The Future of Commercial Architecture


As 2022 comes to an end, it is important to reflect on the past year and anticipate what the future of architecture may look like. Twenty twenty-two was truly a year for post-pandemic rebuilding. Many companies halted construction of their new projects in 2020 and into 2021. It was important, during this time, to evaluate how architecture would adapt to new and lasting restrictions and requirements set in place worldwide. 2022 became the year where these adaptations began to emerge. AEC professionals worldwide learned what was needed and how to make it happen. Looking forward to 2023 and beyond, buildings such as offices and restaurants will look different from the pre-Covid understanding of them.

As we mentioned in a previous article, 2021: Predicting Trends in Restaurant Design, customers are looking for less contact with restaurant and business employees. This year, many food establishments have a contactless ordering system, whether it be a self-ordering/ checkout kiosk or a contactless pay option. In 2023 and beyond, we will see more of this along with more delivery options. We may even experience an abundance of food services that are strictly virtual without a brick-and-mortar storefront. In the article, we also mentioned how social media is coming into play in terms of marketing. Every Tik-Tok and Facebook user has seen such ads come across their screen. This will only help promote online-only restaurants in the future.

In 2023 and beyond, office buildings may experience similar virtual alternatives. During the pandemic, remote work had become an option and a requirement for some employees. Many companies that can operate online have already made the switch and may never go back. This poses the idea that office buildings may come far and few between unless they adapt to their employees’ needs. Some companies that require an in-person presence have started to redesign their office buildings to promote easier communication between hybrid employees and clients. An abundance of communal areas with virtual communication technologies helps teams collaborate in a comfortable and effortless way. For more in person collaboration, technologies in conference rooms allow meetings to take place more easily with technologies built into the space’s server, eliminating technical difficulties between communication devices. Comfortable, multi-modal spaces can be created to enhance productivity in the office. Designing areas within office buildings that allow neurodiverse employees to work in spaces like their personal home environment can increase productivity and keep employees in-person.

Though restaurants and office buildings are changing, they will not become obsolete. People rely on such establishments daily and both are important to society. Companies must be aware of the quick-changing society we live in and adapt to the issues and trends that are present. Virtual technology has always been popular but is essential in today’s world and in its future.

-Sydney Hitchens, Architectural Designer