Staples Business Advantage and Metropolis Magazine Announce A Design Contest for How We’ll Work in 2021

Call for Entries Now Open; Staples Business Advantage to Award $10,000 for Winning Designs

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--()--Imagine how your workplace might change in the next five years. Will it be entirely open to promote collaboration? Will natural light, exercise desks and rooftop gardens hit the mainstream? Will virtual teams render the physical workspace irrelevant?

Architects, designers, and students will tackle these questions in a competition hosted by Staples Business Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc., and Metropolis, the magazine of architecture and design at all scales. The “Tomorrow’s Workplace” contest is now accepting submissions that imagine how we will work in 2021.

Contest entries should consider the overall workplace strategy when designing the office, and ensure the workspace is meeting employees’ changing needs. Additionally, entrants are urged to think about the facilities manager who keeps the office space functional and the procurement officer who makes buying decisions when developing their designs.

“According to the Staples Business Advantage Workplace Index 2016, the majority of employees describe their office as standard, plain, and dull, so it’s clear that there’s still work to be done when it comes to design,” said Michelle Boolton, Director of Design, Staples Business Advantage. “Office design is more critical than ever, given that respondents also noted that the office is where they’re most productive in terms of getting work done, even with the rise of telecommuting and on-demand workspaces.”

The design community is tasked to incorporate five major themes in their entries, including collaboration, wellness and productivity, office culture, and sustainability. For the fifth theme, the entrant should provide their own vision of what they believe will make workplaces in 2021 effective and productive.

“Today, workers from every sector of employment are experiencing what can only be defined as the new ways of the digital 21st century. Thanks to some very clever design thinkers, working closely with HR and other specialists who study the evolving ways we work, the shrinking office footprint is being turned into fluid workplaces that consider the whole human being,” said Susan S. Szenasy, Publisher and Editor in Chief, Metropolis. “That's why we're asking design thinkers, from all generations, to expand on what we already know, and look forward to five years from now, to show us what this ongoing evolution will look and feel like in 2021.”

Staples Business Advantage and Metropolis partnered in 2013 and 2014 for the Workplace of the Future 1.0 and 2.0 competitions. While those editions placed the focus on future designs, this iteration asks designers to envision offices in the near-term, specifically creating design ideas that could be executed within the next five years. The entries will seek to answer some common workspace questions, such as \work and life integration, individual work and collaboration, and natural and artificial environments.

With more than 25 years of providing quality furniture solutions, the furniture arm of Staples Business Advantage helps organizations of all types and sizes—from small, local companies to large Fortune 1000 companies—create more productive, healthy and sustainable workspaces. It is one of the largest contract furniture dealers in North America and one of the only companies with direct relationships with more than 250 manufacturers.

About the Competition
Submissions are due by October 8, 2016. Staples Business Advantage will award $7,500 to the winning entry and $2,500 to the runner-up. Three honorable mentions will also be recognized. For more details about the competition and submission requirements, please visit metropolismag.com/tomorrows-workplace and watch for updates from Metropolis magazine.

About Staples, Inc.
Staples retail stores and Staples.com help small business customers make more happen by providing a broad assortment of products, expanded business services and easy ways to shop, all backed with a lowest price guarantee. Staples offers businesses the convenience to shop and buy how and when they want - in store, online, via mobile or though social apps. Staples.com customers can either buy online and pick-up in store or ship for free from Staples.com with Staples Rewards minimum purchase. Expanded services also make it easy for businesses to succeed with in-store Business Centers featuring shipping services and products, copying, scanning, faxing and computer work stations, Tech Services, full-service Print & Marketing Services, Staples Merchant Services, small business lending and credit services.

Staples Business Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc., helps mid-market, commercial and enterprise-sized customers make more happen by offering a curated assortment of products and services combined with deep expertise, best-in-class customer service, competitive pricing and state-of-the-art ecommerce site. Staples Business Advantage is the one-source solution for all things businesses need to succeed, including office supplies, facilities cleaning and maintenance, breakroom snacks and beverages, technology, furniture, interior design and Print & Marketing Services. Headquartered outside of Boston, Staples, Inc. operates throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. More information about Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com.

Contacts

Staples, Inc.
Shweta Agarwal, 508-253-8249
shweta.agarwal@staples.com

Contacts

Staples, Inc.
Shweta Agarwal, 508-253-8249
shweta.agarwal@staples.com