Lighting the Global Workspace
A Collaborative Project on light and lighting in the contemporary office involving universities from Medellín, Lagos, Berlin, Manila and Sydney
From the initial survey of fifty offices, twenty-five were selected for further investigation and design proposals. Students were reconfigured into larger teams, as they focused on half the number of workplaces. They were asked to consider a practical solution for each of the workplace conditions and a speculative vision for the future. Students’ proposals were rooted in an informed analysis of each workplace. Though they were challenged by the limited possibilities in realistic scenarios, their work was inspired by an optimistic prognosis of the future. Each of the projects was truly unique, as it simultaneously addressed an environmental context and a particular workplace situation with a collaborative design. After carefully reviewing all twenty-five projects, the ANCB and Zumtobel advisory board chose one representative project per city to be further developed during the workshop.
THE WORKSHOP WEEK
After months of international research and long-distance correspondence, fifteen students from Medellín, Lagos, Sydney, Berlin and Manila came to ANCB to represent their universities during the final workshop and symposium from 13 - 20 February 2015. The week-long intensive workshop was aimed at condensing the essential thesis behind each proposal as well as extracting transferable outcomes on one hand and region-specific, culture-related conclusions on the other hand. Building upon an extensive analysis from the previous semesters' work on the project, new and comprehensive facts emerged during the workshop week. The coaches were able to integrate additional aspects of the analysis and direct the student groups towards a structured, coherent concept.
The Lighting the Global Workspace Symposium took place on 20 February 2015 at ANCB. Among the aims of the event was to highlight the complex interrelations between light, space, work performance, wellbeing and productivity; while reflecting upon the year-long research initiative. The symposium was an open invitation to publically explore the technological, creative, geographic and psychological dimensions that define the workplace today; as well as prospects for the future.
The symposium was chaired by Zumtobel Marketing Director, Stefan von Terzi. Keynotes lectures were given by Ben van Berkel, Co-founder and Principal Architect at UNStudio, Amsterdam; Andreas Schulz, Founder and Director, LICHT KUNST LICHT AG, Berlin/Bonn; Christina Dreesen, Associate, Project Management and Workspace Strategies, Arup Deutschland GmbH, Frankfurt/Main; Terry West, Corporate Director of Research, WorkSpace Futures, Steelcase Inc., Grand Rapids, Michigan. In their presentations, the speakers examined workplace environments from their professional perspectives, which included architecture, lighting design, foresight and project delivery, and product design.
At the end of the symposium, the exhibition of the final student projects was opened and the winning proposal was announced.
OUTCOMES AND OUTLOOKS
Our Lighting the Global Workspace research initiative culminated at the symposium, where an international jury reviewed the final projects and gave students their final crit. Looking back upon the ambitious initiative, the results are both insightful and rewarding. ANCB and Zumtobel embarked on the research collaboration with the intention of instigating a lively discussion that was rooted in distinctly different geographies and their omplications. As an experiment in collective enquiry and knowledge sharing, the project brought together a wonderful selection of dedicated students and devoted teachers. The research programme promoted the integration of theoretical and practical methodologies. Nevertheless, it was challenging to find a common language for analysis and to work across boundaries of time and curricula. As we learned from different teams, cities and workspaces, we built a platform that connected us beyond environmental and cultural contexts. Each of the final submissions reflected the individuality of each research site and the originality of the teams. The proposals encompassed an acute understanding of a local problem and an imaginative solution that allows us to peek into the future workplace. Having activated a vibrant group of students, professors, professionals and practitioners around the globe, we aspire to establish an interdisciplinary network of workplace thinkers.
ANCB Edition #3: Lighting the Global Workspace (2016)