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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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Rage Against the Machines? 

Image courtesy of DARPA.

Job growth is a leading indicator that Gensler follows closely. Besides predicting the demand for workspace, it speaks to the “animal spirits” flowing through an economy. So when publications like The Economist, the Financial Times and the New York Times recently headlined the negative impact of technology on jobs, it caught my attention.

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Suburbia Transformed: Tysons, Virginia

Image © Gensler

This post originally appeared on the blog jordangoldstein.net.

Several months ago, I spoke on a Bisnow panel that discussed the future of Tysons, Virginia, a suburban town that is rapidly becoming more urban. Tysons is clearly a town in the midst of a dramatic transformation. With Metro opening up in the spring and a host of high-rise development projects underway, Tysons is about to be suburbia transformed. It’s an experiment in what happens when the urban fringe extends and meets the suburban edge. The blurred lines create tremendous opportunity for the growth of an innovative and dynamic live/work/play environment.

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Best of Both Worlds: Quiet and Collaboration at GSA’s Headquarters

Sound masking technology coupled with thoughtful design mitigates noise at GSA headquarters at 1800 F Street NW, Washington, D.C. Image © Gensler

How do you create a work environment that is quiet for individual focus work yet promotes collaboration?

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Maybe the Focus Problem is a Collaboration Problem

In order to enable focus at the office, meetings need to be run in a more effective manner. Image © Gensler

Every week it seems a new article hits newsstands condemning the open office, a system supposedly designed for extroverts which allegedly squanders the potential of introverts. We can all identify with this feeling: the sense that our individual work is under siege by distractions. That’s because it often is. But articles about this subject tend to have a sense of fatality or nostalgia, as if business operations and the economy have condemned us to suffer this loss of focus along with other emotional indignities. That feeling of fatality has been bothering me.

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Vertically Challenged: Stairs, the Final Frontier

The central staircase at Gensler's Washington, D.C., office seamlessly connects the first and second floors, allowing the two separate spaces to almost function as one. Image © Gensler

We workplace strategists and designers have learned how to create office layouts that optimize space utilization, flexibility and efficiency. We maximize the choice of settings in which office workers can go about their business. The layouts work pretty darned well on the horizontal dimensions of a building floor and the time dimension: as tasks morph over the hours of a day, our activity-based designs provide alternative work settings. We provide privacy or connectivity, as appropriate, for focus, collaborative, learning or social activity.

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