Metropolis Forums

MAY 12TH, 4:00PM–5:00PM EDT


Businesses across the United States who are contemplating a return to work or moving into new offices any time this year will have to adapt their workplace to new protocols around hygiene and distancing, as well as new preferences for remote work. How can design help ease the transition of returning to work? How are designers adapting ongoing projects so that the workforce can move into a space equipped for the new normal?

Designing the Return to Work

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773.avinash Rajagopal Headshot Credit Nicholas Calcott

Avi Rajagopal

Editor in Chief

Avinash Rajagopal is the editor-in-chief of Metropolis magazine. He is an expert on product and interior design in the digital age, as a historian of contemporary design as well as a frequent speaker at key industry events. He is the author of Hacking Design (Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, 2013). and has contributed to numerous volumes on architecture and design, including Adhocracy (Istanbul Design Biennial, 2012), Making Africa (Vitra Design Museum, 2015) and Atlas of Furniture Design (Vitra Design Museum, forthcoming). He has lectured on design history and writing at the School of Visual Arts, New York; the University of Texas at Austin; and the National Institute of Design, India.


Angie Lee

Angie Lee

Partner, Design Director–Interiors

Angie Lee AIA, IIDA is Partner and Design Director of Interiors at New York-based architecture firm FXCollaborative, where she provides vision and oversight for projects of all scales and typologies. Committed to an inclusive philosophy of design, she is the recipient of a 2019 HiP Award for design leadership in the workplace category, and is vice president of the international board of directors of the International Interior Design Association.

Julia Murphy

Julia Murphy


A director at SOM, Julia Murphy is integral to the firm’s engagement with the built environment of New York City. In her decade of experience at SOM, she has worked on some of the most complex projects in Manhattan. Much of her work involves mitigating risk for clients who must build their projects within the exigencies of New York’s physical and regulatory environments. A key project in Murphy’s portfolio is Manhattan West, one of the largest ongoing mixed-use projects in Manhattan. She is also the project manager for the repositioning of a global financial headquarters in New York. Her residential projects include a 34-story tower in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and 91 Leonard Street, a 20-story tower. Another of her important projects is John Jay College of Criminal Justice Expansion, which occupies an entire city block.

Tom Polucci

Tom Polucci

Firmwide Director of Interiors

Tom is the director of interiors for HOK. Based in New York, he oversees the firm’s interior design teams across the world. He has more than two decades of experience guiding and inspiring the design of hundreds of interiors projects. Educated, trained and licensed as an architect, his focus is on creating multidimensional, experiential environments that enhance the lives of the people who use them. He is a member of the IIDA’s College of Fellows.