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Workplace / Office

1939 vision of the future

      The World of Tomorrow in 1939 – post on Design Observer about the 1939 New York World’s Fair, a dazzling display of optimism and innovation 75 years ago with the theme ‘Building the World of Tomorrow’. For a nation just coming out of the Great Depression and …

No-nails structural wood – Shigeru Ban’s Tamedia office building

  Shigeru Ban: Tamedia office building in Zurich completed – new seven-story office for Swiss media company sited along the Sihl Canal consists of an interlocking wooden structure within a glass skin.  The architect was inspired by both the vernacular Swiss use of wood and techniques of Japanese joinery.  The …

Piano’s single-room dream

Diogene: A cabin designed by Renzo Piano and RPBW for Vitra – Diogene is a single-room prototype cabin, a minimalist house of 2.5 x 3 meters that “functions completely autonomously as a self-contained system and is thus independent of its environment.” Since his student days architect Piano has been fascinated …

Imaginative office design

    The Cool Hunter – Offices – check out post category ‘offices’ on the design website The Cool Hunter for some unusual workplace design from around the world. Shown here are Belgo Seeds Offices in Kortrijk, Belgium / Hybrid Office in Los Angeles /  Dtac Headquarters Bangkok           …

New Gensler workplace survey

  Gensler Releases 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey, Finds Only 1 in 4 U.S. Workers Currently Work in Optimal Workplace Environments – this newest study of workplace design and worker productivity by international architecture, design, and consulting firm Gensler points to a need for balance between spaces for collaborative and individual work. …

Niels Diffrient (1928 – 2013), designing to human scale

In Memoriam: Niels Diffrient – anyone who’s been in the design world within the last 50 years will have come into contact with the work and ideas of designer Niels Diffrient who died last Saturday at the age of 84.  From his ground-breaking work on the 3-volume reference set Humanscale to …

OMA takes on furniture

    OMA and Knoll Unveil Furniture Worthy Of Dr. No – Rem Koolhaas’ architectural firm OMA has teamed with furniture maker Knoll to produce a line called Tools for Life.  Knoll is known for enlisting famous architects and designers for furniture ideas, and tapped Koolhaas as part of its 75th …

World’s greenest office building?

  A Building Not Just Green, but Practically Self-Sustaining – the about-to-open Bullitt Center in Seattle hopes to be “the world’s greenest” office building.  It’s aiming for certification with the Living Building Challenge, “the built environment’s most rigorous performance standard” and which requires 12 months of continuous occupancy to qualify.  The article …

A ‘darker green’ for tech campuses

  Silicon Valley Tech Giants Plan Super-Green Campuses – a number of high tech companies (Apple, Google, Facebook, Samsung, Nvidia) are planning corporate campuses in California that, in addition to being designed by big name architects, go beyond the standard requirements for sustainability in new buildings. Apple’s campus, designed by …

Digital distraction, 23 minutes to refocus

  Workplace Distractions: Here’s Why You Won’t Finish This Article – WSJ article on the “epidemic” of distraction at work, what it’s costing, and what can be done about it.  Much of that distraction comes from digital devices.  It’s prompted academics to study the problem and companies to experiment with …

Tips for communicating with colleagues wherever they are

  Communicating Across Remote Workplaces – offers excellent suggestions for communicating with and maintaining good working relationships with colleagues in remote offices.  Be sure to check out the rest of this new blog – The Best Workplace – from Mike McKeown, an always-thoughtful commentator with lots of experience working with …

Korean work culture

      HOK’s Leigh Stringer was part of a project team in Korea recently and makes great observations on Korean culture and work environment (love the photo, Leigh!).  Here’s a selection: On being there in general: We didn’t see a lot of bikes but public transportation is good. Gangnam is an actual district where people actually …

Google grant for healthy buildings

  A healthy grant to support healthy buildings | Official Google Blog – Google recently gave $3 million to the USGBC to support research into green building materials, especially in the workplace.  Read more about it on BuildingGreen: In one of the biggest announcements to come out of Greenbuild 2012 in …