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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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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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 design goes to the movies. Part 4 – Ikiru

Office design goes to the movies. Part 4 – Ikiru

Akira Kurosawa’s film typifies the way that office life is usually portrayed in movies. The crushing bureaucracy that the protagonist Kanji Watanabe is part of – and ultimately rebels against – is symbolised by the towering piles of paper that surround him and his colleagues. Even when he’s walking around, he seems to be carrying them […]

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Office design goes to the movies. Part 3 – Being John Malkovich

    In which John Cusack plays an unemployed puppeteer who takes a mundane office clerk’s job in the low-ceilinged offices on Floor 7½ of the Mertin Flemmer Building in New York. When he asks his boss why the ceilings are so low, he is told ‘low overhead my boy’.  Bad pun, great commentary on how […]

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Office design goes to the movies. Part 2 – 24 Hour Party People

Warning: contains strong language.  Factory Records’ Rob Gretton disagrees somewhat with Tony Wilson’s purchase of an expensive table for the firm’s new offices in Michael Winterbottom’s wonderful take on the Madchester scene of the 1980s. But what really sets him off is the word ‘London’. Particular disdain is reserved for the fact the table is […]

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Video: another prediction from the 60s gets it a bit right and a bit wrong

    The latest in our series of videos looking at how the world in which we now live was predicted a generation or so ago. This time a clip from a 1967 documentary called 1999 AD. Although accurate in many respects including the use of online shopping and e-commerce as well as e-mail it […]

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Video: ‘We are not as endlessly predictable as you would think’

  An old one, but still my favourite from the RSA Animate series. It’s always worth reminding ourselves that the issue of motivation is very complex. People are not machines and function within the context of a whirl of emotions, relationships, influences, events, crises, stimuli, personal characteristics and thoughts.  That is why many of our […]

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A Field Guide to Workplace Terminology

A Field Guide to Workplace Terminology

As the ecosystem around the workplace industry grows ever more complex, so too does the language we use to describe it. In an attempt to bring order to chaos, guest writer Simon Heath presents here a glossary of terms, acronyms and abbreviations to help you navigate these linguistic waters. (For example Business Intelligence – A […]

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The ABC of Architects – a short film

What’s not to like about this cute and smart short animation from Andrea Stinga and Federico Gonzalez? Doubtless they’ll get earache from some people about who has been left out or included, but architects should think themselves lucky their work is recognised in the way it is. Most professionals only hear their name mentioned with any […]

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