What the 21st Century office of the future looked like in the 1960s

What the 21st Century office of the future looked like in the 1960s

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refraction and the office of the futureWe’re used to hearing people predict what The Office of the Future will look like. It’s been going on for a very long time now and each new generation of commentators on the subject comes up with its own forms of wishful thinking, wild generalisations, distorted conclusions and failures to account for the inherent unknowability of future disruptive technology. The best way of reminding ourselves of these pitfalls is not to look forward, but back. Only then  can we see how an image can be refracted and make allowances. More →

Cosm wins Red Dot Award as best office chair

Cosm wins Red Dot Award as best office chair

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Cosm, designed by Studio 7.5 for Herman Miller, has won the Red Dot Best of the Best Product Design Award in the office chairs category. The award rounds out Cosm’s first year on the market, taking home a suite of awards for the new design. Herman Miller introduced Cosm, designed by Studio 7.5, in Milan coinciding with Salone Del Mobile, April 2018. The chair was launched fully to the market in Autumn 2018.  Today, Cosm chairs have been sold to more than 1,700 companies in 90 countries around the world. More →

The theme park of modern office design

The theme park of modern office design

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office design is moving into a new phaseHere’s an interesting exercise you may want to try. Off the top of your head and without thinking about it too much, write down the names of five iconic office furniture designs. The kind that your Aunt Sheila might recognise if she saw them but wouldn’t necessarily be able to name. When I did this recently while writing a piece about design trends, the products I came up with automatically were things like Frank Lloyd Wright’s desks for the Larkin building, Action Office, the 3107 chair (pictured), and Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Chair. More →

Office furniture firms take their partners

Office furniture firms take their partners

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Living Office schematic from office furniture giant Herman MillerThe development of products for the workplace follow many trends, generally aiming to provide that ideal setting for maximum effectiveness and fully tuned to the philosophies of the day.  The processes involved can occupy a good proportion of time and energy for the workplace specialist and office furniture maker and feature heavily in the media. But, behind all the product cacophony, there are activities, often unseen, that make more difference to what will become available in furnishing the workplace. More →

Environmental transparency for buildings declared with new initiative

Environmental transparency for buildings declared with new initiative

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The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) and Living Future Europe Initiative (LFEI) has announced the full details release of a new edition of the Declare product transparency label for the European building and manufacturer market. The Declare Europe launch is taking place in Bolzano during the 2019 Klimahouse conference, which is focused on the exchange of ideas, innovations and insights on the latest trends in the energy-efficiency and sustainable construction sector. More →

Peace and quiet at work? Here are ten of the best and most far out solutions

Peace and quiet at work? Here are ten of the best and most far out solutions 0

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Publication1Any survey that sets out to establish what people believe cuts their productivity and annoys them most about their workplace almost invariably throws up the same result; the noise and distractions generated by other people. So it will come as no surprise to learn that the same surveys usually find that employees believe that peace and quiet and freedom from distractions is the most important factor when it comes to getting some decent work done. More →

Bisley modular storage system awarded Design Guild Mark

Bisley modular storage system awarded Design Guild Mark

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UK based storage firm Bisley has been awarded its second Design Guild mark for BOB, a hand-crafted modular storage and display system developed in collaboration with award winning British designer Paul Kelley. BOB’s configurations can be adapted for any use and environment, whether at home or in the workplace. The collaboration unifies Kelley’s design innovations with the craftsmanship and manufacturing expertise of Bisley. More →

A quarter of a century ago, the newborn Internet set office design on a different path

A quarter of a century ago, the newborn Internet set office design on a different path

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Vitra Ad Hoc systemBecause we are now so immersed in technology, we can sometimes forget just how young the Internet is. It was only in 1995 that the final barriers to its full commercial development were removed. In 1994, the number of people using it worldwide was estimated at around 20 million, there were under 15,000 company websites and the UK had one ‘cybercafe’. Even so, there was something in the air. A sense that everything was about to change – and change spectacularly.

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Beware the great apex fallacy of workplace design

Beware the great apex fallacy of workplace design 0

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workplace designOf all the memes and narratives that corrupt public discourse about workplace design, the most pernicious is the one that suggests there is a linear evolution to some grand end point called the Office of the Future. There is a natural human inclination to buy this sort of idea, fed by an assumption that what we find most interesting, aspirational and hence what we read and talk about forms a goal. Read any style magazine and you’ll see the same process at work in every facet of our lives. This is why so many people are quick to consume and then regurgitate the idea that what we see happening in the world’s great tech palaces and creative offices represents the apogees of design to which the rest of us must one day succumb. More →

How do we reach consensus about what constitutes good design?

How do we reach consensus about what constitutes good design? 0

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Gianluca_Gimini-Velocipedia-5In shows and the media, we are often invited to pass judgement on products and ideas that have been created by other people. The reviews that follow often cement some form of accepted view, even if we often outsource the decision making to people who are better placed to decide, or at least better enabled to express an opinion. Such judgements would not function at all in this regard unless there was some underlying consensus about what constitutes good and bad design at the same time that we all believed we know what good taste is and we all know a good piece of design when we see it. In so far as the consensus is universally accepted, we are all right. But how much do we really understand about the things that surround us and their design? And how meaningful is the consensus? In JG Ballard’s novel High Rise, recently made into a film, he writes of the disdain Anthony Royal, the architect of the eponymous tower has for the tastes of its residents.

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Nowy Styl acquisition of Kusch+Co latest sign of changing office furniture sector

Nowy Styl acquisition of Kusch+Co latest sign of changing office furniture sector

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The Nowy Styl Group, a European manufacturer of office furniture has acquired the German family company Kusch+Co, a manufacturer and distributor of commercial furniture. It is the latest sign of change and possible consolidation in the global office furniture sector which has seen Steelcase acquire Orangebox as firms seek to expand their offering and market penetration. The trend is also evident elsewhere in the supply chain as shown by ByBailey’s merger with Insidesource and the creation of The United Workplace by Fourfront Group and partners around the world.

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By Bailey and Insidesource merge to form global furniture dealership

By Bailey and Insidesource merge to form global furniture dealership

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UK furniture dealer By Bailey has joined forces with US-based dealer Insidesource to create a first of its kind, global furniture dealership. The merger grew out of the need to offer high level service to international clients, especially those with a significant presence in North America and the UK. The boutique By Bailey studio was opened in 2015 by industry veteran – Mark Bailey, after he saw a niche in the market to provide high-end solutions for private offices and meeting rooms.

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