A new approach to office design is redefining our relationship with property

A new approach to office design is redefining our relationship with property

At the end of the 18th Century it was becoming apparent that overpopulation was something the human race would need to address for perhaps the first time. Advances in technology and the urbanisation that followed the Industrial Revolution had created a new set of challenges. These were most famously laid out in a 1798 book called […]

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Cold noses and warm design; a review of the Stockholm Furniture Fair

Cold noses and warm design; a review of the Stockholm Furniture Fair

The scene was set when, on the final approach to Stockholm, the Captain announced that the city was ‘enjoying’ heavy snow and a temperature of minus 15 degrees C. Can the fair organisers be persuaded to move future events to balmy June? Probably not. But of course, everything works perfectly despite the weather, and interiors […]

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Sound and vision: why the distracted workplace is about far more than noise

Sound and vision: why the distracted workplace is about far more than noise

The idea of a cocktail party might be a bit dated, but it is the perfect metaphor for describing one aspect of the most common complaints about modern office design. An idea called the cocktail party effect has been known to neuroscientists for decades. It describes how we are able to filter out a large […]

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Landlords must respond in new ways to the changing world of work

Landlords must respond in new ways to the changing world of work

Hammocks, remote working, hot-desking. Contrary to common belief, these aren’t the only conversations landlords are having with designers on how to approach their workspaces for today’s tenants. Rising property values, the growth of flexible offices and political uncertainty have forced landlords to change the way they market their properties to respond to the demands of […]

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For the love of workplace art, where have all the walls gone?

For the love of workplace art, where have all the walls gone?

A survey exploring art in the workplace (‘Making Art Work in the Workplace’) conducted by the British Council for Offices (BCO) found that almost 88 percent of respondents felt that “art is more relevant in the workplace than ever before”. Yet, with the arrival of the generic modern office, full of open plan space and […]

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A worthwhile workplace trends list, permanent beta, nudge nudge, think think and some other stuff

A worthwhile workplace trends list, permanent beta, nudge nudge, think think and some other stuff

If there’s just one thing that makes my heart sink more precipitously than the word ‘trends’, it’s when it’s preceded by the words Top and Ten. So it’s nice to have been surprised by this list of workplace trends that displays the wherewithal and insight to call on those people in the sector who might […]

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Finding the Goldilocks Point for collaborative workplace design

Finding the Goldilocks Point for collaborative workplace design

One of the great paradoxes of modern life is the ever increasing likelihood of breakdowns in communication in a world in which we have more ways to talk to each other than ever before. This can play out in especially toxic ways in the wider world, but its effects in the workplace can also be […]

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Maybe the time has come to shoot the workplace messenger

Maybe the time has come to shoot the workplace messenger

I spent some time with Frank Duffy recently, releasing a stream of memories of working with him, first as an employee at DEGW during the 1980s, and then as a client while directing developer Stanhope’s research programme during the 1990s. Along with his long-term business partner, John Worthington, and thinkers including Franklin Becker, Gerald Davis, […]

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The future of work has no destination, it’s always just the journey

The future of work has no destination, it’s always just the journey

One of the truisms about depictions of the future is that they often have more to say about the world in which we live than the one to come. So, when George Orwell wrote 1984 the story goes that its title was derived by inverting the numbers of the year in which it was written […]

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Getting back to environmental basics in the Anthropocene era

Getting back to environmental basics in the Anthropocene era

A new word has recently entered the public discourse on the environment. It describes the current epoch of geological time as the period in which humans have had an impact on the world’s climate, geology and ecosystems. Although yet to be formally recognised by the mainstream scientific community, it has been in existence for a […]

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Millennial headlines, eternal workplace truths, the pathologisation of sitting and some other stuff

Millennial headlines, eternal workplace truths, the pathologisation of sitting and some other stuff

The New York Times asked an interesting question this week. “Why Are Young People Pretending to Love Work?” it demanded, begging the immediate response ‘for the same reason everybody else does’. If only that pat, facetious response were enough to satisfy the actual questions concealed by the typically misleading headline. What the article actually wants […]

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Friday, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with staring out of the window

Friday, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with staring out of the window

Monday of this week was supposedly the most depressing of the year. Blue Monday, in fact. The day when our return to work after the Christmas break combines with the lack of daylight and a wave of existential dread as our resolution(s) falter and fall to help crush our spirits.

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