Q&A: Designing the office of the future

By Christie Nicholson | November 2, 2012, 4:00 AM PDT

Technology has changed every part of our day-to-day lives. We’ve heard it a hundred times. And a big shift caused by rapidly changing technology has been, of course, in our work spaces. Or rather the emerging lack of a permanent work space. The first major shift to a flexible office environment was the creation of the cubicle in the 1960s. But now many designers have been re-thinking the cubicle’s design, including entirely open-office designs as well as more mobile office spaces. Still, many designers might think that design is enough, meaning let’s change the layout and the design of furniture and then the way we work and how well we work, will change for the better too.

Allison Arieff, the editor and content strategist for the urban planning think tank SPUR, believes this is not the way it ought to be done. She holds that most office workers would happily give up a new natural lighting system for a better health care program or an ability to work from home more often. For Arieff redesigning the cubicle is not the way to reset the culture of work.

SmartPlanet caught up with Arieff at her home office to talk about the future of office space and the trends that start first with examining how people work today, and then lead to changes that support our new domain.

Read more: Q&A: Designing the office of the future | SmartPlanet.

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