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

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See what’s ahead for design in 2014 with the Gensler Design Forecast 2014 (PDF).

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What is Hack-able?

A hack-able building in London. Image © Gensler

What will the commercial office building of the future look like? In answering that question we can focus on cutting edge cladding systems or an updated core layout, but we should not overlook the possibility that the office building of the future may not be a new building at all. Mobility, advances in technology, and an ever more global workforce have dramatically changed the way that workers inhabit workspace. Some estimates place office space levels in 2015 at 30% of what they were in 1970. This means that we won’t need more office buildings in the future, but we will need to “hack” the ones that already exist if these spaces are to better meet the needs of future workers.

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Life is Urban Again

Image © Gensler

Cities are cool. I find myself increasingly fascinated with how attractive city living is for so many new urban dwellers and how cities try to keep pace with re-urbanization and to the push to become more “livable.” With re-urbanization in full swing, the growth of a globally connected workforce, and the proliferation of mobility tools that allow living and working to happen anywhere and any time, we have some choices to make.

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Modernity Vs. Hierarchy: China’s Evolving Commercial Office Building Market

Chinese commercial office buildings communicate power and corporate culture. They uphold traditional business hierarchies and segregate the executive class from everyday knowledge works. Image © Gensler

When considering the future of commercial office buildings in China, it’s critical to remember how new the industry is compared with that of the Western world.

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The Internet of Things Will Affect Data Driven Design

Image © Doug Wittnebel

The popular and quite hefty topic of 2013 was big data. This year the hot and heavy tech focus topic is “the Internet of things” or IoT.

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From High Rises to Hip Neighborhoods: LA’s Shifting Commercial Real Estate Market

This Class A office building (right) and five story empty warehouse (left) both sold for similar prices per square foot in 2013.

Over the course of the past year, the Los Angeles real estate market has shifted. Recent trends reveal that prime commercial real estate markets in the city are in competition with non-traditional neighborhoods, many of which are attracting start-ups with a unique formula of lifestyle oriented amenities. The sales of the U.S. Bank Tower, located on Bunker Hill in central downtown, and The Desmond Building, only five blocks to the south, clearly illustrate this shift in the market.

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