Article by: oberzaucher

HOW TO WORK NOW. ONLINE EXPERT TALK with Prof. Kerstin Sailer Ph.D. Recording

Author: oberzaucher


Pearsonlloyd, 1-3 Yorkton St, London E2 8NH, United Kingdom

The cutting edge office: We assess reports, clichés and visions that deal with places of work in discussions with contemporaries. In this issue Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd of PearsonLloyd explain the significance their design studio has for them: in conversation with Désirée Schellerer they talk about their office community, declare they love for London and reveal their most important working tools.

Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd founded their design studio PearsonLloyd in London in 1997, and since then it has become one of the most renowned in Great Britain. Their international clients include Artemide, Classicon, Fritz Hansen, Knoll International, Lufthansa and Walter Knoll. Their work is diverse and has received numerous awards. London Designers Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd impressively demonstrate again and again what constitutes high-quality industrial design – namely, the intelligent translation of changing work styles, production possibilities and living circumstances.

Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd, your studio is situated in Shoreditch, an upcoming, creative district in the northeast of London. How did you get there and which criteria were important to make the decision for that studio?

Tom Lloyd (TL):
When we started the studio, Luke and I both lived in West London. Coming east was both a financial decision (looking for cheap studio space) and a creative one. Our first space was in an unheated warehouse on the edge of Spitalfields market, which was then still operating as the primary fruit and veg wholesale market for London. The area then was edgy, a little scary but full of life and energy. Artists had started to occupy discussed commercial property and it was this community that drew us there. In the 16 years since we started, we have been in three different spaces all within a mile of the first space. Shoreditch is now an area full of design and fashion businesses and although very different from 1997, it is a great area to work from.

Luke Pearson (LP): Tom’s brother had a studio right near the city, the financial district. The rent was absurdly low. It seemed like a great idea to take a space that was big and cheap. As soon as we moved in the neighbouring square became an architectural dig. We then moved to Whitechapel and finally bought our studio after cycling past one day. There was a dip in the market and that seemed a good idea although we have outgrown it now in many ways.

New Working Environments: Choose the place you need

Working as if you were in a cockpit or temporarily docking in at the office – the modern workplace provides knowledge workers with new qualities of space that are custom-tailored to the requirements of today’s working environment.

Mobility, flexibility, teamwork, motivation, creativity, quality work... Gerd knows what is expected of knowledge workers. Yet why is it that existing spaces don’t really fulfil these criteria? A question that he often asked himself – until he visited Karin in her office...

Recent years have made it clear, and confirmed the forecasted trends – our working conditions and processes have changed fundamentally thanks to globalisation, mobility and digital networking. Traditional office layouts, with their rigid structures and uniformity, are no longer appropriate for these extraordinarily diverse and changing requirements. Modern knowledge work requires an environment that offers the ideal – i.e. most supportive – surroundings for each type of activity. What we need are open structures and different rooms with different qualities to choose from.

Modern office planning picks up on these needs and develops a broad range of office landscapes that clearly borrow from urban landscapes. The office becomes an attractive living space defined by diversity and offering different zones and areas. Knowledge workers can select an area to work in that best suits them, depending on what tasks they need to accomplish, along the lines of: Choose the place you need. Much like a city, the office develops identity, personality and character. Inspiring, exciting, productive.

Gerd stared in astonishment as Karin took him through the office. The reception area welcomed him with powerful colours, organic-shaped chairs and a sophisticated lighting system. The corporate design continued in the back office in a cultish way – to his left, behind a glass wall, an inspiring meeting room with sofas and seating cushions on a floor that seemed to undulate; to his right, compact workstations with surprisingly colourful storage systems that provided views, and further forward, an inviting landscape of couches with a presentation screen. Friendly, transparent and open - the office’s design seemed to embody motivation and creativity.

New Meeting Environment

Innovation, creativity and interaction have become decisive factors in modern knowledge work. This is because they exercise a measurable influence over the quality of work results. Knowledge workers therefore need a working environment that is state of the art regarding information and communications technology, that promotes networking and exchange. It should offer access to necessary information and not only allow routines in the workflow, but above all also enable creativity.