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What is the most important information you receive from corporate office design clients when you first meet them for a programming session? Maybe your typical fact-finding discussions might include questions like:
- How does your company work?
- How do your people work?
- How do you want people to work differently from how they currently operate?
In this current economy, most of my clients are either reducing their total square footage or renovating so their current space can accommodate twice as many people. Increasingly, companies have executives or staffers who work remotely and only occasionally need a spot in the office alongside local, full-time employees.
Collaboration, more teaming areas, and technology integration are essential (and have been for decades). Now, however, we’re expanding virtualization while constrained by limiting economic realities.
That means the challenge to workplace designers today is to collaborate with furniture manufacturers to identify or create products that make executives’ lives easier, accommodate today’s workforce trends, and enable collaboration without boundaries.
One product that is currently installed in the DC Steelcase Showroom arguably achieves these qualities. Not only does media:scape facilitate collaboration via technology, but it also maximizes efficiency, time savings, and flexibility.
Last month, I sat down with our local rep — Janet Davis — and picked her brain while experiencing media:scape for myself.
media:scape is characterized as a “walk up and connect” product when multiple people want to share information. It has an integrated table with power ports and media wall (which holds power and 4-6 pucks) that enables individuals to plug in laptops with ease. Or, plug a puck into any USB port, click the puck, and your laptop appears onto the mounted LCD screen. If your colleague wants to display her information, she clicks her puck instead and her screen appears on the monitor.
The technology integration is that easy. Really.
Already, I realized many of my clients’ output would be substantially improved with this product.
But beyond its plug-and-play technology elements, media:scape promotes physical and virtual collaboration through its design, as well. The Ãƒâ€š positioning of the technology is at the head of the table — not in front of a specific individual. This placement, combined with the unique shape of the table, encourages face-to-face communication to complement the easy video conferencing with satellite offices and staff members elsewhere.
media:scape comes in three different table heights: lounge, standard seating, and standing. Each has a distinct feel that, when integrated throughout a cohesive workspace, gives staff members a few choices to suit each individual’s work style preference.
From focused collaboration and break-outs to a formal meeting and video conferencing area, media:scape provides the means in a single product. Or, it can be placed in a café-style setting to encourage informal discussions outside of more traditional brainstorming workspaces.
Regardless, this product is efficient, fun, versatile, and functional. Its many configurations can suit just about any workplace environment and discriminating client.
Learn more about media:scape by visiting your local Steelcase representative. All pictures and detailed information about media:scape are property of Steelcase Inc. and were provided for use with permission by Steelcase, Inc.
Erika – thanks so much for spreading the word about media:scape!
Our hope is that more and more organizations use media:scape to provide a collaborative alternative to traditional meeting spaces – and to the endless number of boring, leader-led meetings that consume today’s workers!
Thanks for an excellent article Erika, media:scape really does provide some great ways for small groups to collaborate and work together.