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GenslerOnWork examines the modern workplace and how design can help us become more engaged and productive as we earn our livings.

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Wednesday
Mar292017

Reimagining an American Icon

Image © Gensler

For nearly 25 years, Willis Tower (long known as the Sears Tower) held the distinction of being the world’s tallest building, standing as a symbol of American might and engineering ingenuity. Today visitors queue up to soak in magnificent panoramic views of the city from the 103rd-floor observation deck of Chicago’s soaring black skyscraper that continues to be a point of pride for Chicago. At ground level, however, something is noticeably absent. The tourists come and go, but rarely linger. People who work in the building often walk blocks away to grab lunch or take a break from their offices. And at night, the block is much less active than during the day.

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Friday
Mar102017

Bridging the Gap Between Design Education and Practice 

Image © Gensler

Like many architecture and design students I did not set foot in a professional environment until after my studies were complete, and to this day I can recall exactly what I felt after spending my first few days at my first firm: a mix of panic and disarray and a worry that there was no possible way I could possibly survive a career in this field.

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Wednesday
Feb222017

Employee Engagement: A Core Business Strategy

MATTER, Image © Garrett Rowland.

Successful business leaders realize that having engaged employees is not an HR program, but a core business strategy. We know that companies with engaged employees outperform those with less engaged employees. Yet, according to Gallup, a staggering 87 percent of employees worldwide are not engaged.

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Wednesday
Feb222017

Learning Through Practice: Gensler’s Case Study Series

Image © Gensler

Here’s the scenario: you’re part of a design team for a 300,000 sq. ft. headquarters facility for an iconic global publishing company. The week before final construction documents are due, the company’s CEO announces plans to add a private executive office to the existing floorplan and hires a private architect to design this addition. Such a drastic change, as well as the inclusion of another architect’s vision at this stage in the design process, will not only push the completion of the construction documents past the deadline but could create additional costs for a project with little wiggle room left in the budget. What do you do? How do you raise these legitimate concerns with the client? What alternatives do you suggest? How might you lead the client and your design-build partners in a rework of the overall strategy?

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Monday
Feb062017

Hidden Truths (and How to Find Them)

Image © Gensler.

Research is a quest for knowledge; a way to discover hidden truths and challenge our assumptions. This quest requires a commitment to objective, systematic analysis focused on finding solutions to social and scientific challenges. When properly carried out, design research can be the difference between innovation, or simply maintaining the status quo. To achieve this, new knowledge—the currency of our era—needs to be created and freely exchanged so it can inspire new levels of expression and problem-solving. That commitment to both exploration and free exchange is central to both the Gensler Research Program and our Research Catalogue series.

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