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By Bryant Rice
I love whiteboards. Of course I enjoy eliciting, prioritizing, editing thoughts from colleagues or outside groups, but I also enjoy reading them. I think whiteboards are the pictographs of modern life. Lascaux modernized. Read the rest of this entry »

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By Bryant Rice
Late June, the Wall Street Journal did a story on the “dream office” titled “Designs to make you work harder”. They challenged 4 design firms to create a 15 by 15 foot space for a midlevel manager.

225 square feet for a mid-level manager? That’s a big office…one that usually has a sofa or conference table in addition to a desk. What kind of mid-level manager? What do they do? How do we know they need 225 square feet?

Each firm defined their client, and responded with spaces that had a lot of glass and opened onto the other office spaces. . .I guess for “the low level managed”. They were all “multi-purpose” and available for use when the manager was out. Beyond that, it bore no resemblance to the desires or practices that I see my clients  grappling with here in Silicon Valley. Read the rest of this entry »

By Bryant Rice
I recently viewed the new film Cowboys and Aliens from Dreamworks I liked it… more than I thought I would. Jon Favreau and Steven Spielberg  set about creating a modern interpretation of two previously well defined movie genres; the cowboy western of the 50’s and the sci-fi alien-comes-to-get-you thriller. The hybrid is refreshingly witty while providing many of the tried and true characters, relationships and scenarios introduced in the past. The “mash up” makes it better.

Seeing guns, spears and bowie knives paired with jets and an amazing piece of arm weaponry made me think of how many other things are made more interesting or relevant when viewed from a new perspective. Man Ray’s photography  takes the ordinary and reinterprets it with a focus on a detail, or a reference to a completely different subject. Duchamp did the same thing when he put that urinal on a museum pedestal. Read the rest of this entry »

By Bryant Rice
The development of products follows the elusive search for the future consumer. In the corporate furniture industry we are seeing the blending of traditional markets creating new items that combine functions and technologies from a number of sources. This is not new. Really creative designers have long prided themselves on the search for innovative products sourced from unlikely sources. This has yielded such time tested winners as the casket carrier table, the block and tackle side table, the cowboy boot lamp, and the antler chandelier. Eclecticism has always been an option in the sophisticated interior, whether inspired by Sir John Soane, or Elsie deWolfe.
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By Bryant Rice
Last week, I was part of a panel at the local CoreNet meeting at Juniper Networks. I presented material prepared by Andrew Laing, our director of strategy. He referenced Frank Duffy’s ideas in Work and the City where he describes the traditional method of envisioning, planning, financing and creating buildings and places. The concept is that the real estate industry is still producing space in roughly the same way it was done hundreds of years ago. Where every other market sector shows innovation in bringing products and services to market, we have not. Why is that?
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