Monthly Archives: June 2010

Workplace 2030

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Johnson Controls has self-funded a large body of research on the workplace.  One of the results is a paper called “The Smart Workplace of 2030”. The language of the paper suggests that the current trend we see toward community space, with emphasis on collaboration and innovation, will be in full maturity in 2030.  The “Key Outputs” are defined as:

  • The permanent physical location of work is the Hive
  • Work grows through Cloud Networks
  • The Eco Office becomes intelligent growth zones where individuals with a common interest meet and collaborate
  • Collective knowledge zones form a powerful collective intelligence, which is then automatically scanned, recorded and classified to use in business results
  • Our technology solutions are intuitive, embedded in our environment and non intrusive, yet controllable by each individual
  • The Smart Worker is equipped with remarkable technological tools and solutions, intuitive systems and solutions

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Science Park Trends

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We are seeing an interest in developing 30,000 sf to 45,000 sf one story incubator buildings in a science campus.  These buildings are designed to encourage science and technology entrepreneurship.  The incubator provides the resources required for developing the research initiatives of young start-up companies.

This 1 story, developer “Flex” type building is designed to be used as office/flex warehouse if a laboratory market cannot initially support full facility occupancy.  These “flex” type buildings are economical and the large interior spans of the structural system provide an easily configurable interior space.  1 story facility eliminates the cost of heavy structural framing of multi-story buildings to provide for a vibration free facility required to support a lab use as many scientific instruments are vibration sensitive.

Incubator Building Program:

Programmatic Spaces:
          Modular Laboratory bays (11’x30’)
          Shared laboratory support spaces and specialty function spaces.
          Office areas
          Collaboration space
          Building support areas: Mechanical & Electrical services, receiving/dock area,
          exterior equipment support zone for generators, cylinder storage, etc.

The Luck Factor

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Get lucky recently?  This old saying comes from the idea of receiving more benefit than the effort it took to get the results.  Who doesn’t want more for less!  Some people appear to have a knack to achieving more.  They seem to possess more luck than others.  Why?  Are they more intelligent, or more psychic? 

In his 2003 book, “The Luck Factor”, Dr. Richard Wiseman believes he found some answers to the question of why one person has more luck than another person.  Dr. Wiseman conducted research on 400 “lucky / unlucky” individuals over 8 years.  In his results he points to “behaviors”, not mysticism, as the cause of one individuals success over another. 

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A New Guide Has Arrived

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The National Research Council last week released an updated edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, which recommends standards and practices to research scientists and their institutions for the humane care and treatment of animals in research, testing, or teaching. Last published in 1996, the guide’s latest edition contains expanded chapters and sections on ethical principles for working with laboratory animals; guidelines for institutions to establish and maintain an Animal Care and Use Program; housing and environment standards for land and aquatic animals; standards for a veterinary and clinical care program and responsibilities of the attending veterinarian; and requirements for an institution’s overall physical facility design.

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A Roadmap for Creating Positive Futures

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The approach of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is vitally important to our work with our customers’ organizations. 

As we continue to enter worlds of work that focus of what are traditionally called “softer” aspects of the human condition (feelings, behaviors, caring, relationship, etc.) we must understand the confluence of ideas that are presented in this paper.  Written in 2002, the paper makes a compelling case for integrating our sentient and rational thinking approach to architecture with our intuitive and emotional cognitions so we may approach architecture from the relationships between people within the place; i.e. Relationship Architecture.

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Workplace Design Driven By Collaboration

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The activity of collaboration has become so essential and omnipresent that we are often reaching for what it really means specifically in any given project.  It seems that the term collaboration itself has lost some of its meaning from shear frequency of use.  I wanted to capture a couple of ideas from our research that seemed especially poignant when the design of the workplace has collaboration as a primary goal. 

We often create predominantly open environments with organizations that want to increase collaboration in their culture and work process. Open, in this case, means personal assigned space is open and accessible to increase communication and tacit learning.  The need to balance employee preferences for enclosed individual spaces (offices) with work patterns that improve team performance always rises to the top of the “issues” list. I like what Frank Becker has to say about reconciling these competing needs (personal and organizational)on page 29 of his book Offices at Work

The reality is that small-scale, team oriented open plan clusters designed as an activity-based workplace strategy have a myriad of benefits.  More expensive, less flexible enclosed offices/spaces undermine interaction and render tacit learning nearly impossible.  Yet the vast majority of people, in just about any job and at any level prefer having their own fully enclosed office.  Finding the right balance between satisfying employee preferences and work patterns that benefit the team and organization (not just the individual) is truly a wicked problem; it has no easy answers.

Translational Research for Alternative Energy

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How many of us will confess to using the latest “buzz words” or jargon to the point that we’ve forgotten its real meaning?  I’ll admit I participate in an extremely jargon-rich profession, and I’m guilty.  In the last 20 years I’ve had a lot of direct interaction with scientists.  I know them to be very skeptical people who exist in a world where there is always talk of ground breaking and revolutionary ideas.  They also are much more careful about grabbing the latest trends and “buzz words”.  This explains my surprise to hear the concept of Translational Research applied to Alternative Energy Research at a recent trip to one of our National Labs.

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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

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What motivates you to work?  Money?  Prestige?  Forms of reward?  Avoidance of punishment?  Why?

Daniel Pink has published his follow-up book, “Drive”, to his 2006 smash book, “A Whole New Mind”.  In “…new mind” Dan approached the idea of an evolution in human thinking from the left brain dominance of the past 100 years, toward the right brain future dominance of creativity and meaning. 

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