Herman Miller Asia hosted the ceremony night of the Liveable Office Awards on Thursday, 22 March 2018, with finalists coming from China, Japan, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and the Philippines, all of whom demonstrated and shared innovative new approaches to workplace design with their shortlisted projects.
The mission of the Liveable Office Award is to raise awareness of the importance of good workspace design as a tool for companies to achieve organisational goals. The awards are intended to recognise designers and their firms for their contribution to workplace design, as a means of fostering creativity and collaboration with the A&D community.
This year, Herman Miller Asia received 147 submissions from all over the region, which demonstrated a more diverse range of projects than in previous years, as well as an even higher standard of design and innovation. This year’s awards were held at Herman Miller’s Tokyo Living Office showroom, which was designed by Flooat, Inc., the 2016 winner of the Commercial Business and People’s Choice awards.
For the 2017-2018 awards, Herman Miller Asia worked closely with a highly respected judging panel to narrow the list down to just five finalists per category.
Herman Miller Asia also launch a new awards category at the 2017-2018 awards: Co-working and Collaborative Space. The new category recognises the number of regional co-working spaces that are taking a strategic approach to workspace design, as well as acknowledging that co-working spaces are redefining office design for the industry.
Other categories were Commercial Business – Workspace Design, Best in Tech, and People’s Choice. Those shortlisted were narrowed down to several runners up and one winner per category.
Commercial Business – Workspace Design Award
1 - Daimler Greater China Beijing Headquarters, Mi2 Interior Design & Project Co., Ltd., China
2 - Maddocks, by Bates Smart, Australia
3 - MetLife Japan Headquarters, GARDE Co., Ltd. Japan (joint second runners up)
3 - GE Digital Bangalore, RC Architecture, India (joint second runners up)
Co-working and Collaborative Space Award
1 - Architectus Melbourne Studio, Architectus, Australia
2 - The Work Project, HASSELL, Singapore
3 - Sun Life Financial Headquarters, Goudie Associates, Philippines
Best in Tech Award
DSP Design Associates, India
People’s Choice Award
Microsoft Corporation, Mumbai, DSP Design Associates, India
“The most interesting innovation I saw at this year’s Liveable Office Award was that organisations are changing, they’re getting new employees coming in, who want new working environments, and interior design is helping to make this change possible. I’m seeing this happening in India, Japan and other places. Designers being the agents of change is something wonderful, and it’s being done really professionally. That stood out really clearly for me at this year’s award.”
Professor Cees de Bont
Dean of School and Swire Chair Professor of Design, School of Design, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University
“One of the strong trends we saw in the entries this year was an understanding that hospitality themes and approaches to design needed to be incorporated into livable spaces, because people live where they work these days. Resolving lighting, understanding flexibility, and thinking about how people now live in workspaces was a really key focus for all the entrants.”
FDIA, National President, Design Institute of Australia
“Although every company is based on the culture of their country and company, recently, that business model, along with the knowledge and experience of workers, information technology and economic environment has been changing dramatically worldwide. Among the changes, one of the important issues is whether workers can work in a way that’s more human, that’s wellness-driven as well as innovative. Workplace design can support this change management and create new corporate values. The Liveable Office Award continues to give designers the opportunity to express their ideas of workplace design innovation. These designers can gather and share the knowledge and experience they gained through the challenges of working on these projects, creating future workplaces that operate beyond countries, regions, nationalities and companies.”
Chairman of Japan Society for Office Study
“We were able to get Daimler the largest Gold WELL certification in Asia. Where WELL differs from LEED is that it introduces the human aspect into sustainable design. Employees at Daimler have access to nursing rooms, to fruit and vegetables in the pantry, to equipment in the exercise area. We also had to consider sound: what’s the reverberation like, and what about glare control?”
Desmond Tan, Mi2 Interior Design & Project Co., Ltd.
Project: Daimler Greater China Beijing Headquarters
Commercial Business Award Winner
“This year’s award was the opportunity to bring our latest work and have it judged against the best work in Australasia. For us, it was a great opportunity to see how our new thinking and new ideas around workplace design sit in what is becoming a global market.”
Andrew Schunke, Architectus
Project: Architectus Melbourne Studio, Australia
Co-working and Collaborative Space Award Winner
“When one is talking so much about technology in the post-industrial revolution, what is really important is: how are you really taking care of human beings in the workspace? We were looking into how that human element has been taken care of. How a space can really inspire people to work, how flexible is the whole environment you are creating, what materials are you using? How are you reflecting the company’s philosophy in the workspace? Those are some of the softer aspects we considered.”
Bimal Desai, DSP Design Associates
Best in Tech Award winner & People’s Choice Award winner
“The old Sun Life Financial group was very against the workspace change we proposed, but we convinced them it could work, and their productivity actually doubled. We went from doing one floorplate to doing seven.
We integrated 14 Haven rooms into each floorplate, giving staff formal and informal settings catering to three to six people. These areas cater to both old, systematic, very rigid groups, and more collaborative, more agile groups in their Haven rooms. They have options now, which is why it became so much more productive.”
Jeanne Dellosa, Goudie Associates
Project: Sun Life Financial Headquarters, Philippines
Co-working and Collaborative Space Award – 2nd Runner up
“We use design as a median for delivering a particular brand message that speaks about value, experience, emotion, and culture whether it is for retail, hospitality, or commercial projects. The same way that retail and hospitality focuses on the customer’s experience, so should office design present the same type of experience for its clients, customers, partners, associates, and employees.
In the case of MetLife Japan, a specific brand message was developed for the public interface area (called the Square) that emphasises the promise of quality and integrity as part of a global enterprise. The collaboration areas for the associates (called Clubs) delivers a brand message about Japan culture and uniting everyone across different ethnicities, backgrounds and generations. The work areas (called the Neighborhoods) are branded as a universal standard that provides all the necessary tools and support that enables the associates to maximise their potential.”
Christopher Brooks, GARDE Co., Ltd.
Project: MetLife Japan Headquarters, Tokyo
Commercial Business Award – 2nd Runner Up
For more information, please contact Livingoffice_apac@hermanmiller.com