About Mark Eltringham

Mark is the publisher of Workplace Insight and IN Magazine. He has worked in the office design and management sector for over twenty five years as a journalist, marketing professional, editor and consultant.

Posts by Mark Eltringham:

The shape of things to come for the world and the workplace

The shape of things to come for the world and the workplace

Originally published in March, right at the start of all this. Makes me wonder how far we’ve come in nine months. In Dorian Lynskey’s The Ministry of Truth, a “biography” of Nineteen Eighty-Four, the author describes how Orwell’s  book was the end point of an obsession with utopian (and ultimately dystopian) fiction that characterised the first half of the Twentieth Century, and reflected the competing political, social and economic ideologies of the era. More →

When the chairs took over the world and what it all meant

When the chairs took over the world and what it all meant

rows of chairsOf all the things we buy, with the exception of our clothes, furniture is the most intimate, the one item we spend most time in contact with. According to JG Ballard who dedicated himself to understanding our relationship with the world around us, ‘Furniture constitutes an external constellation of our skin areas and body postures’. Whether he would have recognised it as such, Ballard was a pioneer of the principle we now refer to as psychogeography, defined by one of its founders, Guy Debord, as ‘the study of the precise effects of setting, consciously managed or not, acting directly on the mood and behaviour of the individual’. More →

Listening in on an enormous conversation about the workplace

Listening in on an enormous conversation about the workplace

One of the best tricks Clive James ever pulled was finding acceptance as a public intellectual in the UK. It’s not easy in a country in which it is possible to be too clever by half or even too clever for your own good. Stephen Fry continues to pull it off as does Mary Beard, but it’s a hell of a thing to achieve. In the UK it seems to rely on straddling at least two worlds. More →

Office taxonomy and an increasingly diverse workplace ecosystem

Office taxonomy and an increasingly diverse workplace ecosystem

From the archive. First published in October workplace ecosystem2015. It is perhaps the most common misconception of evolutionary theory that all animals are somehow evolving towards some end point – meaning us. This notion is perhaps best summed up when a sceptic asks: “If we have evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” The lesser of the two problems with this is its solipsistic assumption that humans are the pinnacles of life and that, if evolution were true, all species would eventually evolve into people. More →

The lost art of office furniture peacocking and the growing mental health crisis at work

The lost art of office furniture peacocking and the growing mental health crisis at work

When Donald Trump was pictured recently sitting uncomfortably at a table that looked like it had been retrieved from a skip, it provoked the sort of sneering commentary about furniture choices last seen when Dominic Cummings popped in to the Downing Street garden to deliver some self-serving blather from behind a rickety trestle table. More →

Is there a future for the office?

Is there a future for the office?

Yes.

IN Magazine issue 4 continues to explore the changing world of work and workplaces

IN Magazine issue 4 continues to explore the changing world of work and workplaces

The new issue of IN Magazine is now online. This issue includes interviews with Chris Kane and Thomas Heatherwick; as well as pieces on: the new EDGE building in Berlin; the changing attitudes of CRE professionals to the office; the anthropology of workplace design; the interplay of networks and hierarchies; the need to create better cycling facilities; what the city and the office can learn from each other; a tribute to Enzo Mari and much more. Back issues can be found here.

Chris Kane discusses his new book on workplace transformation

Chris Kane discusses his new book on workplace transformation

The physician can bury his mistakes,—but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines. Frank Lloyd Wright’s eternal epigram is not just true for buildings. It also applies to the authors of books, especially those on the subjects most affected by this year’s pandemic. Speakers and blog writers can quietly inter the things they get wrong, while the book sits unchangeable on a shelf. Maybe behind a houseplant.
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What Carl Sagan could teach us about knowledge and information

What Carl Sagan could teach us about knowledge and information

Unbelievably for those of us who saw him as a personal hero, yesterday marked the 24th anniversary of the death of Carl Sagan. At the time of his death in 1996, the Internet was very much in its infancy but Sagan could see what was coming, including how we need to filter what is valuable from the deluge of information we now bob around in. Sagan put it like this: “all of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.” More →

The world may be going mad, but we don`t have to

The world may be going mad, but we don`t have to

If you want to determine the nature of anything, entrust it to time: when the sea is stormy, you can see nothing clearly. Seneca’s advice from nearly 2,000 years ago still rings true. More →

What (nearly) everybody gets wrong about work and the coronavirus

What (nearly) everybody gets wrong about work and the coronavirus

You’ve probably read and heard dozens, or even hundreds, of different viewpoints about the effect of the pandemic on the world of work. Most of them (until recently perhaps) have dished up one of the two binary options as part of a zero-sum game. Many are based on hackneyed ideas and expressed as clichés. More →

The world of work explored in all its glory in Issue 3 of IN Magazine

The world of work explored in all its glory in Issue 3 of IN Magazine

Some things will never change. IN Magazine continues to offer the best content you can find on the changing world of work. The digital edition of Issue 3 is now available and print copies will be posted out later in the week. More →

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