Dex - Vitra Conference - Creative space1

This was the question posed during a Curiosity event organised by DEX workspaces last month. The conference was addressed by Raphael Gielgen,  head of research and trendscouting for Swiss furniture makers Vitra.

The theme of the event was all about challenging the status quo within what we know to be a traditional office environment. Jon Lecarre says “The desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world”, and this is even more apparent in a world where digital companies, tools and attitudes have almost obliterated all that is left of the analogue business model. However, taking the leap and having the resilience to reorganise and foster an environment that encourages talent to flourish requires some creativity.

Dex - Vitra Conference - Raphael Gielgen

Today’s modern organisations look at harnessing and developing talent as oppose to skills. Enter the idea of Heimat: a German word with no English equivalent that denotes the relationship of a human being with the space around them. Newer philosophies in the workplace call for efficiency to work hand in hand with creativity, giving employees the space to develop ideas in whatever field or department their role might be linked to.  In order to facilitate this, working environments are changing to allow for a different perspective other than that seen from behind a traditional desk. In many cutting edge environments like Vitra’s own Campus and Design Museum, spaces are broken down to offer creative workshops, snug meeting spaces, homely recreational areas and contemplative corners. Individual workstations are also adapted across an organisation to suit the needs of the function performed in that area.

Dex - Vitra Conference - Individual Workspace

Dex - Vitra Conference - Collaborative workspace

We have seen the likes of these kinds of environments at the Googles and Facebooks of the world, but I was interested to find out how far this ideology really is spreading and whether a more traditional place like Malta can awaken to it.  I posed this question to Raphael who clarified that everyone needs to give themselves a realistic transfer time to adopt these kinds of changes, which permeate culture as well as physical environment. He said that it is the critical mass of today’s younger, more progressive minds that will drive the change, even though environments can change attitudes as well.  With the conference aimed at local architects and interior designers, I also asked Raphael whether these creative minds were able to turn around Malta’s desire to build new and shiny conservative office spaces without much thought for creating the workspace for the digital age. He felt that while some would still serve the client’s’ demands without critique or creative input, most today seem to adopt more of a “concierge” mentality, guiding, offering alternatives and creating an experience that the clients were not even aware they wanted.

Dex - Vitra Conference - Meeting spaces

The common thread in business in the world today is people, not process or technology. Creating a community destination for your people to harness their creativity and build a long term future for your business reflects a renaissance of values in companies today.

If you are interested in creative solutions to challenge the status quo and give your people a working environment they truly look forward to coming to every day, speak to the team at DEX workspaces, the home of Vitra in Malta.



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