Microsoft’s FlowSpace Pod concept is sure to make you want a cabin with its modern, minimalist and innovative design. It’s a modern cab designed for a task-based hybrid future.
Instead of boxy sides, the FlowSpace Pod comes with open sides for easy collaboration, an immersive design that lets you focus on your work, and a sleek construction that’s designed with the realities of hybrid working in mind. Microsoft’s new version on the cabin also earned the company a Red Dot Award for its design, with the concept winning the “Best of the Best of 2021” distinction.
The FlowSpace Pod’s open-sided bedroom is set up with ambient backlighting, a minimalist desktop setup, a large TV-like screen that can be tilted and tilted for ergonomic use – similar to Microsoft’s Surface Studio all-in-one, Now discontinued – a simple stool and optional rear partition for more privacy. Instead of the solid side panels that are typical of most cabin spaces today, small flaps — along with built-in speakers — extend outward from the top and sides to give the Pod a sense of its place without creating a constrained atmosphere.
Microsoft said of its concept, “The FlowSpace Pod is the new normal in highly collaborative hybrid workplaces, a sanctuary for focus and deep work where solo work time will become more valuable.” On the red dot pricing page. The project was designed by the Microsoft Office Envisioning Team.
The idea behind FlowSpace is reminiscent of on-demand remote workspaces created by companies like ZenSpace and Switch. The ZenSpace, for example, looks like a large public phone booth, and is positioned as a bookable private pod in a mall where you can work while you shop. Unlike ZenSpace, FlowSpace is not designed as a private pod, so its use may not be suitable for more public environments such as shopping malls and hotel lobbies.
Instead, FlowSpace can be a good way to give workers on a company site the pseudo-privacy of having a booth while combining the collaboration and agility features of hotdesking. Alternatively, inside larger offices, FlowSpace can double as personal space for video conferencing, given its large screen, speakers, and relative built-in privacy offered by the design. This eliminates the need to create small conference rooms for video calls.
It’s unclear whether Microsoft wants to commercialize its design concept, or if other companies will adopt a variation of FlowSpace design to re-architect the modern office once people return to work.