Automation. Its just one of those buzz words that almost sounds as if it was tailor made for today’s hyper connected world of internet blog posts and twitter feeds. From home automation systems to food and beverage processing and even heavy duty manufacturing, it just seems to be everywhere.
But what exactly does automation have to do with office interiors? and can it really make a substantial difference to modern workspaces?
Well, according to the Webster dictionary, Automation is defined as, ‘the technique of making an apparatus, a process, or a system operate automatically’. This provides us with a clue regarding the real world implications of this technology and how it can help us do more with the workspaces we create.
To truly understand the implications of this technology, we have to look at how workplaces have evolved over the last 2 decades in response to changing work cultures. Reduced vertical hierarchies, changing demographics, increased adoption of digital devices and a more collaborative approach have led interior designers and architects to create spaces that take these changes into consideration.
As a result, today’s offices are a combination of individual desk areas, open collaborative spaces as well as dedicated quiet areas where employees can concentrate without distractions. This is where automation enters the picture, in response to a need for managing this eclectic mix of different spaces, each unique in its own way, each with its specific energy requirements. A 20 person conference room has a different energy requirement than a private cubicle, both in terms of frequency of use as well as the amount of energy needed.