Let me make it clear from the beginning – this is not an article about open office design. With the tidal wave of anti-open office publications going around, I am not going to attempt to tackle the pros and cons of open office environments. (I did that a number of months ago anyway.) In lieu of open offices, no offices or smaller offices, I want to concentrate on the big picture: activity-based work spaces, user amenities and using design to bring them into focus.
“It was the best of times, ….”
The new year always seems to start of with an air of enthusiasm and excitement and listening to the State of the City for the City of Henderson, the City of Las Vegas and the City of North Las Vegas, certainly supports that. The three cities, basically touching each other, have similar goals and long range plans, but different outcomes in their city’s individual execution of the plans. I’m going to concentrate mainly on their issues that impact economic development with respect to property development, construction and real estate.
Over the past year or so, I have been researching office environments and particularly the paradox of the “Open Office.” The “Open Office” concept has expanded to include other attributes, influencers and characteristics (more than just cubicles) and has become more of a state of mind in the work place. The “Google-ization” of the office environment introduced concepts that would make Don Draper and Roger Sterling run into their offices and lock their doors. “Open Office” now encompasses the image, the branding of a company, the workflow process of an organization, the technology prowess of a company, the hours of the company and even to a point, the age of its employees and managers.
Student Unions have evolved with ever changing student body demographics, technology and individual campus needs. One aspect that has remained key is the Student Union representing the gateway and the public face for the school. These facilities act in many of the same regards as a community center – by being the Heart of the campus community, providing a place for social interaction, providing support services to the users and being an identity place marker. Student Unions also function as a hub to unite the physical spaces on campuses as well as providing accidental collaboration and community spaces.
Every year starts with a variety groups presenting their forecasts, predictions and previews for the economic climate of the upcoming year. This year I attended 4 different events to see how they compared to each other in their assessment of the future. Some of the information and predictions are a little like predicting the weather for a year in advance.