People Place Performance, Workplace Design

I was recently approached by Building Design magazine – hot on the heels of the launch in May of our See Further magazine – who wanted to publish a shortened version of the article Albert de Plazaola and I wrote outlining our views on “experience design.” It reminded me how especially relevant this issue is for occupiers at the moment, who are more keen than ever before to explore the impact of design and experience on organisational engagement. How might this help them change the culture of their organisation and put the user at the heart of the workplace experience?

Organisations are thinking more and more creatively about the environments that they provide to staff, taking into account how they can engage the workforce, encourage innovation and retain their talent, through provision of more meaningful spaces that create a greater sense of community. They are increasingly prioritising the social aspects of work – the modern office is far from simply being a place in which to get the job done. These fundamental changes – a faster-paced, less formal culture with a stronger social agenda – are bound to have an impact on the traditional view of the office environment.

With this in mind, we need to re-think office design, putting employees (or perhaps, more accurately, consumers) at the heart of the workplace. It’s all about experience. We need to build a holistic system of services, technology and physical places that enable productivity. Many will still try to make this brief fit awkwardly into the traditional idea of the office, but  the way I envisage the office of the future is much more like a hotel, or city quarter, where the 9-5, desk-based drudgery will be consigned to history.

The next issue of See Further will be released on the 26th June 2014.


francesca_jack18_1Francesca Jack ( is a director with AECOM’s Strategy Plus practice in London.

Originally published Jun 20, 2014

Author: Francesca Jack