Breaking Work 3.0

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Fig: 1 - Taylorism - Manifested into a real workspace - A concept


The work culture concept was born, when people first got together to achieve common goals, under leadership. The organization, its ideologies, and the attitude of employees, all are part of the work culture. To promote good work culture, the workplace plays an important role in developing a sense of loyalty and contentment, towards company work.

Taylorism is the concept that the last millennium has seen rising, where offices are arranged in a functional grid to increase efficiency and ease of workflow. Desks were arranged in rigid rows with the manager’s rooms at the end, in the main workspace, to overlook their subordinates.

But as suspected, Taylorism has come under a lot of criticism, as design lacks social considerations. Communication and interaction are key to ensure satisfactory work experience and this is hindered. The spaces are monotonous, inflexible, and are not accommodating to changes or upgrades. Such restricted designs reduce worker productivity by affecting their mental health and morale.

How can the desired efficiency in workplaces be achieved through design efforts?

Fig: 2 - Shifting dimensions of work in our decade - An illustration Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash


In the present time, modern offices have come far from rigid office designs, and a lot of effort is put into ensuring employee wellbeing in engaging spaces. Besides the employees, the employer is also an essential stakeholder while considering the design.

The nature of workspaces depends on the organization that occupies the space. Companies of today like many technology startups, small businesses, and creative agencies – are shifting to remote working every day. These businesses do not need an office space throughout the year but once in a while for strategy or teamwork they are keen to pool in a workspace without the hassle of owning one. How do we address this switching demand of work areas that are different from a desk-sharing coworking area, to an enterprise-hired coworking?

Even though it is a niche necessity, there is a lot of room for innovation in this type of design. The management of spaces is drastically different from conventional offices, where a steady work process is followed. There is a market with demand for such spaces, and it's just like a box of puzzle pieces, waiting to be put together.

Fig: 3 - Effects of changing dimension of work on our collaboration spaces - An impression


Brief: Design a coworking space for offices/small enterprises to hire only for a few months in a year. The need of this office is different from a solo coworking and requires some extent of customization to make this a tailormade office environment while keeping the good parts of coworking intact.

The design of this coworking space is particularly tricky since every company has its own specific needs when it comes to office equipment. But in this challenge, we are mainly trying to see how a single space can be transformed to perform an array of functions with smart design interventions.

The furniture will be the constant occupant of this space. Its dismantling and installation process must be made convenient, requiring less labor and time. Modular, convertible, compact, foldable, or any other type of furniture design can be used. They could be merged into the structural design or be removed and stored away, used only when needed. The participants can come up with their own ideas for these temporary workspaces. Despite the use of modular elements, the scope for personalization must be provided.


Convenience - The office must be functional and the transformation must be seamless.

Space Efficiency - The space available must be used efficiently and its capacity enhanced with smart interventions.

Ambiance - The workspace ambiance must encourage a good work culture.

Growth/Evolution - How will this workspace change with changing trends in office demands of the future?


Scranton is a metropolitan in Pennsylvania County. The city has large manufacturing and healthcare sectors. It is a small industrial town that has had an influx of migrants for years. There are many new businesses coming up that contribute to the city economy. There has been a steady growth in the job market with respectable income and a low unemployment rate.

The site Is located in the North Scranton district at a junction of crucial roads. It is adjacent to the North Scranton Expressway and Scranton High school. The site is surrounded by commercial outlets and options of eateries, convenient for offices of new startups.

Site area – 4,005 sqm
FAR - 0.75
Ground coverage - 40%
Height restrictions – 9m
Coordinates - 41.4153739427783, -75.6724017585707

Area Programme

The coworking space has to be designed for 7 office spaces of 200sqm each and 14 office spaces of 100sqm each. A total of 200x7 + 100x14 = 3400sqm covered office spaces has to be met. The shared spaces between these offices can be, Reception, Courtyards, Cafeteria, Dining spaces, Terraces, Lounge, Conference rooms, Meeting rooms, and common workstation areas. You can substitute some office spaces with individual desk sharing as well. You are free to modify the above requirements and numbers as long as you meet 3400sqm of covered rentable working spaces for this proposition.