Advances in technology, design and manufacturing mean we now have an unprecedented ability to control our immediate environment, tailoring it specifically to our needs. This is true across almost all sectors, from the home to the hotel room to the car cabin. There is one sector that lags behind, however, and it accounts for the majority of most people’s days: the workplace. Is it possible to create a more personalized in-office experience?


The concept of the ‘agile office’ has been part of the office-design landscape for several decades, but current examples arguably don’t come close to fulfilling this mandate. Today’s workspaces provide flexibility only in the most basic sense, perhaps offering a range of spaces for different types of work, but ultimately allowing individual workers very little control over their immediate environment. 

Further, this flexibility is often limited to function. Given current research proving the real psychological and physiological impact aesthetic cues such as colour, finish and material and environmental cues such as light, sound and temperature have on the user, we believe it’s paramount that workspaces start to adapt to a range of user mindsets.

Cover image: Staged Office by Victor Moynier rejects the one-size-fits-all office in favour of a more adaptive layout. Allowing for easy spatial reconfiguration, the system could help to facilitate the increasing number of peripheral activities taking place in working environments.


We want to challenge today’s leading designers to create a system of objects/products that can be deployed within an agile office space to enable it to switch between four attitudes central to current employee working behaviors – concentrated, creative, communal and convivial.

By 'system’ we mean any of and any combination of the following: original product or series of original products, adaptations of existing products, digital applications or instructions/guidelines. These should not be furniture products but should work in concert with furniture products and office furniture systems, adapting the aesthetic and environmental parameters of a space as the furniture system changes the function.

For instance if a room was to switch from individual working modality – a series of isolated working environments – to one in which a creative workshop between four employees was to take place, how could the environmental parameters of that space also be adjusted. We want participants to take advantage of environmental factors such as colour, light, sound, temperature and touch in anyway they see fit to help achieve this aim.

Our core parameter is that this product system should be able to be easily operated by the base user to meet the attitudinal and psychological needs of each of the four states defined above.


The 10 longlisted studios will be invited to attend the Frame Awards 2020 to present their concepts and be judged by a panel of experts drawn from the Frame Awards jury.

If your project makes it to the top three, you will get the chance to develop your prototype and show it at ORGATEC 2020. ORGATEC and its partners will support each team with production, providing a mock agile office space in which to demonstrate the systems. Each will be judged by a panel of experts drawn from ORGATEC brand partners and representatives, with the award presented live at the event.

The Challenge will be presented by ORGATEC and Frame representatives to global media. The nature of the challenge, names of jury members and shortlisted design studios will guarantee press coverage and Frame will extensively publish the results of this competition across all platforms.


First round

Studios/individuals are asked to submit an initial proposal for how they would address the stated challenge. This should take the form of a 500-word outline of their concept and two to three supporting images.


Submission Deadline: 15 January 2020 (Register your submission by 15 December 2020 by emailing

Frame Awards: 19 – 20 February 2020

Orgatec: 27 – 31 October 2020

Please address submissions to with the email subject Frame x ORGATEC Challenge by 15 December 2020. You may also contact us at that email address for more information.