IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 16

TALK, TALK |

2 Designers On 1 Topic

TWO DESIGNERS discuss what's next
for the open-office workspace.

O

By | Emily Brooks

PERSPECTIVE: Is the open-plan workspace on

its way out?
TRACY WYMER: The migration from an enclosed,
private world to a more open-plan world is evolutionary;
it's an arc. [We're now] at an evolutionary state where
we've gone from the perimeter plan, with offices around
the windows, workstations in the center, to open plans that
were more about efficiency from a real estate perspective.
Now we're seeing the conversation being more centered
on the people. And that's impacting planning because the
spaces are becoming more humane. If we look at adaptive
or immersive planning, those techniques are people-driven
experiences that are starting to occur. [You create] sets for
the user to define what goes on in that space.
The open plan had some altruistic goals at the
beginning, but there was a dark side-it was all about the
efficiency of the real estate.
NOA SANTOS: I agree. There's absolutely no death of the
open floor plan. It's now really important that the humans
inhabiting the space define the workspace, rather than
[the space] be prescriptive about what's happening.

by yourself at a desk, and some lounge/conference
areas that are more private but also hold eight to
12 people. You could certainly make solutions
that are designed really well, but it's more about
finding the unique proportions of each solution to
maximize the efficiency of your company.

Tracy Wymer

"

The
migration
from an
enclosed,
private
world to a
more
open-plan
world is
evolutionary;
it's an arc.

"

Open workspaces-once the darling design
choice for the coolest startups and the biggest
tech companies-are evolving in a big way. "It's
about giving people that freedom to choose
how [they] work that has changed dramatically
over the last few years," says Noa Santos, CEO
and co-founder of Homepolish, a New York,
New York, USA-based interior design firm that
has worked with more than 1,000 offices across the
United States.
Santos and Tracy Wymer, vice president of
workplace research and strategy for Knoll, San
Francisco, California, USA, discuss the next iteration of
the office space.

-Tracy Wymer

PERSPECTIVE: So how do you achieve that

balance?
SANTOS: The solutions themselves aren't rocket

science. It's about diagnosing what kind of work
your employees are already doing. The nuance of
it comes in with the proportion of the spaces you
assign.
[At our offices] we have spaces for single-person calls,
some for three- to four-person meetings, some for working

16

perspective

iida.org/perspective

Noa Santos

PERSPECTIVE: Does allowing workers to adapt
their own space help bridge the gap for introverts
and extroverts?
WYMER: Good design encompasses experiences for
all people. There is no one "type" [of user], and I would
argue there are more than two. Design must meet [user]
needs and curate experiences that are distinct. [The plans
must] have visual cues that result in workplaces where no
instructions are needed [on how to use the space].
SANTOS: People will understand what they prefer
as they work in a space. We make sure we give people
enough variety, because in the end, it's very difficult to
predict people's preferences.
For so long, the extroverted traits were seen as being
more positive. What I really like-and maybe this is because
I am introverted-is that it's not necessarily the case. A giant
open floor plan is sometimes the best way for collaboration,
but it's also not the best for people who aren't extroverted.
Some people need privacy to do great work.
WYMER: I think the ability for [individual and group
work] to coexist within the same space puts less demand
on the user and can reinvigorate and revitalize a space to
make it more enjoyable.
One of the things [Knoll] captured in our research
was [employees] want privacy but also a sense of
security. That means that when you're sitting in your
individual space, a vertical plane gives you a resonating
sense of belonging and being anchored to a certain
degree. Then there's a second depth of field in
which you have a visual reference point to a group
you may belong to. And then there's a third
depth of field in which you feel connected to the
enterprise at large. How do you modulate those
things to provide a sense of security for people
sitting in individual seats in a group context?
Instead of an all open-bench configuration,
there are some nuances that allow people to feel
that sense of security with the group and to feel
comfortable as an individual.


http://www.iida.org/perspective

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017

IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017
Contents
From IIDA
Next
World View
Sum of Its Parts
Talk, Talk
Pre/Post
Data Viz
A Common Good
Pop Goes Design
A New School of Thought
Balancing Act
Scratch Pad
Insider Intel
Sound Bytes
IIDA News + Updates
Why This Design Works
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 1
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - From IIDA
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Next
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 7
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 8
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 9
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 10
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 11
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - World View
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 13
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Sum of Its Parts
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 15
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Talk, Talk
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 17
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Pre/Post
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 19
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Data Viz
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 21
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 22
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 23
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - A Common Good
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 25
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 26
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 27
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 28
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 29
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 30
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 31
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Pop Goes Design
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 33
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 34
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 35
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 36
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 37
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - A New School of Thought
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 39
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 40
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 41
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 42
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 43
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Balancing Act
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 45
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 46
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 47
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Scratch Pad
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 49
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Insider Intel
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 51
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Sound Bytes
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 53
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - IIDA News + Updates
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - 55
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Why This Design Works
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Spring/Summer 2017 - Cover4
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2013fallwinter
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http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2012fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2012springsummer
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2011fallwinter
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/perspective_2011springsummer
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