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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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Friday
Dec042015

Good Design Alone Won’t Eradicate Mindless Meetings 

Image © Wendy Andrew-Doele

Most of our recent workplace designs have dramatically increased the amount of meeting space available to the client. This happens not only because our clients usually ask for such increases, but our utilization studies tend to substantiate the need for more meeting areas. In many ways, building a case for more meeting spaces in the modern (frequently more open) workplace is easy. Yet there is a larger underlying question that goes beyond simple space issues: what type of a collaborative culture is an organization trying to foster? More cool and tech enabled meeting rooms are usually a good thing, but more meetings are usually not. In the research we do—the surveys, focus groups, interviews and other studies—a typical refrain is that there are too many meetings and many meetings are “a waste of time.”

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Thursday
Dec032015

Does Wellness Translate Across Culture? 

Differing cultural norms make it challenging to bring the wellness concepts taken as gospel in Western countries into Eastern countries like China. But that doesn't mean Chinese workers don't value wellness. Above: a yoga room at Gensler's Shanghai office. Image © Gensler

The word wellness can be loosely translated into Chinese as 养生 (yǎng shēng), which literally means “nurturing life.” It implies a very gentle, well-rounded approach to a wholesome lifestyle. It calls to mind a sexagenarian doing tai chi at dawn or sipping herbal tea in the afternoon.

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Wednesday
Dec022015

Cost Versus Value in Corporate Real Estate

Supplementing utilization data with activity data represents both the cost and value of corporate real estate. Image © Gensler

As more companies move from dedicated seating environments to free address or mobile arrangements, questions about space utilization and cost can quickly become a greater focus. But cost alone should not overshadow the value that the right space can provide occupants. Over the years Gensler has used a variety of technologies, methodologies, and analysis methods to inform real estate and workplace strategies from both a cost and value perspective. Along the way, we’ve developed best practices and guidelines for data capture and analysis that have been applied to workplaces around the world. Gensler recently presented on this topic at the IFMA World Workplace Conference in Denver, Colorado and will be sharing it as part of a three part blog series.

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Tuesday
Dec012015

Advanced Architectural Design and Visualization with NVIDIA Iray 

This rendering of NVIDIA’s new headquarters was produced using the company’s IRAY software. Rendering courtesy of Iray.

Visualization has been part of the architectural design process for as long as architects and designers have been putting pencil to tracing paper. And as building design has evolved, so have the tools used to create and render everything architects and designers conceive of. But they have not evolved in lockstep. Even now, the most advanced digital rendering software provides only an approximation of the look and feel of a space. Critical aspects of contemporary designs—for example accurately simulating how form, light, and materials will interact in a space—hasn’t been widely possible. Until now.

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Tuesday
Nov032015

Gensler Launches Design Strategist Development (DSD) Program 

Image © Gensler

Three years ago, the leadership of Gensler’s Consulting practice gathered in a conference room in Washington, D.C. to discuss the issues and challenges facing our clients. Our goal was to develop strategies to help them solve pressing problems: how to deal with the recruiting wars, how to adapt in times of economic uncertainty, how to handle increasingly rapid changes in the competitive landscape and operations.

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