This is how future of work will look like.

‘Unfuse’ — the architectural melting pot of Uni was looking for something. An idea of how the workspaces for tomorrow will look like. The challenge was thrown specifically at the architectural oriented design community where the problem — ‘Breaking Work’ was launched with an intent of inviting the most brilliant concepts that could change how we as a creative community perceive future of work tomorrow.

From pinning their concepts on emerging technological trends to keeping humans first, the participants were asked to engage with a complex user background where they were asked to work with 4 kinds of cults that are equally volatile and challenging. Read the full problem statement here.

These are the best of the best received in the contest with exclusive behind the scene ideas, where winners speak about their design intent in depth.


Joint Winner: The Time Bank — Mansi Mehta + Aangi Shah

As the author’s say this project is a futuristic institution imagines to accommodate the existing systems as well as develop a whole new way of working! It uses technology to the advantage of human beings by allowing every person to work as many hours as convenient to them. It also encourages the idea of ‘constant learning’ and ‘no data zones’ for human growth and interaction.

Discover the full winners and their projects in detail here.

Winners for the competition — Breaking Work

Introducing the team: Mansi Mehta, Architect and Urbanist, played a key role in the research an development of the concept of the Time Bank whereas Aangi Shah, Architect, played the intriguing role of visualizing the same and generating the graphics.

A visual of the final design project — The Time Bank.

Q:1 What were your interpretations of work in 2040?

A: Our imagination of work 2040 was to simply allow man to once again — become the master of his ‘time’ — and choose to spend each hour the way he truly wants to. The Time Bank building (proposed by our entry) enables that man to literally deposit his time (extra time, full time, part time — anything!) and find an organisation within the Time Bank itself — which is willing to en-cash it for him. On the contrary, he could also start his own time bank co. or just be a part of the time bank to come, learn and gain real world knowledge. All these provisions are made by the building design itself.

Q:2 What was the underlying rationale that you fixed upon before your concept emerged?

A: 2040 is a mere 20 years from today. We understood that in this fast paced tech driven universe — a lot can actually change in these 20 years. However, we also ensured that we do not imagine flying men and invisible desks (basically anything too sci fi to be true in 20 years). We tried to stick to the roots and just simply permit technology to solve the ‘issues’ faced by work today and create a different kind of universe altogether — which enables mankind to re-connect with their roots, become more human, become a master of their time and yet — be using limited technology to their own benefit. This being the basis — we began to device the concept of the Time Bank.

Q:3 How will this work space evolve with progressing time and changing work?

A: The Time Bank has no designated ‘work ‘ area. The spaces are broadly divided according to the ‘kind’ of work one does — and not the ‘organisation’ they belong to. Hence, a coffee curator could be grinding his beans alongside a fabric designers work table to eventually create a new type of filter cloth for the coffee machines! The idea is to literally create ‘company’ crossovers instead of the (already existing) ‘collaborative work spaces’.

This implies that a certain time bank organisation is fragmented across the entire building divided within the research, manufacturing or experimentation departments.

This characteristic actually allows the time bank to a dynamic structure in terms of growth — various organisations can occupy and use the building in multiple different ways and gain from it, grow from it and eventually create magnificent products / services for the societies we live in.

Q: 4 What is the need for the Pod and the Dock?

A: Each organisation within the time bank gets fragmented into three departments — research, experiment and manufacture. The reason is to create maximum company crossovers and divide the building spaces according to activities performed and not mere organisational boundaries.

Due to this fragmentation, mobility around the building becomes an essential requirement. Hence, we designed the Pod — a movable chair furniture device is connected to the building and produces holograms in any surface it encounters. The chair is energized by cycling on it (hence fitness is ensured). A few other fitness add ons are also provided to strengthen the core, arms or legs.

The dock is out version of the desk — it can be raised out of the grid on the floor space from absolutely any grid block within the ‘work’ space. Different docks have different sizes depending on whether it belong to the research, experiment and manufacture department. Each dock is also provided with an access color — provided to the users — again depending on how much time is spent by them at the time bank. Maximum access is given to the person who spends maximum time.

Discover the full project here.


Joint Winner: Projecting Happiness

Joint winners for the competition — Breaking Work

Introducing the team: i) Anam: Illustrator and professional overthinker — the group’s creative visualizer. ii) Aniruddh: Idea generator, the hyper-tensive daddy of the group. iii) Sharon: The brain behind the concept. iv) Manasa: Professional support giver. Leader. Designer.

A visual of the final design project. — Projecting Happiness

Q:1 What were your interpretations of work in 2040?

A: We projected a future of technological slowdown, wherein a new work environment emerges: a multi-functional space that is focused on happiness, with technology used to automate mundane, everyday tasks, allowing humans to ideate, innovate & create in a content and comfortable atmosphere. In a scenario where money is no more the driving factor for work, people start working less to fulfill dreams of economic prosperity and more for personal satisfaction and contentment.

Q:2 What was the underlying rationale that you fixed upon before your concept emerged?

A: We had decided that humanity would come to the realization that increased interference of technology in their lives could be as harmful as climate change, and they would take strict measures to combat the same. Developing upon this core concept, we arrived at the idea of Gross National Happiness, or the idea of happiness, taking center-stage in the lives of people, in both work and play. Bhutan is a country where GNH has already been established as a marker of growth, and new cities like Amravati in India have already started working on this.

Q:3 How will this work space evolve with progressing time and changing work?

A: The proposed solution for the workspace was that of a fold-out structure that would remain folded and stacked beneath the ground when not in use. The workspace would not belong to a single firm or company, and whenever a company or group of individuals would want to avail of its services, it could enter its company structure into an algorithm that would generate enough spaces required for the group’s needs. Floor plates, stacked beneath the floor, would rise, and walls would move around taking their places. When these spaces would not be used, they would fold away on their own, saving tons of energy and space. Hence, the workspace is capable of accommodating the needs of all groups of working people.

4. What is the concept of ‘absent architecture’ in the design of the building?

A: The design of this futuristic work space is not conceived as a permanent marker in space, but as something grows and falls according to the requirements of the users. The building emerges from the trench below, assembles itself, disassembles and falls back to the ground. When some spaces are not used, they also retract back to the trench, allowing the space to be utilized for some other purposes and saving on energy consumed in maintaining the space. This also allows for the site to be used as a park/zone of recreation when the building is not in use, and maintains existing sight lines, questioning the tag of permanence that used to be attached to the definition of architecture.

Discover the full project here.


Editor’s Pick: Weaving Workspaces

Fascinating! Isn’t it? Wait, there is more! This concept of Weaving workspaces is proposed by the team of Stephanie Rattanong and Lean Tkachenka — as they explain…

Weaving work places is a design embedded in the unique landscape of Singapore and focuses on weaving together the work hubs by connective paths, ways, bridges in order to enhance the future integration of technology and human experiences. Flexible spaces help include activities for live, work, and play environments and cultivates human social interaction.
A visual of the final design project. — Weaving workspaces

People’s Choice: Project Infinity

And the most voted project in the competition — which is loved by the audiences world over — Project Infinity, designed by — Yatharth, Roahan, Migom, Abhinav. They describe this project as …

From cave men to despotic rulers we have moved to a democratic era with development as the genus loci. An egalitarian work space oriented in 2040 where humans set goals and aspirations shaping their world which are accomplished by their technological counterparts leading to a truly Utopian era, an era of human transcendence
A visual of the final design project. —Project Infinity

Discover the full list of winners on http://unfuse.uni.xyz/breakingwork.html

Participate in our next international competition based on Urban farming and living better — Urban Meal Mine: http://unfuse.uni.xyz/urbanmealmine.html