Infographic: The Evolution of the Office

00:00 - 24 June, 2014
© Sunica de Klerk
© Sunica de Klerk

Learn about the evolution of the workplace, from the very first office developed by the De Medici family to today's open collaboration spaces, after the break!

Caring for Your Office Introvert

14:08 - 13 March, 2012
The Crystal by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects is a typically extroverted office environment.
The Crystal by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects is a typically extroverted office environment.

“this open, ‘collaborative’ environment, where worker drones so nicely sit in poise out in the open while click-clacking on their computers, creates an atmosphere where people become desensitized to being on display. Sitting and thinking is actually frowned upon as being a waste of productivity. Why are you just sitting there? Why are you not talking, or typing, or writing, or drawing, or multitasking?”

– Mark Genest, comment on “In Defense of Introverts” [1]

Consider the contemporary office. White floors, minimalist style, no pesky walls getting in the way – just pure, unadulterated openness.

From our assembly-line past has emerged an increasingly consumer-oriented world, in which collaboration and gregariousness are valuable commodities. As a result, offices that resemble art galleries – with the employees on display – have become the norm, and while this sociable environment is energizing for the extrovert, for the introvert, it’s crippling.

In my last article, “In Defense of Introverts,” I posited that learning modalities, which better incorporate our introverted brethren, could revolutionize classroom design. In this one, I expand the concept to that of working modalities: an answer for office design that would engender an office culture sensitive to introverted rhythms and – at last – expand the way we conceive of creativity and innovation as a purely extroverted enterprise.