‘Work has changed – most offices haven’t.’
This key phrase led to Herman Miller’s drive towards the ‘Liveable Office’, and the birth of the Herman Miller Living Office Award. Liveable offices seek to increase employee productivity and help organisations reach their overall goals by creating an experiential space. Simply put, it’s all about making the office a place that you actively want to spend time in.
The competition was officially launched at Downtown Design 2018, with the aim of creating awareness amongst companies on the benefits of good workspaces, and rewarding designers who endeavour to foster such spaces.
Designers across the Middle East and Africa region were invited to participate in the competition by submitting their best corporate designs, that also were in line with the Living Office ethos. The submissions were rated on key elements, such as the central concept, the human element of design, ergonomics and more. Submissions closed in March 2019, and a panel of diverse and talented judges took on the task of wading through the plethora of projects, selecting the winning entry and shortlisting the top eleven, which were then made public for the People’s Choice vote.
At the night of the Awards, we caught up with Oliver Baxter, Insight Manager at Herman Miller MEA, who spoke about the importance of these awards. “We want to inspire great design, and provide spaces that cater to the user’s needs. And we wanted to reward those designers and spaces that embody that, so that they think about projects holistically rather than just in terms of aesthetics.”
Above from left: Highly Commendable project winners Roar, CitySpace and AAID
After weeks of voting, social media shares and anticipation, Fiona Hardie ID’s The Executive Centre won the People’s Choice Award. The team from The Executive Centre collected the award on behalf of Fiona, who gave her gracious acceptance speech via video message.
dwp’s Smart Dubai Offices were the winners of the Commercial Business Workspace Design category. The judges were unanimous in their selection, commenting on the quality of the presentation, the clever use of breakout spaces, and the holistic and biophilic elements that also shone through.
The dwp team made a special mention of Nadine Abedzadeh, the lead designer and the brains behind this project, under whose leadership and direction, they managed to achieve this. About what they intended to do with the winnings, Kimberley Dean, Marketing and Communications Executive said, “It’s perfect timing, we are undergoing some renovations in our own office, so this is really going to help!”
The winners received USD 5,000 to be spent on Herman Miller furniture, with two designers scoring the unique opportunity to visit Herman Miller’s National Design Centre in London, and their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Portal Mill, Melksham, UK.