Skip to Content

News and Events

News Release

Business Interiors by Staples and Metropolis Magazine Unveil the Winners of the Workplace of the Future 2.0 Contest

Second Annual Workplace of the Future Contest Reveals How the Workplace is Evolving

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 14, 2015-- Business Interiors by Staples, the contract furniture division of Staples Advantage and Metropolis, the magazine of architecture and design at all scales, today announced the winners of the second annual Workplace of the Future 2.0 contest. As part of the contest, more than 150 architects and designers from around the world envisioned what work lives would be in the next 10-15 years, given the shift toward a “work anywhere, anytime” mentality.

Key themes that emerged from the contest include:

  • Shift toward adaptable furniture systems: Designed with a no-size-fits-all approach, these modular, flexible furniture pieces provide options based on individual and group needs, and can be implemented in smaller or unfinished spaces.
  • Creating mobile pods: Aboard different types of transportation, these portable, all-encompassing modules/designated spaces incorporate technology and maintain productivity while being on the go.
  • Inserting infill environments: Leveraging existing architecture, these systems and spaces can be inserted into current buildings or shared between companies, enabling improved interaction and collaboration between workers.
  • Designing wellness spaces: These garden-like spaces improve worker productivity and wellbeing through access to physical activity and nature, providing peaceful work areas and aspects to stimulate fitness and movement.
  • Staying connected to technology: These forward-thinking workplace solutions focus on 3D and augmented reality, offering fully integrated furniture and devices to disconnect workers from a fixed workspace and maintain productivity anywhere.

Winning Designs

Business Interiors by Staples awarded the winners, Joe Wilson and Sean Cassidy, of London, England, $7,500 for their Organic Grid+ concept. This sustainable design is an adaption of the infill environment theme, and consists of a custom created unit that plugs directly into existing city architecture, whether that existing space be a skyscraper or warehouse. The unit is equipped with office space and indoor garden space, which allows workers to integrate two often opposing forces: nature and technology. Planting and vegetation in the garden generates healthy food options for employees and naturally regulates the climate of the workspace so less HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) is needed. The Organic Grid+ blends the boundaries between work and personal life in a constructive way designed to meet the realities of the new workplace where employees are spending more time at work.

“We are thrilled to win this competition, and are so excited to share our design. The importance of incorporating nature into the workspace is something we feel passionately about, as it’s critical to human health,” said Joe Wilson and Sean Cassidy. “Combine that with a user-oriented experience with complete flexibility and you’re able to encourage happier, more productive employees.”

The runner-up, Edward Ogosta of Culver City, California, received $2,500 for The Hybrid Office design, which offers a variety of individual and group spaces for a mid-sized creative office. Set within a renovated warehouse interior, it provides creative group and private spaces depending on employee needs. Open offices super-densify workers with nowhere to retreat, but The Hybrid Office rebalances the workplace by providing a middle ground between open and closed space, individual and collective/collaborate work as well as analog and digital tools. Hybrid furniture models include styles like open tiered seating and semi-enclosed desks to nooks to enhance focus. Alternatively, large living rooms and long worktables support interactive, hands-on work, while clusters of tree-like chairs facilitate quiet discussions and heads-down work.


“While all designs were unique, one commonality among the themes from the competition is the movement toward customizing the workplace to enhance the individual employee experience,” said John Michael, Vice President and General Manager, Business Interiors by Staples. “Staples will continue to help make these themes a reality as our capabilities, solutions and offerings evolve to meet the needs of the changing workplace and the workforce.”

“The winners provided a truly forward-thinking way we can incorporate health, sustainability, flexibility and overall worker happiness into a beautiful, clean design,” said Susan S. Szenasy, Publisher & Editor in Chief, Metropolis Magazine. “Joe Wilson and Sean Cassidy captured beautifully how technology and nature are merging to create healthy, productive and happy employees.”

The winner and runner-up are profiled in the January 2015 print and digital issue of Metropolis magazine.

About Business Interiors by Staples

Business Interiors by Staples is the contract furniture and design arm of Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc. With more than 25 years of providing quality furniture solutions, it helps organizations of all types and sizes - from small, local companies to large Fortune 1,000 companies - create more productive, healthy and sustainable work spaces. It is the largest contract furniture dealer in North America and one of the only companies with direct relationships with more than 250 manufacturers. To learn more about Business Interiors by Staples, please visit here.

About Staples Advantage

Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq:SPLS), serves organizations of 20 or more employees up to the Fortune 1000, helping them make more happen with more products, greater cost savings and improved ordering efficiencies. Staples Advantage provides its customers, including global businesses, local, state and federal government, healthcare organizations and educational institutions, with a one source solution featuring comprehensive products and services like office supplies, technology, printing, promotional products, furniture and facility supplies, along with a customized level of account support and best-in-class customer service. More information is available at

Source: Staples, Inc.

Staples Advantage
Shweta Agarwal, 508-253-8249