Inflatable offices of the future for digital nomads

Inflatable offices of the future for digital nomads
Inflatable offices of the future for digital nomads

Workplaces of the future could be inflatable. That's the vision to emerge from the “Tomorrow’s Workplace” design competition from Staples Business Advantage and Metropolis magazine.

The entries included a forecast that in 2021, the workplace may include inflatable pods set up in urban parks.

“The massive corporate office tower, usually a glass box with central air pumped in, is turning into the dinosaur from the 20th century,” said Susan S. Szenasy, publisher and editor in chief, Metropolis.

“Workplaces will become more multi-generational and multi-functional.

"One thing is sure—today's office is not your father's or mother’s office.”

Jie Zhang, is an architect and co-founder of OPT, celebrated the rapidly growing freelance economy.

Her FoAM was a combination of easily deployable inflatables that create personal mobile offices, which can be set up in a dense network of urban parks transformed from vacant parking infrastructure. The inflatables are collapsible and equipped with digital technology so workers can connect wherever they are.

Inflatable offices of the future for digital nomads

She envisaged digital nomads, with inflatable offices that can be set up practically anywhere.

These collapsible structures are insulated, both thermally and acoustically

One of Zhang’s submitted diagrams shows a person carrying the inflatable in a shoulder bag.

The directions: “arrive,” “unroll” and “inflate.”

It was pointed out that the inflatable is actually not a new idea; it was already kind of an experimental architectural object from the ’60s by radical design groups from Italy and the University of California, Berkeley. 

The co-working trend has grown recently to total 27 million square feet of office space, which 0.7% of the total U.S. office market, but substantial for a niche that barely existed just years ago, according to a Jones Lang LaSalle report.

Companies like Regus and WeWork dominate the industry.

But WeWork didn’t exist before 2010, and now they occupy 5 million square feet, said Julia Georgules, director of research for the office sector at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

Workplace Office Design


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