Video: how we need to break with the past to optimise what we do now

Video: how we need to break with the past to optimise what we do now

  Dave Coplin, the ‘Chief Envisioning Officer’ at Microsoft, explores with the RSA how we might apply technology in new ways to transform the way we work. He starts with a look at how we are constrained by the past, with the example of the QWERTY keyboard which was originally developed to slow typists down […]

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When the world’s cities became the stars of the show

When the world’s cities became the stars of the show

The City has always been source of fascination for artists. The growth of cities in the 20th Century was paralleled by their growing depiction in art. Whereas early paintings from the likes of Edward Hopper and the photogravure prints of Alfred Stieglitz would invariably focus on individuals  within the context of the city, as the […]

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Why we might all get more done if we did things more slowly

Why we might all get more done if we did things more slowly

The idea that for every action there is a reaction applies just as much in culture as it does in physics. So just as life speeds up to the point where it is self-evident that many people are struggling to keep pace with its most basic demands, a small number of people are looking at […]

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What the CIFF 2013 show taught us about workplaces in China

What the CIFF 2013 show taught us about workplaces in China

You can tell a lot about how we work by the things with which we choose to surround ourselves. That is why it always pays to keep an eye on the world’s major office products shows. So, while eyes are trained on Milan this week for the international furniture fair, John Sacks offers us a view […]

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Office design goes to the movies. Part 7 – The Apartment

Office design goes to the movies. Part 7 – The Apartment

  In which Jack Lemmon exchanges the crushing uniformity of the open plan for a corner office as a reward for allowing senior managers to use his apartment as a venue for their infidelity. This is from 1960, the pre-cubicle, pre-VDU world of large ranks of serried workers in an open plan office with only […]

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Public sector property initiatives have proved successful but work still needed

Public sector property initiatives have proved successful but work still needed

There was a time, not so long ago, when nobody worried too much about the shape of the rooms that led off the corridors of power. But the pressure on UK finances has politicised the design of the UK’s public buildings. The latest example of this was the recent  announcement  in Parliament of a report […]

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What Tesco’s move into a Clerkenwell office tells us about how it sees itself

What Tesco’s move into a Clerkenwell office tells us about how it sees itself

If Tesco ever wants to update its three word strapline from Every Little Helps, it could plump for something more accurate such as We Own You. Unless Facebook or Google register it first, of course. The news this week that the extensively diversified retailer is to set up an office for its digital operations in […]

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Office design goes to the movies. Part 6 – Playtime

Office design goes to the movies. Part 6 – Playtime

One of the few films to address office design as something worth commenting on per se. A film in which M. Hulot stumbles around a modernist dream of Paris, all glass, steel and cold straight lines. People inhabit box like apartments and box like office cubicles which separate them from each other and, by implication, […]

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Five things the Wall Street Journal inadvertently told us yesterday about office design

Five things the Wall Street Journal inadvertently told us yesterday about office design

If I were to show you a headline from the Wall Street Journal announcing ‘Say Goodbye to the Office Cubicle’, you might date it at any time between the mid 1980s and 1990s. Maybe earlier. But it was actually in yesterday’s issue, dated 2 April 2013. Now, we could be amused by this or act […]

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Office design goes to the movies. Part 5 – Minority Report

Office design goes to the movies. Part 5 – Minority Report

We obviously like films like this. High concept noir sci-fi, based on a book by Philip K Dick of course; dystopian, chock full of ideas and technology that seemed cool and subversive in 2002 and is mundane in 2013. I mean, the screens are still cool but who wouldn’t rather have a file stored in […]

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Office furniture leases are actually readily available

Office furniture leases are actually readily available

The article from John Sacks from 25th March bemoaned the fact that leasing is essentially useless for furniture projects on the basis that no banks are interested in funding such assets. I am delighted to inform John, and more importantly, the broader readership of Office Insight that this assertion couldn’t be further from the truth. […]

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Ergonomic update: Are you taking the tablets?

Ergonomic update: Are you taking the tablets?

Twenty years ago the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 came into force, introduced in response to a growing number of complaints of repetitive strain injury (RSI), or to use the broader term musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) amongst office workers. Although it took time for the disorder to be identified, the message gradually got […]

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