After months of careful planning, hard work, and collaboration with our student designers and brand partners, LIV's inaugural Student Design Challenge has come to a close. This multifaceted undertaking culminated in our groundbreaking 'The Future of Work: A Virtual Experience' booth at IDS Vancouver 2022 – which we're proud to say was a resounding success. Designed from top to bottom for an unprecedented level of immersion, The Future of Work booth allowed attendees to view students' work in augmented reality – allowing for more meaningful interaction with each design.

Now, we're pulling back the curtain on how the LIV Design Studio team brought this ambitious concept to life. In this article, we'll be breaking down each step of our months-long journey in creating The Future of Work booth, as well as shining the spotlight on our talented student designers, generous brand partners, and our student collaborator for this project.

The Concept

From the earliest stages of ideation, LIV Design Studio sought a creative way to apply this year's IDS theme of "New Futures" to each and every step of the design process. At many points throughout the past months and years, we've found ourselves wondering exactly what the future of work would look like – both in the interior design industry and beyond. While we certainly have our own ideas on how hybrid work models will evolve, we thought it apropos to consult the interior designers of the future on how they see our offices contributing to a more balanced, productive future.

And so, LIV's Student Design Challenge was born. Over the course of the summer, we challenged students from BCIT, KPU, LaSalle Colllege Vancouver, and VIU to develop a concept and design that embraced new modalities of work while allowing for both virtual and in-person meetings, as well as a third creative function. From a diverse pool of entrants, we selected four teams whose designs best embodied an innovative approach to the future of work.

The Future of Work booth was imagined as a vessel for hosting these four teams' works, consisting of four 'micro-spaces' where IDS visitors could view and interact with their designs in augmented reality. As another step towards embracing this year's "New Futures" theme, LIV Design Studio also enlisted the help of Peri KONE, a fourth-year interior design student at LaSalle College, to assist with the design and construction process.

The physical booth also provided a means of determining final placement for the Student Challenge, with over 1500 IDS Vancouver attendees submitting votes for their favourite design. Students competed for an $8,000 cash prize for the first-place winner, as well as an internship opportunity with LIV Design Studio which any finalist is eligible to apply for. Ultimately, "Pixel" by LaSalle College Vancouver students Jordana Dall’Igna, Julia Soares, and Kimiya Khezri took home the grand prize following the conclusion of IDS Vancouver 2022.

In the following sections, we'll look more closely at how this booth came together – in terms of both the design of the physical space, as well as the logistics of creating an immersive virtual experience from students' designs.

Physical Design

The design process of The Future of Work was, in actuality, two separate, distinct processes. Finding a way to harmonize the physical and digital realms was the crux of this ambitious project, and bringing it to fruition in a way that was in line with LIV's vision took 7 months of planning, and 72 hours of hands-on setup.


At every step of the way, The Future of Work was guided by LIV's TECH/DESIGN/CULTURE ethos. Presenting technology and design in this way reinforced their fundamental interconnection, while the strong emphasis on creating community and providing opportunities for the next generation of designers seeks to push the culture forward. The decision was made to create a highly-detailed, AR experience to showcase student designs – which also allowed us to highlight an expanded roster of Student Challenge participants without compromising on detail or viewer experience. Another priority for our designers was using the physical space to create a gallery-like setting, with a floorplan that allowed for a steady flow of traffic while providing adequate room for contemplative enjoyment of each AR design. Creating a comfortable, relaxing waiting area enabled us to control foot traffic while adding yet another layer to The Future of Work's multifaceted design.

In an ideological sense, our aim was to not just showcase the incredible work of these up-and-coming interior designers but to facilitate an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experience.

The process

The LIV Design Studio team, alongside student collaborator Peri KONE, had to devise a space that was able to house four distinct designs, while delineating a natural progression from beginning to end. This brought with it other concerns – what could we do to streamline high-traffic areas? Where would attendees queue? How could we foster excitement and mystery to generate interest from passerby?

Let's now take a more in-depth look at the various components of The Future of Work booth's physical components to see how each contributed to the overall design.

Archway & tunnel

Beckoning in visitors, a rounded archway opens up into The Future of Work's interior. Resembling a portal into a far-off dimension, this archway was intended to delineate a boundary between the physical and virtual worlds – pre-empting the experience that awaited guests. This was reinforced by rectangular openings between each of the four micro-spaces, which also visually establish a one-point perspective that focuses visitors' attention and creates a clear pathway through the space while provoking interest on what awaits through the next gateway.

South wall

Nicknamed the 'peek-a-boo wall' during the design process, the south wall utilised well-placed cut-outs to garner intrigue in those passing by the booth. These cut-out motifs each resemble the shape of the archway, split in half and repeated in a way that creates an optical illusion by applying the shapes to the interior of the wall. As guests pass by, these motifs appear to flicker before their eyes, piquing their curiosity.

"With the movements of the people inside the booth, there is a bit of mystery added to the flickering optical illusion. One cannot resist the urge to investigate the source of this illusion and what's happening inside the booth." -The LIV Design Studio team

North wall

On the opposing end of the booth, the north wall serves its own purpose of encouraging audience interaction and documenting the experience. Reflecting the visage of anyone who looks into it, with the words "The Future of Design" replacing The Future of Work branded text. The purpose is to inspire; visitors are meant to see themselves and take to heart that they have the potential to make their mark on the future of the interior design industry.


Lighting was another key concern throughout the planning and construction of The Future of Work booth. LED lighting surrounding the portal-like entryway aided in reinforcing the interdimensional look by creating a dramatic setting immediately upon entering the booth. Throughout the various micro-spaces, the LIV Design Studio team chose bright lighting, reflected off white aluminum composite panelling to create a gallery-like feel, drawing attention to the QR codes that lead to the virtual experience.

