Inspiration Awaits in this Office Space

In a landslide victory, Finnish designer Pekka Salokannel wowed the judges of interior solutions company Martela’s Inspiring Spaces Design Award to take home first prize and 12,000 euros (that’s over $16,000 dollars!), with his “2×2” office design concept.

“2×2” features a clever, minimalist design that offers an all-around solution, giving a full range of flexibility and configurations to fit any office environment. “The solution is bold and clear, and its use of color is especially innovative,” comment the judges.

Beyond the vibrant color (which I think unfortunately might be a bit daring and thereby unsuitable for many offices), I love Salokannel's spin on systems furniture. He incorporates the low panels to maintain boundaries in a more open space while also thinking about the need for storage, movability, and (as I tend to need in my case) a large work surface to spread out piles of papers and other knick-knacks. The attached lighting option brings down the light source for a brighter space and would adapt well for use in temporary spaces or adaptive reuse projects.

The 2011 competition, which is part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 program and being organized by Martela for the first time, challenged designers to create a new, inspiring office that would pay special attention to general aesthetic standards and innovative material use while still being functional.

The jury was made up of five members: James Irvine, industrial designer; Pekka Toivanen, industrial designer; Ilkka Suppanen, designer; Xiao Yong, graphic designer; and chairman of the jury, Petteri Kolinen, Martela design director and an industrial designer.

–Stacy Straczysnki