Anyone familiar with the very successful AMC series Mad Men will know what I mean when I talk about 1960s office architecture. Uniform floors stretching from the heart in the middle (with the central organs like elevators and receptions) to the lower management employees in the next ring, ending at the windows where the real white-collar workers were seated in their closed offices. And the real important managers usually inhabited the squares of each floor.
It seems to make sense, providing prominent managers with the best spots near the window. Yet not according to the world-renowned scholar Richard Florida. In The Rise of the Creative Class (2012) he explains that a worse office architecture is almost unthinkable, especially in our modern economy.
Creative work today is almost necessarily co-creative work. Co-creation can take the form of crowdsourcing (Malone et al., 2010), but Saarijävi et al. (2013) argue that co-creation is a hard concept to grasp. The question is for whom, by whom and with what, which sort of value is in fact created. According to Florida (2012) one thing is clear: co-creation can be improved through architecture.
Why are the offices of the Mad Men era no longer suitable? Continue reading Does “co-location” precede co-creation?