Bringing Life to Work, Wins with Kimball + Metropolis


A Seattle based team, O2U, consisting of Dustin Wang, the Product Manager, Aldo Torres the Full Stack developer, Tyler Jomg the Designer, Eric Hongm the Business Lead and Aaron Lim the Mechanical Engineer came up with the idea of how to solve the problem of boring and unwelcoming static workplaces and suboptimal air quality in the workplace that can cause fatigue and other health issues. By introducing technology, they have solved the problem of how the workplace can grow yieldable plants and crops. Plants that add life and color to the office, help oxygenate the air and supply food for employees. This concept is on task with the growing need that speaks to the work-life balance and making the workplace a place where employees are healthy, engaged and happy to be at work.

"Making the workplace a place where employees are healthy, engaged and happy to be at work."


Boring and unwelcoming workspaces with suboptimal air quality cause stress, fatigue, and other health issues. Our contest winner solves these issues by introducing yieldable biophilic design into the workplace.


Adding biophilic design to a workspace can introduce new challenges, such as space obtrusion and maintenance. Utilizing modular construction and a maintenance schedule informed by machine learning, this system gives all life—plant and person—room to breathe and grow.


Innovation doesn’t stop with a prototype. We begin to create concepts in which the prototype can become a reality. For us, that means integrating the system in ways that are functional, creative, productive, and beautiful.


The Kimball Design Hack, a Smart Furniture Competition, is challenging designers to transform the capability of furniture by integrating smart, cutting-edge materials and technologies, showing how the use of technology in furniture can help us be more productive, improve our work lives, make work more convenient, or help us solve other workplace challenges. Designers are encouraged to develop inventive submissions that could improve satisfaction, comfort, engagement, health, wellness, or wellbeing.