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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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Outliers, Tipping Points and Design Research

Image © Gensler.

Design is different today because the world is changing faster than ever, making design research the key to delivering innovative, experience enhancing projects.

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Want to Attract Top Talent? Focus on the Employee Experience

Capital One West Creek. Image © Halkin Mason.

The function and purpose of the physical corporate workspace is evolving. Technology has made ‘where’ we work irrelevant in many cases. The workplace of the future is more about ‘how’ we work, bringing people together to collaborate, innovate, learn and socialize. It’s about communicating, nurturing and supporting a company’s culture and mission. Couple that institutional evolution with an increase in worker expectations, their desire to contribute and engage in a meaningful enterprise and the emerging generational appetite for advancement through more frequent changes and you’ll quickly realize that the business of design is no longer ‘business as usual.’ To compete with top talent, Financial Services Firms must place a greater emphasis on the employee experience.

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Neuroscience in Architecture

A demo of UC San Diego’s StarCAVE—a five-sided virtual reality room. Image courtesy of Flikr user Glenn Ricart.

Looking to Neuroscience for Solutions

With an ever-growing amount of data from various sources of research, the field of architecture is changing in response to a greater demand for solutions that will have meaningful effects on its occupants. Recently, there have been efforts to incorporate insights from the social sciences, such as behavioral and cognitive psychology, in order to better understand the impact that design has on the occupants’ actions, thoughts and feelings. It should come as no surprise then that designers recognize the potential of neuroscience to uncover how our brains perceive our surrounding environment and then elicit certain cognitive and physiological responses.

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A Federal Workplace with Heart and Soul 

Government tenant, Washington, D.C. region. Image © Connie Zhou.

The wave of Modernist and Brutalist government office buildings that arose in the 1960s and 70s left a lasting impression on the American architectural landscape. At their best, these structures aspire to lofty heights. See, for example, the Chicago Federal Center. But occasionally, those aspirations for landmark civic architecture were curtailed by fiscal realities, a need for expediency, or the desire to achieve a level of standardization.

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Financial Services Firms: Think "Glocal"

Confidential Technology Client San Francisco, Calif., Image © Gensler

Editor's Note: This post is part of a series on the state of the financial services industry.

You have most likely heard the mantra “think global, act local.” Over the years it has been used in various contexts from education to the environment to urge people to consider the health of the planet and to take action in their own communities. Today however, the catchphrase has taken on a much broader meaning because global and local are no longer two diverse ends of a spectrum. We are now asked to be “glocal,” both global and local at the same time. Though many major financial service firms may have their headquarters in the United States, they now have offices, clients and employees in financial markets around the world. Even firms with well-established brands are learning that they need to tailor their workplace designs for these specific markets.

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