Aping our robot overlords, Instagrammable buildings and some other stuff

Aping our robot overlords, Instagrammable buildings and some other stuff

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What happens to people when their skills become obsolete? If you’re not asking yourself this question already, you probably should. A new study from researchers at MIT and Wharton is the basis for this piece in Quartz at Work which considers the implications for what looks like a small technological change and its consequences for […]

Perkins and Will to design offices of European Commission

Perkins and Will to design offices of European Commission

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The London studio of designers Perkins+Will working with Madrid-based architects Rafael de La-Hoz has won the competition to design the new European Commission offices in Brussels. The consortium’s design was chosen over nine other entries from international teams in a blind competition for the project. The winning team will oversee the creation of the new complex, which is […]

The Age of Blorp, a dead tulip, no muggles allowed and some other stuff

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First the good news. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has rejected the proposals for Foster+Partners’ godawful 300 metre tall ‘Tulip’ viewing tower in London. The reasons given for the refusal from the Mayor’s office include the fact that the thing didn’t represent the sort of “world class architecture that would be required to justify its […]

The scale of the problem for workplace design

The scale of the problem for workplace design

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There is a typically telling and intelligent Pixar moment in the film A Bug’s Life in which an already well-lubricated mosquito goes up to a bar and orders a ‘Bloody Mary, O Positive’. The barman plonks a droplet of blood down on the bar. The mosquito sinks his proboscis into it, sucks it down in […]

Biophilia in the corporate HQ: an historical perspective

Biophilia in the corporate HQ: an historical perspective

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In recent years, the concept of biophilia and the inclusion of greenery in the working environment has captured the media’s attention, which has depicted it as an important aspect of wellbeing in the workplace, seemingly the crucial indicator of a great office. For this reason, and beyond the superficial or cosmetic use of plants in […]

Lies about work, the limits of wellness programmes, sleepwalking architects and some other shoes

Lies about work, the limits of wellness programmes, sleepwalking architects and some other shoes

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There are lots of reasons to worry about where the World might be taking us, or perhaps where we are taking it. You can take your pick but for me one of the most worrying aspects of contemporary discourse is the obvious dearth of empathy. We might like to think of this as an innate […]

New BSRIA guide to Soft Landings and Business-Focused Maintenance

New BSRIA guide to Soft Landings and Business-Focused Maintenance

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BSRIA has launched a new guide that aims to inform those involved in the design, construction and operation of a building about how an effective Business-Focused Maintenance (BFM) regime can be developed and achieved through the Soft Landings approach. The topic guide on Soft Landings and BFM is written as an ‘at a glance publication’ […]

The growing urbanisation of work and workplaces

The growing urbanisation of work and workplaces

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The question of what makes a city great is an old one but has never been asked more than it is right now. It is usually couched in terms of the urbanisation of large parts of the world but it is important for other reasons too, not least because the urban environment is an increasingly […]

UKGBC issues circular economy guidance for construction clients

UKGBC issues circular economy guidance for construction clients

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New guidance has been launched by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) to assist client organisations to include more ambitious circular design and construction best practices in project briefs for non-domestic projects. It addresses the commercial realities associated with making this practically happen and provides support and evidence to assist clients in setting clear strategies […]

Tower in Norway confirmed as tallest timber building in world

Tower in Norway confirmed as tallest timber building in world

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The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has verified the status of Mjøstårnet, a mixed-use building in Brumunddal, Norway as the World’s tallest timber building. At 85.4 meters, it is also the third-tallest building in Norway and the country’s tallest with mixed functions. This news coincides with the amendment of the CTBUH Height Criteria […]

We need to change the terms of the open plan office debate

We need to change the terms of the open plan office debate

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New workplace data from the Gensler Research Institute claims to challenge the current narrative surrounding the open plan office ‘debate’ and uncovers the right way to invest in work-focused amenities, including coworking, that result in higher employee engagement, business performance and profit. The 2019 Gensler US Workplace Survey includes the input from more than 6,000 […]

Getting a better handle on the psychology of office design

Getting a better handle on the psychology of office design

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It was the Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa who described the door handle as ‘the handshake of the building’ in his book The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. Buildings greet us in other ways too and we respond to those greetings in very human ways. So much so, in fact, that when we […]

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