This article distinctly illustrates the well-rounded, farsighted mind of Steve Jobs, Apple’s futurist creator. Written after he announced his retirement in August, it talks about his plans for Apple’s next headquarters in Cupertino, California. Jobs has hired Sir Norman Foster, another visionary mind in the world of architecture, to plan, design and build his company’s new home.

What is interesting to note is that Jobs has boldly, of course, rejected the traditional approach to campus-style form and has, instead, opted for a single megastructure-like space where every employee can come and think together, instead of just work.

This idea developed from his frustration of having his team of 13,000 employees dispersed in multiple buildings at Apple’s current HQ. The author, Jim Meredith, goes on to state how CEOs need to take a page from Jobs’ book and relook at corporate workspace design in terms of the company’s actual needs. The campus style works if the goal is to reinforce the capabilities and competencies of a discipline. The megastructure format is more ideal if you want to integrate the thinking of many disciplines—like at Apple.

Perhaps, the author states, the time has finally arrived for corporations to think of their people and workspace in terms of form, culture, communications, intentions, transformations and the future, instead of just profits and balance sheets.

Source: Jim Meredith (Detroit) August 29, 2011

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