Frame #126


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AMSTERDAM – As offices are forced to redefine their very reason for existence, the Jan/Feb issue of Frame magazine explores alternative spaces to conduct work.

Autonomous cars turn drivers into passengers and give them the opportunity to make more productive use of their commute. Airlines redesign their business lounges to include facilities that blend the sociability and productive potential demanded by today’s business community. The company accommodation makes a comeback and the promise of the virtual office is being realized thanks to improved VR and AR technology. The world is becoming well accustomed to the idea that work doesn’t always take place between four walls. Business is traversing the boundaries of space and time.

Technology gets intuitive. Architecture goes open-source. The true costs of design labour emerge. Can digital clothing save the planet? Is hyper-customization going too far? Discover new directions in the world of products.

The Challenge: Open Plan 2.0
In the lead-up to each issue, Frame challenges emerging designers to answer a topical question with a future-forward concept. Recent studies by Harvard and the Auckland University of Technology undermine the open-plan office. Once championed as a facilitator of collaboration among employees, an unstructured environment has the opposite effect, according to experts who claim that open-plan workplaces impede interaction and lower productivity. Resurrecting the cubicle certainly can’t be the answer, so what are the alternatives? We asked five makers to share their ideas.

Paola Navone imagines an object-free future. Alberto Caiola stirs up Asian fusion. Alicja Kwade masters the art of illusion. Dong-Ping Wong wins with weirdness. Meet the people. Get their perspectives. 

Digital engagement replaces the real deal in retail. Schools are starting to look like Silicon Valley start-ups. Architects guide mourners through the grieving process. Step inside the great indoors.

Work Lab
Whether they prefer the term ‘flexible’, ‘agile’ or ‘remote’, today’s business leaders and their employees understand that spending your nine-to-five in a fixed office space is no longer a logical choice. Indeed, recent research by Fuze found that 83 per cent of workers don't think they need a physical office to be productive. Where will we work in the future? Can the traditional office retain its relevance? And what happens when boundaries between home and work blur?

Report: Work
Brands prepare for a post-desk world. Flexible furniture helps foster community. Acoustic solutions beat distraction. Offices make us feel more at home at work. Discover what’s driving the business of design.

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