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Microsoft’s office of the future puts Surface in the foreground

Microsoft and Steelcase have designed five “Creative Spaces” which are meant to be fresh takes on offices that let people productively work together. As may be expected from Microsoft, they also showcase Windows devices and the company’s Office 365 professional software.
Focus Studio

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces - Focus Studio

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces – Focus Studio
Microsoft


The first of the workspaces is called Focus Studio. It’s built for individual creative work but can quickly transition into a collaborative area for two or more people. Microsoft has added its Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 and include a selection of warm accessories for an accessible feel.
Duo Studio

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces - Duo Studio

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces – Duo Studio
Microsoft


Duo Studio is intended for pairs who need to be creative together. It features a Microsoft Surface Studio on one of the walls, enabling multiple people to collaborate and work together on a single digital display. There’s also a small lounge zone for other people involved in a project to visit for reviews.
Ideation Hub

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces - Ideation Hub

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces – Ideation Hub
Microsoft


The Ideation Hub is a tech-driven workspace for multiple employees. Incorporating a Surface Studio, physical mood board, magnetic walls and a centralised table, it’s meant to let people co-create with each other while putting important resources immediately at hand.
Maker Commons

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces - Maker Commons

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces – Maker Commons
Microsoft


Maker Commons is envisioned as a prototyping space for assessing whether ideas have potential. It’s more open than the other designs and has a light, relaxed feel. It’s intended to blend conversation, experimentation and concentration together to help teams work through concepts before implementing them.
Respite Room

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces - Respite Room

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces – Respite Room
Microsoft


The final Creative Space is the Respite Room, a location built for a single individual to use. Sparsely decorated and filled with comfortable furniture, it’s supposed to provide a place to sit back and reflect when some silence is required during the day.
“Unlock imaginations”

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces
Microsoft


Microsoft frequently dreams up workspaces of the future, elements of which sometimes eventually appear in its products. Recently, the company has begun to double-down on the value of teamwork though, pitching products like Surface Hub as the centrepiece of an office or board room.
The colour, variety and openness of the Creative Spaces is still a far cry from the average office across the world. Microsoft suggested the approach to work that they create could lead to increased productivity though, giving everyone a chance to get involved by offering greater engagement with the space around them.

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces

Microsoft / Steelcase Creative Spaces
Microsoft


“Creative Spaces are designed to help people better harness their own creative potential, transfer their creativity into their work and improve how they collaborate with their teams,” said Microsoft. “Creative Spaces unlock people’s imaginations and optimize their interactions with both their teammates and Surface devices, unleashing the full capabilities of Windows 10 and Office 365.”
Microsoft and Steelcase will continue their partnership throughout the year. According to the two companies, Creative Spaces is only the first phase of what they plan to create together. People interested in glimpsing Microsoft’s office of the future can do so at 10 Steelcase WorkLife Centers worldwide, including New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Munich and London.

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