The Evolution of Commercial Interior Design for Offices

A Historical Overview of Commercial Interior Design

The concept of commercial interior design for offices has been used in Singapore since it’s birth, due to its rapid modernisation. The first office design, however, was made by Frederick Taylor, an American Engineer who strictly observed and promoted employee efficiency. He created an office layout which promoted “scientific management”, a theory designed to optimise employee performance. Taylorism was best known for its factory-like office settings, isolating bosses in private rooms to observe employees situated in open environments.

This lack of social interaction was challenged by Bürolandschaft, the German concept for an office interior design which was largely anchored on the need for organisational communication. Thus, this commercial interior design for office featured open spaces with partitions, enabling communication lines to flourish among employees.

Around 1960s, Robert Propst founded the commercial interior design concept of Action Office, an office form which showcased space-saving features and a kind of environmental space which aimed to increase worker productivity and stimulate accomplishment.

The cubicle came into existence in the 1980s. Cellular offices addressed most employees’ desire to work in private and have offices of their own. These work stations were primarily designed to enhance the privacy of workers.

Commercial Interior Design for Modern Offices

The modern office type has been regarded as the casual office. In casual offices, open spaces and partitions have been meshed. This type of commercial interior design encourages interaction and creative collaboration among employees and their superiors and preserves the amount of privacy needed by both groups. Furniture arrangement has also been modified for faster, more efficient flow of ideas among those who belong to same departments or groups.

One of the growing trends in commercial interior design is personalization of office spaces. Employees are given the opportunity to contribute ideas to how they want the office environment to be designed and utilised; after all, it’s them who will spend time in the office. Facebook’s management, for instance, conducted a survey among its employees to discover what kind of environment they would like to work in. The result? Well, a grandiose office creatively designed for serious work and hardcore fun. Facebook’s office, in fact, has skating rinks and DJ-ing booths! This trend in commercial interior design has gained positive feedback from many individuals, as it seeks to foster participation of the entire staff in the design conceptualization.

Modern interior design for offices focuses on a leisurely approach to work. This growing design approach has been employed and enjoyed in some of the world’s top performing corporations. Google’s office in Zurich, for instance, was designed with slides and fireman poles so employees can have more fun taking trips to different office areas


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