17/10/2023 • 3 min read

DesignLab: Inspiring the Future of Workspace Design

Artists and designers collaborate on experimental, innovative projects.

by Haworth, Inc.

As part of our 75th anniversary celebration, Haworth launched DesignLab, a collective of talented artists and designers. We’ve embarked on an experimental journey: DesignLab thinks beyond the conventional and seeks inspiration from unexpected sources.

Partnering with Visionaries

Along with renowned designer and architect Patricia Urquiola, Haworth assembled a team of 5 emerging artists and designers: Bradley Bowers, Brian Wooden, Eny Lee Parker, Maximiliano Rosiles, and Chrissy Fehan of Pophouse. Together, they sought to create future-focused concepts that infuse office spaces with unexpected, emotive, and immersive experiences.

Bold, creative decisions often come with risk. DesignLab embraced this entrepreneurial spirit by casting a wide net and starting on an open-ended path. Designers were challenged to think freely and unconventionally with a brief that simply stated “Tell us what is important through your design lens.”

DesignLab offered unrestricted creativity. It sparked a dynamic conversation with a diverse group of designers that pushed beyond the traditional boundaries of the commercial office furniture industry, exploring fresh ideas and experiences that could translate to the workplace.

The Power of Group Dynamics

DesignLab is an excellent example of the power of group dynamics. The 5 participants came together to form a cohesive team that meshed well together. They embraced their individuality and celebrated the synergy that emerged from collaboration. They had fun while working together—and it was evident in their final designs.

“We became fast friends,” said Bradley Bowers. “It’s nice to be in an industry where you can be talented creatively but then also have people to rely on for opinions or feedback or just to be there for you. I like the kind of family environment that's been harbored here, so I'm happy.”

DesignLab Came Together at NeoCon 2023

Our DesignLab journey culminated in a showcase at NeoCon 2023. Haworth exhibited a collection of works created by the 5 emerging artists and designers, giving visitors a glimpse into the future of workspace design. Their prototypes ranged from innovative couches to room-spanning carpets. Each represented a unique perspective on modern office spaces.

The DesignLab experience at NeoCon was truly exceptional because of its personal touch. The artists met with visitors and shared their insights, inspiration, and design philosophies. It was a unique opportunity to delve deeper into the minds of these creators and understand the thought processes behind their work.

Looking Ahead: DesignLab 2024

Haworth DesignLab has provided a sneak peek into what the future of workplace design may look like. It challenged the norm and reimagined the workplace as a space that is not only functional but emotionally engaging and inspiring.

We are excited to announce that DesignLab will continue exploring in 2024. This initiative has shown us that innovation knows no bounds and that we can create designs that elevate the human experience.

Franco Bianchi reflected on the value of DesignLab and the company's investment in the future, saying, "The beauty of the a-ha moment is its organic element. Haworth's ability to invest in this initiative is a true testament to the company's essence. It also means that we don't have a nice ending yet, but we are currently exploring various paths to see where they might lead."

It is important to have a conversation and open a window to the future, to use this exploration as a tactic to explore design diversity, and to understand what is possible—in a design language that is distinctly American.

Patricia Urquiola

More on Haworth’s DesignLab

Discover the innovative approach taken by the Haworth DesignLab and each of its artists.


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