Some UK media reports have painted a gloomy future of soulless home working and the death of the office. But I believe that the Olympics could be the catalyst that many companies need to reinvent the office, adopting a new flexible approach to working that benefits both employees and business.
The home-based workforce is growing rapidly, globally. This is a popular, family-friendly, environmentally-sustainable practice; good for both the city and the economy. But we do not generally design for it at either an urban or a building scale.
"Architecture is quite stressful, so having a dog around is very therapeutic," she says. "After we have a phone call with a difficult contractor, for instance, sometimes we just talk to Tiger about it.
Workplace design isn’t just down to the architects. Yes, I’m taking a bit of a risk saying that as I get on well with a good number of architects and interior designers, well I did! But the fact of the matter is that whilst many of them are fantastically talented and imaginative, they are not solely responsible for how our workplaces look today, or will tomorrow. There are several other large influencers, and technology is certainly one, maybe even the major one. In short technology has shaped many working practices and processes, and it is responsible for shaping may workplaces too.
More and more creative companies and start-ups, whether in digital advertising, architecture or technology, are looking for affordable, yet inspirational work areas that speak to their profession, designers explained. Many digital firms need less storage space and, instead, are seeking more “connectivity,” meaning a variety of Internet connections and service providers in offices that encourage collaboration in the workplace.
Mastercard's social media hub, Conversation Suite “What do you do?” used to be a simple question. Individuals defined themselves by profession: teacher, engineer, pilot. Or by company: Con Edison, NASA, Kodak.
Historically, efforts toward flexible architecture have focused on building typologies outside of the healthcare sector, which tend to be less regulated and are less influenced by operational processes. Two modern theories by Peter Eisenman and Mies van der Rohe recognize infrastructure elements such as columns, vertical circulation, and floor penetrations as fixed and unchangeable components.
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