Modern Workplace - Part 1

June is the month that ASI celebrates the Modern Workplace and showcases WHAT'S NEXT® in Corporate Interiors at the Materials Pavilion at NeoCon in Chicago. ASI is also honored to have several award-winning products selected once again to be on display throughout the Pavilion gallery space. Look for the NeoCon recap in my next blog post.

Lately, I have noticed that the traditional office is experiencing a transformation. I wanted to take a deeper look into the trends on how we work today and how it effects the design process. The culture shift to a work anywhere and anytime model is leading the way. There is a premium on meaningful, face-to-face interactions, which was reinforced in Dialogue Magazine, a Gensler publication I recently read. (ASI has enjoyed a long history of successful projects with Gensler!)

NVIDIA Headquarters, Santa Clara, CA - Designed by Gensler

In order to increase teaming, the headquarters of NVIDIA (the leading manufacturer of computer graphics processing units) were designed around "circulation patterns that encourage chance meetings and make it easy to connect with others". Spaces are now being specifically designed for these chance encounters. The informal lounge areas successfully boost the creative process. Designers still must be mindful about providing designated areas for staff that require privacy, intense focus and quiet rooms. A fun fact - I took a tour of the Google offices, where phone rooms were designed for employees to have private phone areas amongst the open space!

CBRE Headquarters, Los Angeles, CA - Designed by Gensler

CBRE also resonates this changing office dynamic. When Gensler was designing the new global headquarters for their client in Los Angeles, CBRE chose not to have assigned offices or desks. The goal was to provide a fundamentally better and more productive experience for their 1,100 employees. 15 types of areas were developed based on needs - from coffee-shop style nooks to full glass conference rooms -  all to encourage impromptu discussions, free thinking and most importantly to CBRE, positive energy. 

The NeueHouse, New York, NY - Designed by Rockwell Group

One of the most interesting new approaches to a modern workplace is undoubtedly the NeueHouse, designed by Rockwell Group. They've executed a radical concept of what a work environment could be - as a well appointed private membership work collective that includes a series of spaces, amenities and experiences, perfectly suited towards the spontaneity of collaborating and creating. The eclectic environment is all about building community with a focus on flexibility and hospitality, serving special events from brands like Cartier and Paul Smith, to the ambitious and creative members (or as they call them - solopreneurs).

IIDA NY Hospitality Forum Event Panel: Dr. Nadal Shami - Chief Operating Officer, CityMD Urgent Care; Barry Richards - Principal and Studio Leader, Rockwell Group; Moderator Nancy Jackson, President - Architectural Systems; Bradley Rim - Director of Interiors, LEED AP and Associate AIA, Andrew Fredman Architect, LLC; Michael Samuelian - VP, Related Companies; Annie Lee - Principal, Interior Design of Environetics and Jill VanDusen - Manager of Business Operations, HarperCollins Publishers.

The days of sitting in cubicles and only working independently are becoming a thing of the past. As professionals work longer hours and more collaboratively, they are expecting that amenities be a part of the office environment. As Nancy Jackson, President of Architectural Systems states, "Experience is the new expectation."  Nancy was the moderator of a fascinating IIDA Forum Event discussion on how hospitality design is influencing where we work, live and play (coincidently held at the NeueHouse). Watch the highlights from the prominent designers and their clients as they share their point of view on how they are meeting these design challenges.

Are you wondering why your office isn't quite as evolved yet? This kind of monumental change doesn't happen quickly. As millenials (myself included) continue to enter the workforce and put our own stamp on things, we will benefit from increased productivity (hopefully) with the new imagined spaces and more opportunities to continue collaborating with all the teams across our businesses, developing synergy. 

Google Office, New York, NY

Who needs that window office anymore? It's so Mad Men! I would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with you on your current and upcoming  projects and realize your vision for the modern work place! Let's arrange time to meet for a latte!!

Posted at 6/2/2014 11:15 AM

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