Six trends to take over offices in 2016

From kaleidoscopes to cubicles, here are Kontor's leading designs.

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Remember when we introduced you to Kontor? We described it as a hot inspirational mess of offices from around the world that sort of makes us think of the kind of baby Pinterest and Houzz would make for the corporate world. Well, now the site has scoured its pages for recurring themes and came out with some design trends and predictions for 2016, which we thought we’d share.


1. Forget whiteboards and glass that’s so clean you accidentally walk into: bright and brilliant colour is in, with Kontor calling for a surge in “Kaleidoscope Conference Rooms.” See Red Bull’s New York offices (above), by Indaba Williams, as one example of “this psychedelic spin on translucent partitions with iridescent glass walls.”


2. Completely open air offices have been the trend for the past couple of years. But who wants to catch their desk neighbour staring at them mid-email? Kontor predicts the “Cubicle Comeback” and points to the above image of Pandora’s office, by Studios Architecture as one example. It says, “People crave personal space, especially in an open office. Designers are creating updated alternatives to the cubicle and furnishings with integrated technology that form a virtual cocoon with new products like the BuzziHood and Massaud Lounge Chair.”


3. Home is where the heart is, and it seems employers want their staffers to feel the same way about their workplace. The above image from the Greenpeace office, designed by Hollandse Nieuwe, is an example of how “the front-gabled house — think of a classic Monopoly piece — has become the go-to shape for enclosing everything from conference rooms to dining tables.” Kontor calls this trend “Feeling Right at Home.”


4. Rustic is all the rage. We’ve seen this for a while, but apparently designers are stepping it up a notch with “Dressed Up Rustic” as “salvaged wood has [makes] its way from coffee shops and farm-to-table restaurants to well-designed workplaces. In 2016, designers are dressing up rustic touches with colorful finishes.” An example of this is of Airbnb’s San Francisco offices by WRNS Studios (above).


5. Remember when we said colour is making a comeback? Well, it goes even further, as Kontor says “companies are moving away from boring whiteboards and creating brainstorming spaces in colors from eye-popping yellow to basic black and even clear-coated wood grain.” It shares IdeaPaint CREATE products as an example of the “Anything but Whiteboards” trend and points to the Direct TV offices, by AECOM, as an example.


6. “Furniture on the Go” is the final trend pointed out by Kontor. It notes that “flexible spaces will continue to dominate office design as a way to accommodate many different styles of working, but look for more clever designs for radically reconfigurable furnishing in 2016.” In other words, expect to see more mobile furnishings like that of Hotel Tonight, designed by Studio Hatch, above.