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State of Work: Blur the Edges Event


The Formcraft team was excited to attend State of Work: Blur the Edges Lunch & Learn at the Union League of Philadelphia on June 6, 2018. It included an informative and inspiring presentation from industry professional Amanda Buck regarding how designers and architects are tasked with the exciting challenge of blurring the lines between old workspaces and new workspaces.

“We are in the middle of an office renaissance,” Buck said. “The workplace matters now more than ever.”

Office spaces are becoming increasingly important as companies strive to keep their employees in the workplace, or in some cases, get them back to the office. The issue, Buck explained, is that the “old office model” is not serving the needs of present day employees. Often, employees do not feel that their company provides space where they can be creative.

“Culture is one of the biggest things we can control at a company,” Buck said. “It attracts and retains talent.” One way of nurturing this culture is by creating a third space in the office. A third space refers to a place different from home or work, but instead meant to encourage comfortable impromptu meetings, informal interaction with co-workers and independent brainstorming.

Daniella Pifano, Architect at Formcraft, was intrigued by the third space aspect. “The third space concept is interesting because it’s all about experience,” she said. “The presentation was about how technology and furniture can support that experience.”

Buck explained that what customers, clients and, most importantly, employees want to see when they walk into an office is color, materiality, culture and brand. “Clients want to feel like when they come to a business, they get a custom experience,” Buck said. “Employees want to feel the same way.”

One of the main disruptors encouraging changes within organizations today is culture. The diversity of employees, generational and geographically, means certain employees require different things. For example, an office in the city has different needs than a suburban office. Employees today are working for more than a paycheck and want a sense of purpose.

Buck ended with a few principles to help designers blur the edges between old workspaces and new workspaces:

  1. Create emotional connections with purposeful design elements that inspire creative thinking and encourage a team culture.

  2. Nurture confidence with equal access to spaces and tools that promote equal participation.

  3. Build a fluid ecosystem with a variety of spaces that support independent work and team collaboration as workers go through the creative process.

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