Haworth Challenges Interior Studios to Imagine the Future of the Workplace

Haworth guest critic Lindsey Rain (Interior Design ‘92) gave Tina Patel and Abi Asojo’s Interior Design studios a very contemporary challenge: design a flexible work café that can accommodate a range of work styles and functions.

The assignment was an preview of the type of commercial projects interior students can expect to tackle after graduation. As Rain explained, “more and more we are seeing corporate clients leaning towards an alternative workplace strategy. Workers are more engaged when they have spaces that make them feel good and offer all of the ‘tools’ they need to do work. Engaged employees mean more productive employees.”

IMG_2316“Third places” are also popular among start-ups and companies who employ freelancers. “These newer fresh spaces offer areas to connect to power, grab a cup of coffee and give workers a variety of spaces to reflect, concentrate or collaborate,” Rain added. To meet all these needs, she asked the students to incorporate spaces for a front desk, lounge seating for visitors, a conference room able to seat up to 25, spots for quiet individual work, open office space, and an employee lounge and kitchenette.

A team of guest critics—including Haworth designers and Betsy Vohs, principal of Studio BV—selected Lexi Sosalla’s design for first place, with additional honors (and prizes) to Morgan Altman, Hunter Millar, and Kailin Hurinenko. Rain enjoys critiquing and working with students. “My favorite part is seeing the enthusiasm in the design students and their fresh perspectives. I surprised by their rendering abilities! They are so much more advanced than when I was a student in design school 25 years ago,” she noted.


A big thanks to guest critics and to our 2015-16 Design Student and Alumni Board sponsors:





Meet DSAB and learn how you could get involved at design.umn.edu/dsab/.


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