desk sensor, environmental sensor, area sensors: according to research conducted by Kyushu University, in Japan, when used in combination, these systems potentially help to create working environments that can physically and environmentally adapt in response to the conscious and unconscious behaviour of the people that inhabit them.

In short, these instruments can be used to provide clear feedback regarding the working experience of the people, consequently optimising office design.


HCD & IoT Technology

Within the framework of designing or re-designing an office in an HCD light, space must be given to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Beyond the limitations of space and time, it is now possible to remotely book a desk or meeting room in just a few seconds by smartphone. This is a possibility that is perfectly in line with the challenges of flexibility and mobility that are being encountered in the professional world.

This leads us to the “smart office”, i.e., intelligent offices designed to improve the working experiences of people and promote efficient inter-organisational collaboration.

Many companies around the world are already moving in this direction. According to Grand View Research Inc., the global market for intelligent offices will be worth 57.05 billion dollars by 2025 (+38.59 billion compared to 2016 estimates).

It is a scenario that underlines the progressive digitalisation of work processes and workspaces.


HCD & Smart App

From “Human Centred Design”, we are moving towards the era of “User Centred Design”, thanks to the integration of smart apps in daily office life.

Apps for remote office desk management, apps to control temperature and ventilation, or to monitor the energy efficiency of the office in accordance with the effective use of spaces.


These are the challenges to be faced in designing the office of the future; understand how to integrate technology to render working experiences both memorable and fluid, with a view to creating an integrated and personalised ecosystem on the basis of the needs of people and spaces.

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