Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
NOOK rethinks and reimagines outdated office conventions and aims to optimize our workplace routines and work-life balance by fostering a better balance between "team time" and "think time". It is a network of globally connected collaborative workstations distributed among cities around the world that allow people everywhere to access personal workspaces at times that are convenient to their individual schedules while allowing them to maintain the freedom, flexibility, and privacy that they value most. Modern office spaces are evolving along with changes in business priorities and cultural norms. Nook provides a third alternative for remote/travel workers, distributed teams, and more. Airbnb changed the way the world travels. Now it's time to change the way the world works. At NOOK, we believe in the symbiotic relationship between employees and employers. It's no secret that companies thrive when their employees thrive. We believe that improving employee health & wellness and increasing employer productivity go hand-in-hand.
We are in the midst of a paradigm shift in the modern workplace. In 2010, baby boomers made up over 50% of the U.S. workforce. By 2025, 75% of workers will be millennials. So how will our workspaces change over the next decade? At NOOK, we will not be bystanders in this 21st century renaissance, we are a catalyst. Today's consumers are less inclined to purchase products than they are to seek experiences and lines are blurred as business models, products, and services merge to form innovative concepts. The scope of this project revolves around one simple question: Where do you go when you really need to get something done?
It turns out, people aren't saying what companies think they would say. Companies are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars creating spaces for people to come together and do work, so why are so few people answering this question with "the office"? Office design trends represent both a continuation of what worked in the past, as well as a reaction to what hasn't. Open office plans were intended to boost collaboration, but they ended up having the opposite effect. A survey of more than 2,000 employees across the US, UK, and Australia determined that 69% of people said that their concentration levels, productivity, and creativity were negativity impacted by noisy distractions, and 44% said their companies did nothing to address the noise. We aren't here to change your offices; we're here to rethink and reimagine outdated office conventions. The average workday is 8 hours, but when's the last time you actually had 8 hours to work on, well, your work? How about half of that? When's the last time you even had, say, 2 hours of uninterrupted time to really focus on solving a problem? If you've ever experienced your own flow state, you know how empowering it is, but it's not easy to achieve.
It takes about 20 minutes of focus to enter a flow state, and each distraction resets that timer. Our workplaces are filled with involuntary distractions that break up the workday into a series of work moments. But people need long stretches of time to get thoughtful work done, especially creative careers and the thinkers of the world – the designers, writers, engineers, programmers, etc. Group collaboration is key, but we need to be able to better balance team time and think time. So how will our workplaces change over the next decade? NOOK fosters an innovative work environment and a better balance between the collaborative "team time" needed for cross pollination of ideas/perspectives and the personal "think time" required to focus on deep thinking. CEO's such as Bill Gates have attributed much of their company's success to periodic "think weeks". Our goal is to replicate these benefits by micro dosing these purpose driven retreats. NOOK incorporates emerging technologies in ways that allow us to distance ourselves from technology.
One example of this is the use of Mui smart displays. When paired with NOOK, the user can decide if they want to receive notifications from their phone, which can be subtly displayed on the smart panel. The user can decide whether to stop and take a break to check their device, or even disable notifications completely. This simple feature minimizes the number of distractions and amount of time spent habitually checking their phone. Even the simplest of details, from the wall/flooring patterns and CMF have been designed to induce a feeling of Zen from the moment you step foot inside your NOOK. The floor is reminiscent of Japanese rock gardens and the simple wall pattern is a minimalistic abstraction of bamboo forests. The exterior design was influenced by the belief that form follows function and is somewhat similar to the PODS Moving and Storage Containers that can be found in cities across the country. These minimalistic structures have been authorized to remain on both private and public property for extended periods of time, even by some cities' historic districts, strict HOA's, etc. The panoramic window and moonroof intend to maximize the user's connection to the natural environment and open up the space, which can be challenging to do in a small, all-encompassing workstation.
This connection to nature was inspired by biophilic design trends and their reported effects on health and wellness, productivity, mindfulness, and creativity. Similarly, the Epoch timekeeper was designed to evoke an awareness of the passing of time while minimizing the habitual tendency to check the time and/or phone – a counterproductive and unfortunate consequence of modern technology. NOOK is small enough to fit inside a standard parking space, but spacious enough to spend an afternoon inside. Its compact design allows people to reserve and rent personal workspaces that can be delivered to a variety of urban and rural locations around the world. Whether you are on a business trip to a major city or just wanting to get out of town for the weekend and immerse yourself in nature (but still have work to do), NOOK will come to you. NOOK hits a target that each of our competitors miss. While they design with the company in mind, our client is not a company, it is the people, and our unique services enhance their experiences while increasing engagement and efficacy.
Our clients are employees and entrepreneurs who travel for leisure, who wish to loosen the tether that keeps them close to corporate headquarters. They are members of distributed teams stationed around the world, who depend on virtual collaboration tools and cloud environments. They are the early adopters, who propel new product and technology trends. Our clients are cornerstones of every company. Airbnb changed the way the world travels, now it's time to change the way the world works. NOOK is a result of extensive research and actionable insights that can be used to create better workplaces for both employees and employers. If you've read this far and like what you've seen, please let me help your team rethink and reimagine the future of work!