It’s interesting how the ‘future’ – or rather, the present, which was formerly the future – doesn’t really look like we thought it would. Even as recently as twenty years ago, most people were still picturing the future as having a glossy, artificial and geometric aesthetic. Just look at the video clip for Oops!… I Hid It Again, the hit song about not being able to find your spare house key because you put it somewhere extra hard to find for safekeeping. Or the one for No Grubs – who could forget that anthemic ode to trying to keep garden pests off your pumpkin plants?
Anyway, my point is that the ‘future’ has turned out to look more organic than we could have reasonably anticipated based on pop culture. When it comes to office space fitouts, Melbourne has embraced the worldwide trend towards making work environments appear more organic. I’ve heard it referred to as the ‘biophilic’ approach, and while that word seems like overkill to me, it does point to where the trend is emerging from. That is, people are concerned with maintaining a connection to the natural world, even as advanced technology becomes more and more commonplace in daily life.
I suppose it’s amplified somewhat in the world of office work because digital information and screens and so on are so dominant in that sphere. That, perhaps, is why there’s this concerted push towards natural materials, organic lines and structurally integrated horticultural features. With these kinds of inclusions now being worked into interior design for offices, Melbourne workplaces are seeing parallel changes in how work is assigned and delivered to more closely mimic systems in the natural world.
Jumping back to those pop songs I mentioned, you can sort of see this coming in retrospect. They’re both concerned with earthly dynamics – situations we can all relate to – and how humans respond to them by puzzling out the patterns involved. The glossy vision of the future portrayed in the video clips was a red herring for long-term trend forecasters.