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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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Physical + Digital=The new reality of space

As a kid I remember watching science fiction movies and being amazed at how seamless and effortless technology appeared in every day “future” life. The technologies were as simple as Star Trek communicators or walls that recognized you and your preferences, but the boundary was blurry between physical and digital worlds. For much of my youth this was fantasy, but today I find myself truly operating more frequently in digitally dominated versions of physical space—spaces that I used to think were there for designers like me to create. The ubiquity of technology combined with contemporary society’s growing connectivity is creating a collective familiarity, if not an expectation, for spaces that seamlessly integrate with social media, big data and individual preferences. While not exactly the future imagined by science fiction, the future is now. This invasion of technology is fueling a new generation of designers, versed in consumer technologies, to rethink the consequences of meshing physical and digital space to create an experience that combines the best both worlds have to offer.

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After the gold rush: a new workstyle revolution?

The Damien Hirst designed Union Jack at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail.

The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) should get gold themselves for organizing a showcase games in terms of planning/design/execution, sustainability and a legacy of urban regeneration. After the euphoria of Britain’s very own goldrush and stellar performances from global superstar athletes, we now return to post-Games reality in London. In time, we will see lasting benefits to the East London area as the Olympic Park physically transforms itself to become a new vibrant quarter of London, eventually to be rechristened Queen Elizabeth Park.

So what other likely Olympic legacy themes will we see emerge, post-Games? The strapline of The Games was “inspire a generation” (to participate in more sports), but what about “inspiring a (re)generation” of working styles? I believe this theme - largely unexplored until the Games themselves were upon us – has enormous potential for the Capital and other major metropolitan cities: inspiring a flexible working revolution.

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Everyday Changes, Extraordinary Savings

Federal agencies don't need to undergo sweeping transformations to reduce their budgets. Making micro changes to work spaces can pay macro dividends in the long run.

I have previously written about the challenges facing federal real estate managers, and it continues to be tough sledding for those tasked with planning for agencies’ current and future space requirements and finding ways to lower utilization rates, all while complying with numerous directives to cut costs and reduce overall footprint.

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Technology has grown up...now we need to do the same

Our relationship with technology reminds me of a parent's relationship with a new child. After birth, parents marvel at the new life with wonder and amazement. Once the honeymoon period ends, they realize the child can be a bit troublesome and even has the capability to push-back. And as the child grows into a full-fledged person, parents and children evolve simultaneously and adapt on the fly.

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What’s that SMELL????? Surviving lunch in the open office…  

Photo courtesy of snowcat

How many change managers does it take to tell you your lunch stinks? A hundred? A thousand?

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