Maybe I’m a snob or attached to a bourgeois and outdated view of interior design, but I honestly find most of the “coolest” or “trendy” or “best” offices going about the social media definitely tasteless.
It often happens to receive lists from everywhere in the world, especially drawn up by Anglo-Saxons, for instance one I got lately reports the coolest workplaces in Singapore.
I dare not criticize Google’s view, that has really changed the way of conceiving working environments and styles, but I ask myself: is it really necessary to use a tuk-tuk as meeting room or a hammock as chair or a crate for vegetables as bookcase to create an original and innovatory office?
We have always promoted concepts of informality as a possible way to avoid standardized offices, or of domesticity to make them more pleasant, of play to make them livelier… but it risks to be a narrow view, besides being kitschy, to think that the life quality of a working environment can be ensured just with a table soccer or an improbable workstation shaped like a floral hut inspired by the game Monopoly (believe me: that happens in Dubai!).
I’m beginning to find this excess, this irritating formal noise of the coolest offices at all costs quite uninteresting.
These stylistic features, at a crossroads between outrageousness and entertainment, were the breaking point of the workplace 2.0 introduced by the new aesthetic vision of startup companies (and a clear reaction to minimalism and extreme practicality). But we expect the workplace 3.0 to be something more balanced, less garish.
An innovatory design, of course, but in more realistic and structural ways, putting the organizing change and the identity of the deftest companies into a physical environment, to meet smart- working methods with suitable products, even some vintage piece to give a personal touch to the room is okay (but not the gong, please, that’s inadmissible!).
Probably I’m conditioned by my proudly Italian and Mediterranean cultural roots, but I expect more harmony from the workplace 3.0. Less cool yet smarter and beauty.
Editorial by Renata Sias, editor WOW! Webmagazine.
Photo: ST File (Google); officesnapshots.com (Flintstone Office)