Meet The New Boss's Office, Same As The Old Boss's Office

gensler office of future

Gensler's Five Star Hotel from Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal asked four design firms to " configure a 15-foot by 15-foot space for a hypothetical midlevel executive. The office should look good, of course, but the firms were asked to envision a space that could inspire ideas and increase productivity."

What is surprising is how boring and unimaginative they turn out to be. Two are almost identical, with big video screens on the walls and glass on the entry, for transparency, of course. One firm, PDR, even proposed a cone of silence right out of Get Smart, though they call it "an acoustical dome that allows privacy while listening to music."

office of the future image

Studios Architecture had some interesting ideas, aiming to:

"create some sense of calm in an world that is so chaotic." Reducing carbon emissions is a major goal. Fresh air can flow through operable windows accented with succulent plants. Louvered shades maximize sunlight to cut electricity use.

office of the future 1922

In the end, these visions of the office are not that different from the 1922 vision of a 1972 office: the latest technology, a big window if you are lucky, but what else has changed?

If the goal is to create " inspiring, productive space that actually aids communication", they pretty much all fail to break out of the 15 foot square box. More in the Wall Street Journal.
More on the Office of the Future
A Revolutionary Future: Is the Office Necessary?
The Office of the Future: How We Will Work in 2025
What Is The Future Of The Office? Can Boomers and Millenials Mix?
Your Office is In Your Pants: 6 Trends Shaping The Way We Work

Follow me on Twitter! @lloydalter and friend me on Facebook