Current times have shifted our perspective on “normal”. Life in public has been changing chaotically, over the past year, as we have learned how to better reduce the spread of Covid-19. Workspaces have adapted the best they can to continue operating efficiently, while keeping employee safety the leading priority. Many employees have been working from their living space, often alongside homeschooled children, pets, working spouses, etc. Quick fix adaptations (cough shields at retail checkout, 6 foot distance markers for waiting in line, directional hallway use, “doors open” policies, etc.) have allowed us to operate safely in high traffic spaces, but are band-aid fixes to prevent contact in the short-term.

The way we live, work, learn, socialize will be shaped by this moment for decades to come. Larger, long-term changes will become evident as controlling this virus and preventing other future outbreaks has now become a focal point for society. The idea of “workspace” will likely take on new meanings as companies and individuals assess a new set of priorities for public / personal life.


Altair partnered with Industrial Design students at Lawrence Technical University to explore how the pandemic might shape the workspace of the future. Altair’s Industrial Design team challenged students to design furniture, tabletop objects, technology, space division solutions, etc. that address this changing workplace culture.

The Inspire Studio suite was introduced to the students to facilitate the modeling and visualization portion of the design process.  The Altair Industrial Design team mentored students throughout the design process and provided Inspire Studio demonstrations and support throughout the collaboration.


Students produced works ranging from desktop lighting solutions to new contract furniture systems to replace current cubicles and benching solutions. Students used Inspire Studio to explore concepts during the design process and render their final concepts for presentation.

Some key themes that resonated throughout the concepts were:

  • Flexibility within the workspace (layout, personnel, etc.)
  • Privacy
  • Work in non-traditional settings (nomadic trends, working from home / shared spaces)
  • Well-being (daylight, environmental energy, etc.)

Tipsy Furniture system by Alessandro Pagura encourages reconfiguration of the workspace.

Parti by Gabrielle Larkin allows the user to take ownership of the privacy / space division in any workspace.

Matthew Schott’s Flexspace reconfigures for use as an individual or within teams.

 Aiyana Reid’s concept provides a kit for working from virtually any location.

Student Feedback

“[Inspire Studio was] easy to jump into and use. There wasn’t a part of that software that I felt I needed to ignore, and the UI in general felt inviting.”


“[It was surprising] HOW EASY IT WAS TO GET INTO!”


“Intuitive for surface modeling.”


“It’s fun, fast, and allows for imaginative works to be explored with ease.” (NURBS modeling in Inspire Studio)

About Rahul Ponginan

Senior Manager - Global Academic Programs
Altair Student Learning Event 2022 - Watch Webinar Recordings
Altair Student Learning Event 2022 - Watch Webinar Recordings

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