The Shop @ VSP Global needed a makeover. The eye-care giant VSP Global wanted to attract regional talent by promoting its status as a user-friendly prototyping lab. For help renovating its modern, glass-box building on 17th and I streets, strategists turned to architecture firm Dreyfuss & Blackford. The choice seemed like fate, considering the firm originally designed the building as a Vogel Chevrolet showroom back in 1956.
VSP wanted the space to be flexible, buildable and breakable, a learning space and a prototype in itself (form following function). With that in mind, architects put wheels on the tables and on corrugated cardboard walls to make everything portable and adaptable.
“The rapid evolution of the way we work is driven by technology,” says Design Principal Jason Silva, who oversaw the project. “You end up with an ability to think fast, move rapidly, make quick decisions and have failure happen quicker so you can achieve success.”
The best visions evolve out of a joint effort between the physical (architects) and operational (leadership) sides, Silva says.
“This idea of experimentation in the work environment and flexibility of individuals to be able to work out their own ideas is something very attractive to millennials,” he says. “We’re still in the process of understanding this younger generation, but it behooves an organization to be deliberate when they’re planning for the future.”
Creative teams want an environment that allows them to:
- Focus: Be productive and concentrate on critical tasks.
- Collaborate: Brainstorm and share resources.
- Learn: Listen to lectures, webinars and video presentations.
- Socialize: Relax, have fun and give the brain a break.
Like what you’ve read? Check out Russell Nichols’ September feature on modern workspaces.
The old-school office style emphasized privacy and individual productivity. But the new model prioritizes the ideals of the creative class — that fast-growing, highly educated, well-paid segment of the workforce that values creativity, collaboration and the ability to customize.
Walk into any coffee shop and it’s obvious that the place we call “the office” has changed. Many of the people sitting at tables are likely mixing laptops with lattes as they browse email and write reports. Some may be pitching a sale over coffee.
Technological innovations, workforce trends and entrepreneurial spirits are allowing more American workers to step away from cubicles and corner offices and into the comforts of their own homes.
David Garcia, Stockton born and bred, has a background in urban policy and planning and has called cities like Baltimore and Washington, D.C., home. So when he and Tim Egkan co-founded Huddle, a new coworking space in downtown Stockton that held its soft opening last June, he knew change was possible. But that doesn’t mean he thinks it will be easy.