Goodbye Filing Cabinets, Fluorescent Lighting And Water Coolers. Hello Chickens, Vegetable Plots, Helter Skelters And Slides. Office Design Is Changing Fast. Stephen Bayley Looks At The Radical Ideas – Fun But Functional – That Are Reshaping Our Workplaces And How We Work.
This article from the London Observer takes a look at some of the more radical – “fun but functional” – office design ideas that are helping to reshape the workplace. Readers tour Pixar’s animation headquarters with its organic vegetable patch and 600-seat viewing cinema and are then introduced to Copenhagen’s MindLab with its egg-shaped conference room and mood lighting that changes to stimulate unusual thought patterns.
There’s the Rolls-Royce plant in Chichester where five cars a day are hand-assembled by silent worker-priests under one of Europe’s largest living succulent roofs that provides active insulation year round. There’s also Google’s “Googleplex” campus HQ where techies in shorts and sneakers engage in “leveraged learning” along a “Main Street” that connects the various ‘hoods. Then there’s Electric Works in Sheffield, England that provides a veritable souk for nomadic digital merchants, with its centralized office space and services a godsend to its shifting, often nocturnal and definitely nonconformist clientele.
One of the most interesting designs described in this article is at the TBWA Chiat Day ad agency in West Los Angeles. Its creative department sits like a cerebral cortex in the center of the complex, connected to the rest of the building by ramps and bridges. Creative hermits work in half-open caves over a three story landscape, with clients accessing the “city” from the reception area via 50 ft long tubes.
Source: Stephen Bayley – The Observer (London); Mar 15, 2009