Technology is the single greatest force driving the changes in the way we work, live and behave.
The multiple devices we deploy throughout our work day allow us to flow between tasks, fluidly and frequently. And the user interface of these technologies are increasingly intuitive and responsive to the gestures of the human hands and face.
But what about the interface between the rest of the body and the place in which the device is being used? What about gesture recognition for the human body?
While our technologies have continued to advance, no one has designed for the impact of these technologies on the human body, or for the physiology of how work happens today.
Steelcase studied how our devices are changing the way we sit: the connection we have with our devices, desk, and chair. The system interfaces where out arms, core, and seat touch and push against the chair.
The result is the new Steelcase Gesture chair, which I would like to try for a week or two. (Are you listening, Steelcase?)
Donut by Suhyun Yoo, Eunah Kim and Jinwoo Chae
‘DONUT’ consent has a donut-shaped hole in the middle instead of two small holes. This makes life a lot easier because you can plug in all directions. You are not being constrained by just two holes. Even if this outlet is placed in out of sight. You can plug your sockets easily.
More about it: Behance
Andrew Blum, Office Upgrades
Examining the last century of the American ofﬁce, [Joseph] Filippelli identiﬁed a key moment when the workplace had taken a wrong turn: the postwar arrival of inoperable windows and complete HVAC systems, which standardized the atmosphere. It’s not typically put quite this way, but Filippelli’s notion was that when we standardized temperature, all the other elements of our environment followed. Ofﬁce workers were no longer masters of their own domains, but beholden to a set of optimized—and therefore standardized—conditions. It wasn’t about good or bad design, but merely the same design across a single space. “Nobody was really satisﬁed, because it was hitting that middle ground,” Filippelli says. “It’s hard to generalize for two people, let alone a group of people.”
The comfort-based approach he imagined cracks open the section of an ofﬁce building, with leasable modules that stretch between ﬂoors and ﬁt together, Jenga-like, forming “a ﬂuctuating gradient of vertically distributed atmospheres.” Of all the variables typically considered in new ofﬁce designs—break-out spaces and workbenches, elaborate kitchens and a library-like cocooning room—somehow the basic idea of temperature control has rarely entered the discussion, ostensibly imagined to be too expensive or difﬁcult to control. But by rearranging the space vertically, Filippelli convincingly shows that natural temperature gradients created by light and height can drive different kinds of programs: a “communal garden stair,” an “active-work table,” or a “single-occupancy modular ofﬁce pod.” There are allusions to touch-screen surfaces and “thermally active” materials, but for the most part, this workplace of the year 2020 could be built today. “I’m not pushing the envelope of anything we don’t have available,” Filippelli acknowledges. “I’m not using crazy technology where people are zipping around in little hovercrafts.” Yet it seems oddly ﬁtting that in a climate-obsessed future, our most pressing wish (and a workplace’s greatest perk) will be simple temperature control.
Metaform Portfolio is a new way to delineate interior space and create a multitude of settings and places to work in. It consists of a collection of modular blocks. Together with a range of work surfaces and an array of designated accessories, they form a system that supplies groups and individuals with everything they need to feel at home in their office. (via An Idea Whose Time Has Come - Metropolis Magazine - June 2013)
Yves Behar, Herman Miller Public Office Landscape
With the belief that the more people connect, the better they work, our approach began to think of every place in the office, including one’s individual desk, as a place for collaboration. We came up with the notion of “Social Desking.” Instead of being designed for one worker, we developed a system that is inviting to guests, with shared surfaces, no hierarchy implied by the use of small side chairs, and collaboration areas in close proximity.
COLLABORATIVE DENSITY: We believe collaboration doesn’t just happen in conference rooms—it happens everywhere. Successful, positive collaboration affects the quality of our ideas, drives innovation and helps businesses succeed. Public supports the fluid interactions and spontaneous conversations that are common in thriving businesses. The seating elements flow into desk surfaces, and fabric elements cleanly flow into hard surfaces.
EVOLUTIONARY DESIGN: We believe that workplaces are like businesses—they must continually change and adapt if they are to thrive. Public breaks the trend of static furniture and evolves with your work. Modular elements can evolve as team’s size and needs change. Walls, seating components and storage can be re-configured and adapted to new needs. The components are all the same across Individual Spaces, Interstitial Spaces and Group Spaces… hence, they can be re-deployed in new layouts that fit a company’s changing needs.
I would tweak ‘collaborative density’ to ‘coworking density’, but otherwise I like it all.
The most expensive, most intricate bike locks you can buy are really only guaranteeing that your bicycle’s frame doesn’t get stolen. Everything else, from your wheels to your seat, are fair game if not taken with you or somehow secured. But that ‘somehow’ could very well be these…
London designer Yoni Alter suggested a new approach to get the sluggards out of the left hand side of escalators:
Jenny Xie, A Potentially Brilliant Idea to Keep Escalator Obstructers to the Right
Alter’s proposal calls for highly visible orange decals that would signal the right side as stationary and the left side as intended for movement. The designer had first tried yellow footsteps, but thought that might be confused with a double yellow line. Alter writes via email that there are already audio announcements and signs reminding people to stand on the right and pass on the left, but neither are effective in an environment filled with advertisements. His bright-colored, conspicuous design, on the other hand, is meant to cut through the “visual noise” at transit centers and transcend language barriers.
Is this the simple solution busy commuters have been waiting for? Alter thinks so, but Transport for London, the city’s public transportation authority, is not yet convinced. Alter writes, “I had a long and frustrating correspondence with TFL, who said they are aware of the obstruction issue. But instead of considering my proposal, they promised to enhance the signs and announcements.” Alter even proposed that he test the decals for a brief period and remove them afterwards himself, but the TFL rejected this idea.
Alter has not given up and is now appealing to the public. A few days ago, he started a campaign on Thunderclap, a “crowdspeaking” platform where, if enough people pledge support for a cause, Thunderclap will “blast out” a Facebook post or tweet from all the supporters at the same time. Alter hopes that amassing more public support for the design proposal will give it a better chance of getting considered by TFL. With 9 days left in the campaign, the project has attained 91 percent of the target number of supporters.
The “Stand on right, walk on left” rule is common in various countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany. (Australians stand on the left and walk on the right). Alter’s proposal could appeal to commuters worldwide, if only it could catch the London government’s interest first.