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Towards a New Stock Exchange:
Trends in Design and Programming

*Below is a summary of our project-related research. If you would like more information, please reach out to us at

Towards a New Stock Exchange:
Trends in Design and Programming

What is the future of stock exchanges in light of globalization and technological changes?

The telegraph, telephone, computers, internet and many more inventions revolutionized the stock exchange to become faster, bigger, and now more proficient.  Stock markets have become the driving economic force they are today thanks to the progression of technology. Now that trading is accessible to virtually anyone and occurs instantaneously, a stronger, knowledge-based approach for investors is becoming increasingly vital.  Consequently, security and monitoring are also becoming more and more crucial. Since the evolution of the stock exchange has always been a reaction to changes in technology, we wanted to be able to project the future and understand the present functionalities of stock exchanges to inform our design of the Philippine Stock Exchange (completed in 2018).

The Traditional Trading Hall

Trading halls began as densely packed, noisy, and high-stress places.  To accommodate the bustling stock market activities, the space itself had a large and open plan, high ceilings, and minimal structure, usually with little to no daylight.

Contemporary Case Studies

We looked at trading halls from around the world and evaluated them based upon their designs, programmatic changes, accessibility to the public, and ties to traditions. Each stock exchange demonstrated its own personality, transforming based upon the needs and prospects of their markets.

Trends and the Future Trading Hall

It is no longer necessary for stock market professionals to be in the same space due to the digitization of trading. The trading hall now acts as a place of spectacle for the media and visitors.


The large, open plan with high ceilings remain in trading halls; however, simulated or filtered daylight has been introduced, as well as adaptable and flexible elements. Technology has allowed stock market professionals to work together in the virtual world.  The trading floor space remains as a symbol of the prestige and magnitude of the market. Stock market trading hall spaces are continually changing.  A single space lives to see generations of change and eras of greatness.  A trading hall must have the potential to adapt to whatever the future may call for. The role of stock market professionals is continually changing, and now, there are many functions that take place in the trading hall space other than the work of the brokers.  Trading hall spaces must be flexible and accommodate a variety of operations.


Towards a New Stock Exchange:
Trends in Design and Programming

How can we design a workplace that cultivates a healthy corporate culture and increases productivity?

Corporations used to believe that the longer they could keep each employee at the desk, the more productive they would be. However, in recent years, managers have drifted away from this specious idea of productivity. They discovered that offering their employees flexibility and autonomy over work place and schedule are the key contributors to productivity.


By investigating trend-leading companies across industries, we identified key design principles that impact the culture and productivity of workplaces around the world.

Third Place

Separate from first place (home) and second place (work), third places have taken on a new luster in recent years as companies discover the value of third places inside the office: cafés and casual spaces where employees can sip coffee, tea or even a beer, and connect with colleagues in a relaxed, informal environment. Third places—essentially, public places that help people get through the day or allow them to gather—have been inspiring innovation and stirring conversations. Moreover the third place may be where a company’s culture is cultivated.

Open Plan

An open plan can be defined as a flexible method of space layout where divisions between separate areas are implied by easily movable elements instead of by fixed structures. This design allows for improved communication between employees, higher productivity, and optimized real estate space (to reduce operation costs). However, open plans may also deprive employees of privacy and may provide distractions from work. To combat these challenges, private meeting areas or modular enclosed spaces should also be incorporated to the design of open plans.

Collaborative Spaces

Creative collaboration is becoming increasingly critical in contemporary workplaces. Meeting rooms are well equipped with technology that supports employee autonomy and productivity. These spaces also provide employees with semi-private informal meeting spaces for impromptu conversation without having to reserve conference rooms.

Space to Encounter and Gather

This should be a flexible space that can incorporate theater style seating for multi-purpose events and presentations. Companies can use this space to communicate their core values by holding special events and designing custom elements into their offices. These areas also offer a work-force-focused culture to improve job satisfaction and offer employees opportunities to socialize encouraging positive relationships between colleagues.

Interconnected Space

Interconnected space allows visual communication between all levels of buildings, providing employees with a sense of scale and location (e.g. centrally located stairways).


SCAAA’s renovations of the Philippine Stock Exchange were completed in 2018.

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