#nextworkplace. Ideas need a place to have sex.

#nextworkplace was an event organized and moderated by Nuklee, during the last Architecture Congress held in Barcelona. Different experts from different files gave their points of view of work spaces; it served as a preamble to start a transdisciplinary round table. There was a debate about what is happening and where the new work spaces must go. (DISTRITO OFICINA)

The term workplace has been used for some time in the interior office design and as well as many other Anglicism, it has incorporated into our daily vocabulary.

But what is actually the workplace?

The concept of modern office is quite recent. Just 100 years ago appeared the first office, at the beginning it was an annex to the factories and considered just as a simple complement. It is the workplace the physical location where someone works? This place can vary from a small office within a house or in a large office building, even in a virtual place.

After the industrial revolution, the house and the workplace were disconnected, both the factory and the office. But now, thanks to the new mobile technologies, we can work not only at the office, but also at a bar, at library, at the airport, or even at our own bed. According to a study by the Wall Street Journal, currently 80% of young professionals in NY work at their beds.

Due to the technology, distances are no longer physical, but mental. This allows us to work at any time and place, because we carry the office as a backpack. Have we just defined the workplace and are we already killing it? Well, not, on the contrary, the moment of innovation at work has arrived.

Social interaction between workers is necessary and meetings with clients have just put us on the map. Companies, Startups, need to be rooted in the land. Both of them need spaces that make their brand live.

The human is human, because he relates to others. People need to interact and exchange ideas. Therefore, offices are increasingly a “meeting and exchange space” and not just a place to work.

The offices, apart from the social cohesion among employees, also have a symbolic function. A good design of workspaces can convey the identity (philosophy / culture) of a company. Values, mission and vision can be shown thanks to these.

Offices should be designed to ensure stimulation, creativity, innovation, learning and teamwork. On many occasions, to change the interior office design can expedite the change of the business philosophy. The information technologies and the philosophy of the company will entail one type or another of office concept and therefore one atmosphere or another.

It is about designing meeting points where you can talk. Offices that don’t allow talking are less creative. We need inspiring, modern, flexible and agile environments. Spaces to generate better ideas and solutions.

The “server spaces” (the welcoming area, halls, dining room, vending, waiting, rest and play areas …) work as connection nodes and articulate the different “spaces served” (work, meeting, …). These spaces attract people promoting casual encounters and favoring the interrelation between people. Therefore the location and design of these spaces are essential and must be taken into account.

Interpersonal communication provokes innovative ideas. To procreate ideas, ideas are needed, and as Matt Ridley points “ideas need a place to have sex” and when ideas are related, that is when we innovate. Do we innovate together? (TED Talks)


Miquel Àngel Julià. Director of strategy and design at Nuklee