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Report: Worktech13, Melbourne

A sell out event in Melbourne, Worktech13 explored the future of the workplace looking to local and foreign best practice, Stephen Crafti reports

Report: Worktech13, Melbourne

With significant advances in technology, the traditional office has undergone major changes over the past few decades.

Leaders in the design and commercial property arena come together at Worktech, an international conference series organised by London-based company Unwired Ventures, to discuss these developments.

This years’ lineup of national and international guests included Chris Kane, CEO, BBC Commercial Projects from London, together with Luc Kamperman and Gijs Nooteboom, Partners, Veldhoen + Company.

As well as property gurus, there were behavioral psychologists and writers, such as author Gaia Grant, Managing Director of Tirian.  Her book, ‘Who Killed Creativity and how do we get it back?’ was an important reminder to the audience that irrespective of how an office is designed, creativity is at the heart of what people need to focus on.

She spoke about the creativity in children and how this falls away dramatically over time. “When children are requested to stop ‘playing around’ by parents, their creativity starts to decline,” says Grant, who provided a number of participation games for the audience to illustrate her points.

Other speakers spoke about how technology will change the office space. And speakers, such as Jason Heredia, Vice President Marketing from Steelcase spoke of how the office changes its form depending on where it’s located in the world. The Netherlands, for example, has a more egalitarian arrangement of office space, with CEO and staff accommodation barely indistinguishable. While in China, the CEO’s office was still a separate domain, creating a hierarchical arrangement.

Now in its 10th year, Worktech is an important vehicle for showcasing the rate of change in office design. Work-based activity centres, novel a few years ago, are now integral to many offices. Technology has reduced the size of the work-space and connectivity between various devices will continue to shrink our world. One speaker even showed eye glasses being connected to the wider system, as well as everyday clothing.




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