Tuesday, October 27, 2009

beyond the cubicle - new york post

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Not exactly my go to source for journalism on the evolving workplace, but hey, this is a sign of the times if stories about rethinking the workplace hit mainstream newspapers.

Ask Manhattan-based interior architect Maria Lopez what’s wrong with office design, and she looks like she just bit down on a fluorescent light fixture.

“It’s not conducive to humanity!” she exclaims, her voice rising in exasperated bewilderment. “The hepatitis-yellow lights, the cubes — it’s like you’re in a bloody hospital ward, going to see someone who’s dying.”

The article actually captures the nature of the situation, with progressive companies percieved as going out on a limb to introduce thoughtfully designed workplaces, while it turns out they are not out on a limb at all. In fact they are sowing the rewards of a workplace that is a tool in their mission.

Great case studies linked towards the bottom of the page as the reporters are off to learn about Google, Bloomberg, and JWT.

Some city firms toss the cubes and reinvent the workplace

A Plea to All Creatives: Stop Going to Work

Joe Duffy in his blog at Fast Company makes a plea today for everybody to get out of their workplace, to look for the place where they are most creative and productive:

Designers thrive on the information available to us through this newly heightened era of connectivity. That said, information is not enough. We need inspiration to continue to stretch and truly reach our creative potential. I don't believe that inspiration is sufficiently served up in even the most compelling office environments, nor among the most creative cultures. So we need to get out of the office. Design how you're going to work. Dial it into the rest of your life and vice versa. Be purposeful about what you do, where you are, where you really need to be in order to be happy and productive.

Here we are. This is how bad the status quo of office design is the US - where we have to make a plea to get out of the work place to achieve our most creative and productive state!

When will business owners realize that creating that productive zone in their workplace is a tool to get the best and most productive work from their work force. How can it not be a goal to make the magic place that Duffy describes in every workplace? Design is the key at the most base level - Lets think about what we are doing.

A Plea to All Creatives: Stop Going to Work

bark designs pavillion like office

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Architects Bark Design in Queensland Australia have designed themselves a beautiful office space. Scaled somewhat like a house it is meant to be demonstrative of their design approach. A great incorporation of their design + business culture into their workplace - leveraging the workplace as a marketing tool for their business. A lesson more businesses need to take.

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Leveraging good design in your workplace not only can advance your marketing efforts, but create a more satisfying and productive work environment.

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Bark Design at the Contemporist Blog

founder factory - forging start ups

founderfactory

A little bit of workplace culture today, The Founder Factory is a project to inspire, mentor, and foster start ups in Philadelphia. From their web site:

The Founder Factory is an annual event created by Philly Startup Leaders, meant to help foster growth of an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, mentors, angels, VC’s, students, schools and government groups within the Philadelphia area. As a collaborative and engaging event, the Founder Factor helps to unleash Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial potential.

To encourage collaboration within the Philadelphia startup ecosystem, where people starting companies are encouraged and supported by successful entrepreneurs and mentors from the venture capital and university community.

Founder Factory

Friday, October 23, 2009

new coworking community: design annex, sommerville

designannex

Design Annex is a new CoWorking space in Sommerville, Mass, just north of Boston with a focus on design centric businesses. They explain on their site that Sommerville is a growing center for design service firms, and they were conceived to serve the design independents in the community.

Somerville is increasingly the center of design in Massachusetts with 124 design related businesses, making the city second in density of both architectural & engineering service firms and of design service firms in Massachusetts. More than twenty creative industry businesses are active in the central business district of Union Square alone. Design Annex seeks to further advance Union Square as a center for design-related activity.

Along with the usual CoWorking space amenities such as workstations and conference rooms, Design Annex has a dedicated model building/presentation making room with ventilation appropriate to various glues and spray materials.

Design Annex

follow Design Annex on twitter

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

coworking community forming in columbia, sc

For those keeping track of new CoWorking sites, or if you are from Columbia, SC - good news. A new CoWorking site is forming. This appears to have just launched so this is the ground floor - all aboard!

Columbia CoWorking

Friday, October 16, 2009

looking for space, looking for people to share space

Some great resources for office space/coworking matchmaking:

thecube

The Cube is a CoWorking online community touts itself as an online water cooler. More of a "full service" community its also a good place to find space, or find people to share space.

suitematchimage

SuiteMatch is just what it says it is - like a dating service for the workplace. They cover all of the larger cities coast to coast, and seems like a good way to find shared office space.

rofo

Rofo is an online Broker of sorts, providing free listings of your space, and free postings of your space needs. If you make a match through their service they ask for a small fee, although I was never able to find out exactly what that was reviewing the site.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

great review of computer enabled grommets

Belkin USB Grommet

The Unplggd blog has a great review of computer enabled desktop grommets on their blog today. They cover several units by Belkin, mainly USB such as the one we covered this past summer. There is also one that combines power, video jack, and network connections - perfect for docking a laptop.

Desktop Grommets at Unplggd

Sunday, October 4, 2009

portable office inside steamer trunk

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Via boingboing.net, the describe this as:

Here's a portable office built into an oversized repro of a vintage steamer trunk -- it's a movable workspace you can take on the QEII or sail off with on a zeppelin.

office steamer trunk

Thursday, October 1, 2009

industrial/institutional casters often = cool

Tente

In the world of open and flexible workplaces, desks and furnishings on wheels are often a big plus. For a long time the only kind of caster wheels you saw were pretty status quo, but the open office movement seemed to fuel some innovation here. Well some years later I have to say that roller blade wheels have sort of jumped the shark and I always have my eyes out for interesting looking caster wheels. More often than not I see them on industrial and medical equipment. These users won't stand for a caster braking down either - no funky wheels like on the supermarket shopping cart please. So these tend to be tuff as nails, and very cool looking too. Furniture vendors take note - we are watching your wheels! Surprise and delight us!

Tente

Tente

Tente casters, medical, industry

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