In my first post, I suggested that we humans tend to rely on self-referential thinking. It goes like this: Somebody makes a statement at a conference or in a blog like “Baby Boomers are slow to change and will resist learning new technology,” and it gets repeated, maybe in a news story or tweets about the presentation – and over time, it’s passed on and on. And now, because it’s been uttered by a whole host of voices, and we’ve heard it from a number of sources, we assume it’s true. While this clearly happens much too often, we rarely discuss the implications of drawing conclusions based on shared assumptions, over simplifications, or the latest trends.
Instead of repeating received wisdom, we need to develop or adopt effective evidence-based methodologies for gaining a thorough understanding of work as the basis for workplace design. For instance, can we really assume that open plan is always better than private offices? Will people collaborate more and better when they’re in the open, together? Will placing some soft seating in a corner cause spontaneous collaboration to break out? Should we be putting everyone at benches, regardless of their job function or work practices? If we work with these assumptions, we risk designing spaces that sit underutilized, occupied by workers who don’t have the tools or other ‘affordances’ they need to do the best work they’re capable of.
Zipcar’s new ad campaign encourages office workers to “Zip Out of the Bored Room.”
How can we design spaces that workers won’t want to escape?
By 2015, more than 15.5 million Americans ages 65 and older will live in communities where public transportation service is poor or non-existent, a new study shows. That number is expected to continue to grow rapidly as
Phoenix (November 15, 2010) — East Valley Partnership’s annual economic forum in Gilbert spurred discussion about how cities should be planned and built for the future…for people, not cars. This discussion was led by Rebecca Ryan, who has conducted extensive research on America’s younger generations as founder of Next Generation Consulting in Madison, Wisconsin.