Waiting area

The waiting area was designed to comfortably accommodate overflow, which became an important consideration given the near-constant lineups at The Future of Work. Partnering with Livingspace Interiors, our designers worked with their team to select furnishings that reinforced the tech-forward scope of this project. Timeless, minimal, and meant to put guests at ease, our team opted for a set of rounded tables with a globe-shaped lamp lending a warm light to the room. A plush, white platform sofa on one side and rounded chairs and cushions on the other provide ample seating room for those waiting their turn.


Of course, the focal point of The Future of Work was the four micro-spaces; each housing the work of a different team of student designers. To the bare eye, these spaces contained minimal furnishings, with the true experience visible only with the assistance of the QR code provided at the entrance and within each individual micro-space. Once activated, these 150 sq. ft. micro-spaces transformed into a hyper-realistic AR office space, complete with all their chosen furnishings, details, and layout.

Virtual design

In addition to all of the challenges that accompany the creation of a physical space, The Future of Work also tasked the LIV Design Studio team with creating a true-to-life AR experience based on the four student designs. This process involved immense amounts of planning and collaboration between multiple departments, and careful on-site tuning to ensure a seamless guest experience.


As an innovator in the Canadian interior design industry and beyond, LIV Design Studio sought to push the boundaries of what's possible in design with this project. Taking a tech-first approach, this multidisciplinary venture required the close interplay of interior design, CG technology, marketing, and augmented reality. The driving force behind this is readily apparent. As new potentialities lay on the horizon, LIV Design Studio wanted to reinforce our role as innovators in this realm by using the latest technologies to create an experience that showcases the future of work, and the people who will bring it to fruition.

The process

As with the physical design, the creation of the virtual experience involved multiple steps that came together to form a whole that was greater than the sum of its parts. Our in-house CG team is revered for their hyper-realistic renderings, which proved to be an integral part of The Future of Work's creation. From there, we worked with a local augmented reality business to design an experience that did our student finalists' work justice, with QR codes to activate and initiate the technology.

3D models

Presented with student floorplans, layouts, and furnishing specifications, LIV Design Studio's in-house CG team set to work creating ultra-realistic 3D models of each concept. Applying the same Visually-Led Design (VLD) approach that defines LIV's work, our team deftly applied their expertise to this task to bring each vision to life and provide the basis of the AR experience that would come later. LIV's VLD process is the same approach we use for all client projects, and helps us to effortlessly communicate complex design ideas and develop a universal language that leads to design which harmonizes end-user expectations with the space itself.

QR Code

Positioned directly at the entrance to The Future of Work booth, guests were invited to scan a QR code that sets off their AR experience. The QR code was mounted on a styrofoam plaque and affixed to the inset of the entry archway, in plain sight of guests with clear directions to scan to begin.


With assistance from LIV Design Studio's marketing team, our in-house illustrators created a set of four vinyl cutouts that were applied to the interior walls of each micro-space. Each of these decals had a unique design, with elements of the arch motif that repeated throughout The Future of Work booth. Not just for appearance, these decals played an important role in orienting users during their AR experience, helping to position the camera in the midst of the augmented reality environment to prevent against lapses in the experience.

LIV's Student Design Challenge

Beginning in May 2022, LIV Design Studio's Student Challenge tasked interior design students from four local post-secondary students with imagining and developing a concept for a theoretical hybrid office space of the future. From over 20 submissions, an expert panel of industry judges selected four teams whose designs best represented a creative approach to the future of work. These four finalists were given the opportunity to present their work in AR at The Future of Work booth, competing for cash prizes and an internship opportunity with LIV Design Studio, with final placement determined by public voting at IDS Vancouver 2022.

With over 1500 votes received, Pixel by LaSalle College Vancouver students Jordana Dall’Igna, Julia Soares & Kimiya Khezri took home first-place. All entrants were invited to a celebration hosted by LIV and Livingspace Interiors, where they had the opportunity to meet their fellow student designers and form connections with local industry professionals.

The finalists

Four student finalists for LIV’s Student Design Challenge were selected to present their work at The Future of Work booth. Entries were selected by a panel of local industry judges for designing spaces that exemplified creativity and a new perspective on the future of work.

Here is a brief introduction to each of our four student finalists and their design concepts:

1. Jordana Dall’Igna, Julia Soares & Kimiya Khezri | LaSalle College Vancouver | Pixel — Pixel uses bursts of bright colours and modular furniture to create a collaborative, positive, and functional workplace for the interior design industry that extrapolates the limits between the physical and digital world.

2. Joshua Swanson & Hailey Bassiri | Kwantlen Polytechnic University | The Reorder Project — Inspired by the multi-functionality of a Swiss Army knife, The Reorder Project encourages physical movement and mindfulness with an adaptable design that uses partitions to meet the needs of a variety of workspaces.

3. Vivien Tam | LaSalle College Vancouver | Hybrid Office Design — This design draws inspiration from futuristic aircrafts and the thrill of exploration, highlighting the ever-growing importance of technology with clean, simple elements that reduce distraction and encourage productivity.

4. Kaitlyn D’Orazio & Sasha Zebroff | BCIT | Framework — Utilizing adaptable technologies and geometric shapes in furniture and millwork, Framework encourages stability and mindfulness in an era of constant upheaval.

Our Sponsors

On behalf of the entire LIV Design Studio team, we'd like to take this opportunity to express out heartfelt gratitude to all of our amazing sponsors. Without the invaluable contributions of these businesses, institutions, and teams, LIV's Student Challenge and The Future of Work booth would not have been possible.

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