Microsoft wants to redesign the office with Surface-powered ‘Creative spaces’

Microsoft wants to change the way you think of the office (no, not the software). The company today announced a partnership with Steelcase – a 105-year-old office furniture and design company – to show off its vision of futuristic office spaces where productivity and creativity go hand and hand. Naturally, they’re all powered by Surface devices.

Rather than aiming for a one-size-fits-all solution, Microsoft and Steelcase are showing off five different ‘Creative Spaces’ which embody different work styles. I got a chance to give the sample rooms a quick visit in New York.

The most interesting might have been the “Duo Studio,” which is meant to help two people from different teams – say, design and engineering – work in the same space, while still accommodating quick visits from other co-workers. There are a couple of Surface Studios and Surface Hub both employees share to discuss the idea.


A ‘Focus Studio,’ outfitted with a Surface Studio lets you go solo to hone in on your tasks.

While a Respite studio with lets you relax and clear your head a bit – or even take a nap.


Meanwhile the Ideation Hub, outfitted with the 85-inch Surface Hub, encourages everyone in the room to participate.

And lastly the Makers Commons is the largest space, meant to “encourage quick switching between conversation, experimentation and concentration,” according to Microsoft. Here everyone on a team can come together to brainstorm ideas for a project.


Throughout the spaces there are numerous clever design touches. While the Respite Studio has a comfortable lounge chair you can relax in, the Ideation hub encourages participation by getting you to stand up – it features short-back chairs and small tables that aren’t meant to be used for very long.

You can read up more on the spaces on Microsoft’s blog post in the source link below.

Microsoft and Steelcase unlock creativity at work on Microsoft

Read next: Pulse is the News Feed Twitch desperately needed