What are some of the qualities that we would like to see in the ideal design and dynamic of the office space of the future? Today with the rise in globalization and the demand for more projects and growth in infrastructure, companies seek ways to maximize output, creativity, and incite collective collaboration within the office space. By incorporating cross-disciplinary approaches to the work setting, you allow the company to experience a more dynamic and fluid exchange between the workers which inevitably catalyzes creative experimentation and broader manifestations of innovations in settings that call for a multicultural environment. It is not only the way that the office space is physically designed and laid out, but it is also the internal moving components; the employees. Encouraging global talent exchange is a perfect way that an office space can adapt to new demands and allow this fluidity to take place. That and designing the perfect office layout, can essentially connect and complement a physical space and its people.
According to Innovation Spaces by Julie Wagner and Dan Watch, study has been done to study the patterns and ways in which different office layouts and hierarchies between co-workers and employees at a given firm change the dynamic and exchange of information within that limited space. These studies have proven that while many may think that designer and architects tend to be by themselves, they are usually more curious and like to collaborate with other architects. Examples of this can be seen in different successful design studios such as Bjarke Ingels’ BIG studio. According to an article in architectmagazine, he mentions that by having “accumulated architects and thinkers from more than 25 different nationalities spanning over four generations, they have a lot of different angles on each problem or potential which they have encountered”. A collaborative setting of internationals has shown that the mixture of different cultures and vast experiences has been a pinnacle in the design world.
Having a global platform that provides new methods in which more information travels within that design space, leads to exciting new ideas, because of cross-pollination of design principles and ideologies. Further research suggests that by having an open space with only low partitions between desks and sections, and strategically placed exits, corridors and/or staircases so that coworkers must pass along each other’s desk, also incentivizes the exchange of information. Of course, there are some considerations which have to be made, such as the interactions of coworkers of different fields. This is because there might be misunderstandings in terminology of the different professions and problems in hierarchies, but if you are able to create a system, or method in which these different sectors could work together, the potential of future projects would be immense. That same philosophy applies to the cross-cultural exchange that can potentially take places in an environment where different ideologies and people meet. Everyone has different ways in which a project is approached and what the end result will look like, but in an ideal space where everyone harmonizes, the impact of globalization in a firm and the world will be enormous, which is something that we firmly believe at Architect-US.
“You can’t be a global practitioner without transfusion experiences between different cultures. Architect-US is great because it simplifies the process.” HOK’s Design Principal, Kenneth Drucker
Cross pollination of people within an office space will also lead to business internationalization and will open new opportunities in foreign markets. It will benefit cosmopolitan and urban cities that have a lot of immigration and wide cultural mixes around the world as all the needs of people will be met. When firms hire international talent, they get input from someone that identifies with people from different demographics than those from the area where the firm is located, consequently expanding its resources and availability to approach problems that may otherwise be difficult to solve. Architect-US contributes to this matter by providing a global platform for US-based companies to sponsor highly qualified international architects and give them the opportunity to gain professional experience as part of the Exchange J-1 Visitor Program. Companies registered in the program find that all of this is essentially breaking down some of the barriers that have been created, intentionally or unintentionally. Creating a space that allows people to have interactions with one another in the day to day routines, will create a sense of community and long office hours which can feel overwhelming, may become a friendlier and more supportive environmentally. Wouldn’t it be great to have a sense of community and perspective in your office space?