May 21, 2013
A worldwide competition to design a new Metropolitan Police HQ has been launched by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The force is moving from its landmark New Scotland Yard site in Westminster, central London as part of cost cutting measures. The project on behalf of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) will involve the redevelopment of the existing and currently unoccupied Curtis Green MPS building located on the Victoria Embankment, London, SW1. Roger Harding MPS – Director of Real Estate Development said: “The opportunity to create a modern efficient working environment for the Met’s future headquarters, with world-class architecture that provides value for money and is alive to the history of the building provides a wonderful challenge.” more…
May 17, 2013
I’d like to deal in this article with the arrival yesterday of the long-awaited white paper from CBRE’s thought leadership exercise, The CBRE Workshop. However, I should declare an interest for the sake of transparency. Until June 2012 I was employed by CBRE and reported directly to a couple of the people who are heavily involved in The Workshop idea. I would reassure readers that I am not a disgruntled former employee. I have a huge amount of respect and warm regard towards my erstwhile colleagues and nobody will be happier than me to see them do well.
May 17, 2013
The Bucharest office of property consultancy Colliers International has been revamped to showcase an office design model that the company claims will meet the needs of the next generation of employees. Colliers has worked with architecture studio Prographic and drawn on its own studies of Generation Y and their needs to create the space. According to the firm, the prototype office will incorporate the newest technology, the latest thinking on workplace design and space planning and set new standards in sustainability. As well as Prographic, Colliers International worked with suppliers including ASUS, Techo, Bene, Bittnet Systems and Saint-Gobain to create its vision.
May 14, 2013
Anybody who has been working in and around the facilities management sector for any length of time will know that the FM profession/discipline (delete as appropriate) regularly undergoes protracted periods of existential angst about its role. It strikes me however that this is actually quite an easy question to deal with because the answer is the same as it is for similarly amorphous professions such as marketing. It all seems to depend on who you are and what you are trying to do. That’s the twist. The average facilities manager, like the Urban Spaceman, doesn’t exist. I might think that but it won’t stop the associations and institutes currently working together to establish a new super-body for FM in the UK having to continue the debate.
May 14, 2013
The first day at a new job used to mean getting the answer to that all important question: “so which is my office?” In today’s mostly open plan environments, the same psychological attachment has been transferred to the desk – ‘my’ desk. However the current trend for flexible approaches to where people work means that even the concept of having one’s own desk is now under attack. So how much does having your own desk matter to the UK office workforce these days? We have been asking employees how they feel about having their own desk. The results seem to be that more than half, on average 56% (of a total of 2,653 employees surveyed at 5 recent client projects), think that it is ‘very important’ and a further 25% think it is ‘quite important’.
May 10, 2013
The design of offices and the furniture that fills them matters because of what they tell us about how we work, how organisations function and even what is happening in the economy. If you want to know what’s going on, take a look at the places we work and the things with which we surround ourselves and how they change over time. Because the way we work changes so quickly, buildings need to have flexibility built into them so that they meet our needs today but anticipate what we will need tomorrow.In his book How Buildings Learn, Stewart Brand outlines the process whereby buildings evolve over time to meet the changing needs of their occupants.
May 6, 2013
Ridley Scott was one of the pioneers of a film aesthetic that mashes the past with the future, the grime and the gleam. It was a pioneering idea at the time but it’s familiar now. We now accept that the future looks a lot like the past and that goes for the office design in this scene. BladeRunner is also a film about dreams. The dreamy setting here is a telling contrast to the dirt and sleaze in the City below and the scene in the office in which Deckard (Harrison Ford) interviews the classic femme fatale Rachel (Sean Young) also supports the unresolved notion that Deckard may be a replicant himself. Clearly the workplace smoking ban had been repealed by this time, but then where would a femme fatale be without a cigarette? Even if she is an android.
May 3, 2013
So what do people really want from their offices? It’s a question that has tasked the minds of researchers for many years. According to a recent survey from Overbury, the ideal office design seemed to be a Starbucks, but a new report from the British Council for Offices suggests that what people want isn’t actually that much. Top of the list of priorities for the 1,200 or so people surveyed were fast Wi-Fi, comfortable surroundings, a convenient location and a decent, if unspectacular, fit-out, although responses varied to a certain degree across age groups and sectors. Is that really too much to ask? And are the pool table and the slide absolutely necessary?
May 1, 2013
In which a businesswoman rejoicing in the name Nilofer Merchant argues that one of the major causes of ill health in the world today is our sedentary lifestyle, and suggests a small idea that just might have a big impact on your life and health: Next time you have a one-on-one meeting, make it into a “walking meeting”. She is arguing the increasingly well established principle that good ergonomics is not about posture but about movement. This point has been argued before on Office Insight, including here, but the point cannot be made often enough. It’s true that the best chair designs encourage movement for those times when we cannot avoid sitting but, as ever, this is as much an issue of management as it is design.
April 30, 2013
Design is no longer just an add-on, but has evolved into a fully joined-up innovation methodology and with countries around the world adopting this thinking the European Union cannot afford to be left behind. This is the message of Design Council and other members of SEE (Sharing Experience Europe) in a report published today, Design for Public Good, which encourages the European Union and its member states to adopt design-led innovation to create the next generation of public services and policy that can meet the pressing demands of the future.
April 29, 2013
Søren Kierkegaard was a Nineteenth Century Danish philosopher and proto-existentialist. Not for him the hazy, romantic ideals of many of his contemporaries. He was one of the thinkers who gave birth to the Twentieth Century with its focus on the individual, reality and life in a sometimes uncaring world, although he was no atheist like many of the true existentialists. If he’s generally well known for anything these days it is for a single quotation that reads like a greeting card aphorism but is no less true for that. He said: ‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.’ Looking back can give you a real handle on the present. I moved offices recently and as these things happen, a number of books that I routinely ignore fell open while I was looking for some displacement activity.
April 24, 2013
Detailed plans to open up and transform the BBC’s Television Centre into a mixed use development including office and studio space for the BBC have been released today. Developers Stanhope and the BBC revealed in February that for the first time, Television Centre will be opened up to the public and the famous forecourt remodelled. The BBC will remain at Television Centre operating studios and BBC Worldwide will consolidate their new home at Television Centre, following refurbishment. The remaining offices are aimed at occupiers in the creative sector. The much loved listed buildings at Television Centre will be retained. more…
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