With the fast pace of city life and workplace stress, there are growing concerns in relation to well-being and staying healthy. As a space that has relatively undefined functions in a work environment, breakrooms are increasingly expected to contribute to reducing these concerns. However, the vast majority of workplace breakrooms that exist are insufficiently designed achieving only basic functions such as sitting and eating. This thesis questions why existing workplace breakrooms are so neglected, when they have great potential to play a much more important role in the workplace. Firstly, this thesis discusses current literature and qualitative research on the users’ expectations for breakrooms and their current status. Secondly, it studies different academic fields including health, career development, workplace behavior, and public awareness of the workplace environment as well as abstract insights from the study. Thirdly, it digests these insights and ideates design solutions from them. The design solutions take ergonomics as the most fundamental theoretical basis, develop in the modular furniture design direction, and explore the innovative interactions between the users and the objects. Finally, this thesis proposes an integrated design solution in the form of a 3D-frame-shaped modular product. The final solution identifies more possibilities in the limited space of breakrooms to maximize their efficient utilization. It tries to impact the macroscopic working environment and social awareness by re-discussing the boundary between work and breaks.
Industrial Design (MFA)
Department, Program, or Center
School of Design (CAD)
Guo, Xinyue, "Health, Productivity, and Engagement: Using Modular Product Design to Integrally Improve the Workplace Environment" (2021). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus