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GenslerOnWork examines the modern workplace and how design can help us become more engaged and productive as we earn our livings.

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"The Future Will Look More Like the Past Than the Present"

Is this the future of the workplace? Source: seagate.com

Kate Stone, founder of Novalia, said this during a recent meeting in our London office, and it has since resonated with me quite a bit. Kate was talking about the ephemeral nature of technology and the way technological advancements enable humans to do more and more with less and less, and suggesting that one day technology will enable us to do everything with nothing. I think.

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HanaHaus Creates a New Stage of Work for the Creative Economy 

Palo Alto’s historic Varsity Theater is now the site of SAP’s HanaHaus. Image © Jasper Sanidad

Up and down the proverbially sunny University Avenue in Palo Alto, California, work takes place in unconventional ways and places: at cafés and restaurants, on go-to-meetings taken on smart phones. Palo Alto teems with the flexible but no less intensive work styles integral to the creative economy. And these work styles now threaten to disrupt traditional economic sectors.

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What Does the Future Hold for the Corporate Campus?

In the future, corporate campuses could look quite different. Image © Gensler

In the last few years, there has been a big move toward corporate consolidation on large, amenity-rich campuses. The factors driving this move are the need to consolidate corporate real estate holdings, a desire to create synergy between formerly segregated departments, and a push to enhance company unity by putting everyone on one campus. Adding retail services and health and wellness amenities to the mix helps recruit and retain the best talent.

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Table for Two: Thom Ang and Rocco Giannetti on the Mad Dash to Lower Manhattan

Left: Lower Manhattan in 1942. Image Source: Photographs of American History. Right: Lower Manhattan in 2015. Image Source: Paul Reiffer

After a decade-long revitalization effort, Lower Manhattan is flourishing, and creative tenants are playing a significant role in the transformation of this neighborhood—the number of tech and creative employees in Lower Manhattan has increased by 71% in the past five years.

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#Thank You for Sharing: How Social Media is Reshaping Work 

The growth of social media holds significant ramifications for design. Image © Gensler

Social media is founded on the principle of mass collaboration. It’s about enabling large groups to collaborate in a way that has never been done before. It delivers strategic value to organizations, allowing them to engage their customers in new ways and to delegate work to the community - a community they are in fact generating in the process. It crowdsources knowledge, research, and product development—large Pharmaceutical, Energy and Mining organizations now crowdsource some of their R&D. That would never have happened five years ago.

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