The dynamics of tipping points are more influential than corporate policy, so likely sooner than you think!

Photo Montage: NYC skyscrapers, Subway Car, Business Person, Elevator Buttons with 2 and 5 highlighted in red, and Percent Symbol.
Photo Montage: NYC skyscrapers, Subway Car, Business Person, Elevator Buttons with 2 and 5 highlighted in red, and Percent Symbol.
Atelier Kultur

People are trickling back into offices across Manhattan. Defying the new norm of working from home, 10% of the city’s roughly one million non-essential office workers are now back, according to a recent survey conducted by the Partnership for New York City. Depending on your current mental state, that is either cause for celebration or concern.

For most, restoring some semblance of work-life balance cannot come soon enough. For others, just the thought of cramming into subway cars and elevators induces panic. Anticipating…

Aligning the evolving demands of businesses with the realities of flexible work will be the next challenge facing companies as offices reopen.

Black and White image of an unoccupied modern office space at night.
Black and White image of an unoccupied modern office space at night.
Jason Leung

The pandemic initiated the largest workplace experiment in modern history. Overnight, entire industries went fully remote, challenging decades of unchecked assumptions about how work is coordinated and managed. As people start trickling back into offices, the experiment is entering a new phase of exploration: the future of the office.

It is clear that if employees have a say, flexible work options are here to stay. This new reality is liberating offices from many previous functions, enabling us to reimagine how these spaces contribute to our business’s success. In doing so, we must go beyond asking what an office is or…

You might be surprised how the neighborhood contexts you were embedded in before the pandemic shaped your relationship to transformative ideas and insights.

This post builds on: “What is the Value of an Office Location” and “What is the Value of an Office Space

The pandemic has challenged many previously unchecked assumptions about work. Discrediting the notion that we need to be in the office five days a week to be effective has been one of the most liberating. This realization has inspired many organizations to reconsider the future of their physical footprint and the very need for a traditional office. …

Seeing beyond our current perspectives requires us to approach challenges in new ways.

Guests of ETEN sitting inside greenhouses that the restaurant has converted into isolated dinning pods.
Guests of ETEN sitting inside greenhouses that the restaurant has converted into isolated dinning pods.
Courtesy of Willem Velthoven for Mediamatic Amsterdam

In early May, ETEN, the restaurant attached to the Mediamatic arts center in Amsterdam, started experimenting with ways to reopen to guests safely. Taking a set of micro-greenhouses, they created self-contained dining pods.

Encapsulated in their own space, guests can enjoy an intimate dining experience along the canal while remaining almost completely isolated from neighboring patrons. Although not intentional, ETEN’s approach to navigating social distancing rules created an entirely new dining experience. Within weeks, self-enclosed dining pods started to pop up at restaurants around the world.

What do Amazon and Facebook know about the value of a physical location that everyone else seems to be overlooking?

The iconic Lord & Taylor building on Fifth Avenue undergoing a full renovation before Amazon moves in 2,000 new employees.

In mid-August, Amazon stunned everyone when they announced their plans to open 630,000 square feet of office space in the iconic Lord & Taylor building on Fifth Avenue. Almost immediately after finalizing the purchase in early March, the future of the space was thrown into jeopardy. Within weeks, offices across the country were abandoned. Overnight, kitchens, living rooms, and spare bedrooms became the new office and to everyone’s surprise, telecommuting was a success, prompting many prominent companies to publicly reconsider the future of their physical footprint and the very need for traditional office spaces. …

The connection isn’t obvious, and that’s the point. Learning how to forage innovative connections and integrations is critical to finding innovative solutions to our toughest challenges.

Composed From: Renan Brun x jacqueline macou

In 1992, The America³ Team successfully defended the oldest international sporting trophy when they won America’s Cup. The race was largely won before the team hit the water through the multitude of innovative racing technologies they had developed. America³’s most secretive project was the development of Cuben Fiber (today called Dyneema Composite Fabric) for its sails. Created by Stanford Engineers, the fabric, which is technically a non-woven composite material, is constructed from a thin sheet of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, laminated between two polyester sheets. The resulting sails were 65% lighter and significantly stronger and more flexible than their competitors. …

Truly innovative concepts are emergent. Building creative perseverance into your organization is more important than ever to adapt to an uncertain and constantly changing future.

What does the path of a vision look like as it mutates from a familiar starting point into a genuinely novel concept? Unless you are part of the creative process, almost 100% of this journey goes unseen. We experience transformative concepts, largely unaware of the immense amount of creative labor that was required to bring them to life. The journeys are hard to recount in full, given the rapid pace, unintuitive, and indirect path that novel concepts take as they chart new territory.

Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Mau opened the doors of OMA’s design studios in 1995 with the publication…

Physical proximity to team members unlocks dimensions of interactions and exchanges that are critical for creative collaborations. The long-term costs of eliminating these dimensions will come at the expense of transformative innovation.

Photo by Jose Losada on Unsplash

New York City has over 550 million square feet of office space. Within a few short weeks, almost all of that space was abandoned. At first voluntarily, in an abundance of caution, and then by government mandate. Offices fell eerily silent. For those who remained employed, the precautionary distance placed between them forced the physical rhythms and interactions of the office to be played out in virtual space — an experiment no one was prepared for.

The success of telecommuting has surprised everyone. Before the pandemic, a mere 2% of all wage and salaried employees worked from home fulltime, according…

Constraints imposed by markets and consumers are evaporating, allowing businesses to reinvent themselves in radical new ways.

Photo by Sergi Brylev on Unsplash

In May 2019, chef Stefano Secchi opened Rezdôra in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. Riding in on a wave of anticipation after returning from Modena where he worked at the Michelin three-starred Osteria Francescana under world renowned chef Massimo Bottura, expectations were set high. Mr. Secchi did not disappoint. Within three months of opening, the New York Times gave Rezdôra a glowing three-star review, placing it in an elite group of restaurants in the city. Not surprising, reserving one of the 48 seats was nearly impossible. Mr. Secchi couldn’t have asked for a better opening

COVID-19 put an abrupt halt…

Andreas Hoffbauer, Ph.D.

Founder & Director of Atelier Kultur, Doctor of Organizational Innovation & Creativity

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