Thanks to our friends at Loosecubes for featuring DEGW’s very own Peter Bacevice in their latest newsletter. Peter recently wrote a guest post on the Loosecubes blog about networked individualism and its impact on work culture.  Check it out and be inspired to Crowdsource Your Next Water Cooler Chat!


via about knowledge work today

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By Andrew Laing, PhD, Director, DEGW
Want to see a city that expresses the thrumming energy of modern American industrial capitalism at its apogee? See Buffalo, 1905. I went there last weekend and was astonished by the legacy of the urban architecture that tells an impressive story about the role of architecture in re-imagining space and the city for a super dynamic economy.

Start with Darwin D. Martin, the organizational genius who rose from selling soap on the streets of New York to become a senior executive of the Larkin Company. The Larkin Company was in effect a kind of Google or Amazon of its day: using modern systems of information (card indexes of customers) to optimize commercial relationships with consumers distributed widely across the continent linked together by mail order. Darwin Martin then found an architectural genius in the form of Frank Lloyd Wright who helped him re-imagine how the functional design of the workplace for the Administration Building of the Larkin Company could take their business to new level of effectiveness. Tragically, the Larkin Building was demolished in 1940.

But Darwin Martin also was inspired to use Frank Lloyd Wright to design a complex of residential buildings for his extended family and servants: The Martin House. Here Frank Lloyd Wright was able to explore the creation of a series of linked building in an urban landscape. A lengthy process of restoration and reconstruction now reveals the amazing ideas for domestic living that Wright created for the Martins. Flowing rooms and connected indoor/outdoor spaces open up to the landscape. A brilliant visitor center designed by Toshiko Mori is placed next to the house.

Just as the Larkin Building revolutionized how the design of office space could accelerate the flow of ideas and information, the Martin House suggests how living might be reinvented in the early twentieth century. Both of these commissions for Frank Lloyd Wright remind us that in our own age of fast growing global cities we need bold, daring and radical collaborations between clients, users, and architects to re-imagine our urban ways of living and working.

By Andrew Laing, PhD, Director, DEGW
I was very excited to be invited to share DEGW’s thinking about the corporate workplace at a conference about “Future Learning Environments – How Space Impacts on Learning” held at the Nobel Forum of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden on the 3-5th June.  The presentations and discussion focused on inter-professional education in the medical field. The demand for change is driven by the need to challenge the misalignment between specialized medical buildings and spaces and the growing need to enable team based inter-disciplinary and inter professional learning. How to better align the design of space with emerging curriculum and pedagogy? Read the rest of this entry »

Our friends over at Loosecubes have kicked off the Summer Coworking Challenge— a month-long campaign to raise the awareness of coworking. From June 6th – July 4th, Loosecubes will be promoting coworking to the masses and encouraging potential coworkers to give it a try (and have fun doing it). Loosecubes members will be able to book any space in the community at no charge.

So, challenge yourself to be happier, more productive, and better connected. Try coworking for FREE and join the movement toward a better way of working.

For more information and to get involved in the Summer Coworking Challenge, click here.

If you are interested in booking a loosecube at DEGW, check out our space profile!

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By Peter Bacevice,
How often does a fast growing entertainment start-up company hang out with your team? Has a sustainable food blogger enlightened you over lunch, or has a fashion designer inspired your upcoming summer look with a virtual runway? It is accepted wisdom that creativity stems from chance encounters. In some organizations, chance encounters are often embedded in routines among colleagues. At best, you might run into someone you haven’t seen in a while as you grab coffee. But a new workplace trend will ensure that you encounter some radically different people and ideas. Read the rest of this entry »

Here are some links to what we are reading around here. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

Designing a More Work-Friendly Workspace
Entrepreneur Magazine. By Katherine Duncan
The Flight From Conversation
New York Times. By Sherry Turkle
Google’s Low-Tech Incubator For High-Tech Startups By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan

D.I.Y Urbanism: Almere Oosterworld / MVRDV By Irina Vinnitskaya

Why it’s time to cut the employee-office leash By Georgia Collins, managing director, DEGW
Warming Up to the Officeless Office
Wall Street Journal. By Rachel Emma Silverman
Fire, Snowball, Mask, Movie: How Leaders Spark and Sustain Change
Harvard Business Review. By Peter Fuda and Richard Badham
Working at Home, with Children
Huffington Post, By Georgia Collins, managing director, DEGW
When Does it Make Sense to Kill the Cubicle?
Forbes. By Tim Clark

The same practice, now strengthened with a broader range of related expertise.

For four decades, DEGW has guided organizations on the relationships between people and the design of physical place to enhance organizational performance. This tradition continues on a wider platform, as DEGW becomes the Strategy Plus practice at AECOM.

Strategy Plus is a new practice at AECOM that joins together the strategy consultants of DEGW with AECOM’s planners, interior designers, architects and building engineers. From insight to implementation, Strategy Plus enables clients to evaluate and optimize their performance—from the policies that shape their workforce to the buildings and spaces where work is conducted. Read the rest of this entry »

By Amy Kwok
“Agile, Scrum, Scrummaster.” At first utterance it may sound like a Dungeons and Dragon game but once you get into what agile development really is, it’s really not that foreign and can actually be kind of cool.

In layman’s terms, agile development is about different methods and processes of working which was initially created by software developers in their daily work processes and work with teams. Here in San Francisco and being surrounded by the tech industries, it is no wonder that we’re finding that other groups and industries beyond the tech world are starting to adopt agile development techniques as part of their way of working. Read the rest of this entry »

Dave Collins, Strategic Consultant, DEGW San Francisco
Last Sunday’s Mad Men season five premiere was more than just a welcome back party for the familiar gang at Sterling Cooper Draper Price. It was also a polite conversation on the value of offices in the Modern (read: 1963) workplace. Just as the twits at Y&R were dropping water balloons on the heads of the growing crowds of civil rights protestors, Pete Campbell was bemoaning the fact that his office is simply not big enough to bring in the large clients he now has under his control in the fledgling firm. But before we delve into the quandary Pete finds himself in regards to square footage and load bearing beams, let’s reflect a moment on how far the show has progressed in the realm of workplace design. Read the rest of this entry »