Nov 8, 201309:44 AMPoint of View

Q&A: John Michael

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Honorable Mention NEXUS: The Locomotion of Business by Sara Willhoite, Angie Tjisnoyo, Matthew Ford, Mina Lee of The University of Cincinnati

Courtesy Sara Willhoite

SSS: Does Business Interiors by Staples have some sort of post-occupancy study in place, in other words, do you find out what works and what doesn't work after the space has been occupied for a year or so? If yes, can you give some examples of lessons learned. If no, would it be useful to work with more knowledge about how workers use their spaces?

JM: Successful projects are the result of highly detailed programming efforts and strategic plans that embrace a broad range of team players.  We have in place a process to manage post occupancy surveys and the lessons learned are shared both internally and externally with the customer. 

Business models change and design solutions must be flexible and fluid to adapt to the business evolution. It is very common for our customers to tweak the second-generation design based on the lessons learned. As a result, better standard, “typical” solutions evolve that simplify the design process while making it easier for the facilities and real estate decision makers to manage furniture assets.

Finalist The ANYPLACE by Christopher Goggin, Paul Manno, Jean Wallace, Lindsey Matthias, Ashley Rose, Stephen Walsh, Francisco Barron, Gracie Andraos, Katie Christensen, Mark Harder, and Michael Cerda of Gensler, Dallas

Courtesy Gensler Dallas

SSS: Your collaborators at Allsteel do some very revealing work-pattern studies, which help them design the next generation of office furniture. In your 25 years of watching the office market, what do you see as the biggest catalyst to change today? I mean the kind of change that is forcing a reassessment of 20th century ways of furnishing for working.

JM: I believe that the biggest catalyst is the explosion of mobile technology over the past five years. Combine those mobile technologies with the influx of ‘digital natives’ entering the workforce and you have a real recipe for frame-breaking change in the nature of work and the environments that support work.

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