IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 12

TALK, TALK 2 DESIGNERS ON 1 TOPIC

The New Office Appeal
By Meredith Landry

founder of AE Superlab in New
York: I am pleased to see that many

designers today are moving past the
synthetic re-creation
of informal environments within
a formal space-such as "Look,
nobody has a desk! Our
conference room is a Parisian
bistro!"-to a mode that more
sensitively incorporates the best
elements of informal environments and more structured workspaces.
The most ubiquitous element of the contemporary workspace-
the shared open office area-is also often the most fraught.
There are so many things that can go wrong, and unless carefully
considered, they often will. Sound and illumination are the two
bedrock human-factor considerations here, but there are no simple
one-size-fits-all solutions. Poor access to functionally appropriate
natural and artificial
lighting, which can also mean
too much light and not just too
little, and unacceptable aural
environments due to mechanical
noise, ill-thought-out functional
adjacencies, and inadequate use of
sound-shaping finishes will result in
spaces that are simply unpleasant
and unproductive to work in. But,
all of these pitfalls can be avoided.
For example, at furniture and
home decor retailer One Kings
Lane's new creative headquarters
in New York, we designed the entire office around an oversized,
light-filled kitchen/lunch room zone. Observing the usage patterns
of the employees at their previous space, we realized that the
kitchen area had become the de facto heart of the office. However,
the location and orientation of that space did not reflect its
importance as a central hub. For their new offices, we were able to
design a space that draws natural light far into the floor plate and
into the open work areas. Bright finishes and an open spatial layout
allow ample sunlight to permeate through to the adjacent open
office zones.
The humans we are designing for will prioritize different needs
at different times of their workday and will want to satisfy those
needs across a variety of tuned and tailored spaces.

Philip De Wulf, CEO of
Yellow Window in Antwerp,
Belgium: We come from an
era where workspaces were a
reflection of our "cavemen" need
to feel isolated and protected with
individual offices. Gradually the
walls were broken down, and we
asked employees to work from any
workstation available in an open
office landscape.
In the last few years, however,
we came to realize that not
everyone is thriving in these openplan setups. We observed people
carving out their personal spaces
against company policy, and some
people started indicating that they
are more productive
when on the move
than when in the
office.
While a seamless
transition from
office environments
to travel spaces (both
digital and physical
seamlessness) does
greatly contribute to
-Philip De Wulf
productivity, both
travel and work
environments
should also allow for reflection,
concentration, focus, and daydreaming. A reference for an ideal
workspace for many is the silence-coupé or silent car on trains.
A few years ago, this triggered Vodafone in the Netherlands, for
example, to actually build a train wagon setting in their Amsterdam
office to offer people a place to focus.
The strongest indication for the increasing need for these kinds
of spaces is the rising popularity of libraries as places for collective
study. College students-natives in a world of ubiquitous content
streaming-leave the comfort of their dorm to go, often in small
teams of three or four, to university libraries to work in silence, to be
sheltered from Instagram and YouTube, yet to experience the soft
peer pressure to keep going.

With the open
office concept
getting so
much criticism,
what is defining
the future of
the workplace?

12

perspective

iida.org/perspective

"

We observed
people carving
out their
personal spaces
against company
policy and
people started
indicating that
they are more
productive when
on-the-move
than when in the
office."

"

Ahmed ElHusseiny,


http://www.iida.org/perspective

IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019

IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019
From IIDA
Contents
Next
Talk, Talk
Pre/Post
Powered by Design
From the Ashes
That Creative Spark
The Hybrid Hotel
Change of Seat
Scratch Pad
Insider Intel
IIDA News + Updates
Why This Design Works
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - Cover2
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - From IIDA
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 2
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - Contents
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 4
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 5
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - Next
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 7
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 8
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 9
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 10
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 11
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - Talk, Talk
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 13
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - Pre/Post
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 15
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - Powered by Design
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 17
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 18
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 19
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 20
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 21
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 22
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 23
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - From the Ashes
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 25
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 26
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 27
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 28
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 29
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 30
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 31
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - That Creative Spark
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 33
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 34
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 35
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 36
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 37
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - The Hybrid Hotel
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 39
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 40
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 41
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 42
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 43
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - Change of Seat
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 45
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 46
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 47
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 48
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 49
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - Scratch Pad
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 51
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - Insider Intel
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 53
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - IIDA News + Updates
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - 55
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - Why This Design Works
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - Cover3
IIDA Perspective - Summer 2019 - Cover4
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