Work has always revolved around people, the meeting of minds. Without meetings, ideas would in most cases still be the figment of someone’s imagination, instead of making their way into reality and potentially changing the world.

Today, screens are perhaps the most important tools we use in order to create and facilitate meetings, and screens are also the key to creating a seamless workflow to find the best idea and realise it. Traditional meeting rooms are making way to spaces and places designed for visualisation and collaboration in a digital, Big Data era.

Firstly, a few words on Big Data from a designers’ perspective. Big Data – this all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using traditional methods – opens up vast opportunities for a designer. Not only can this data be used to create new products but the analysis, insight and design process can also change radically if workspaces and tools are designated for this process.

Without meetings, ideas would in most cases still be the figment of someone’s imagination, instead of making their way into reality and potentially changing the world.

However, the opportunity of Big Data also gives way to risk. Due to the sheer amount of information that Big data provides, it can bring confusion, or even manipulation, around insights, inevitably leading to bad design. Therefore, proper tools and spaces for this new way of design thinking are critical. The way screens will fit into this equation will not only create first a fertile idea environment for workplace designers, but will let designers create a fertile idea environment for the rest of us.

So what are the implications for the next generation of meeting rooms? The classic meeting room has a projection screen at one end, table centre and whiteboards on the side. This creates a table-centric collaboration space, often with chairs getting in the way of free movement. One main screen only allows for attention being on one presentation at a time, often sitting down and listening to a single presenter. Also, presentations are not commonly shared and collaborated on through digital tools. The next generation of meeting room might not be table-centric, with more freedom to move from touchscreen to touchscreen and collaborate on each others’ work that has been brought to the digital collaboration space – from that room or from another place entirely. As working in the cloud becomes more secure and data there accessible, screens will be access points to this data and designing to enable new ways of visualising and interacting with this data and these screens presents a clear opportunity to create a workplace where meetings have no borders.

This article has been taken from the Kinnarps Trend Report 2015. Click here to download the full research paper.