To future-proof workspaces, designers need to design spaces that are predominantly based around an open floorplan which in turn is adaptable to suit a variety of different working styles. These include breakout areas to replace board rooms, multi-purpose furniture, and flexible layouts permitting multiple configurations.
Metal mesh has a long tradition of outdoor use spanning hundreds of years. Over time, metal mesh has earned a reputation as a practical, durable yet surprisingly versatile product thanks in part to its uncanny ability to meet a wide range of specifications. With a variety of practical exterior applications including vent panels, cages, and baskets, the eventual introduction of metal mesh to the world of interiors was hardly a surprise.
Fast-forward to the present day, metal mesh is an invaluable material asset, and both architects and interior designers alike continue to probe its potential for architectural and creative applications.
Most recently, forward-thinking practices have implemented mesh partitions as a means of mediating the compartmentalised cubicles of yesteryear with increasingly popular open-plan office environments.
Not only do moveable woven and expanded mesh walls and space dividers provide a good interface between open and closed office layouts, but they also enable airflow whilst providing a visible demarcation. This can have a multitude of benefits including better access to natural daylight, increased levels of concentration amongst the workforce and may even help some people curb social anxiety in the workplace.
Statistics show that 40% of the population identify themselves as introverted, these partitions, albeit open/punctured ones, have a somewhat similar psychological effect as a completely closed-off cubicle would, i.e., being walled off from the world and able to fully fixate on tasks at hand. This, in turn, can benefit the quality of life immeasurably for those who would otherwise feel a relative level of discomfort at work and perhaps not perform as well as they could.
The opportunities that these working practises bring for designing are inspiring and architecturally interesting, and the future of workspace design cannot come soon enough.
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