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The office of good intentions: Architecture and the American work space

Through stories and speculations, architects Florian Idenburg and LeeAnn Suen expose the relationships between space, work and people, and explore the intentions that have driven the development of office design for working humans.

In twelve essays, The Office of Good Intentions. Human(s) Work examines the spatial typologies and global phenomena that have defined the office in the last half-century.

Topics include the return of the work club, the rise of the corporate festival and the design of playgrounds for work. Frank Gehry’s radical, playful spaces for digital nomads in the advertising world feature, as well as stacks of punch cards, the Aeron chair and answering the phone in Hugh Hefner’s bed.

Photos by Iwan Baan provide a visual report on a range of office projects, such as Marcel Breuer’s IBM campus in Florida and the Ford Foundation’s urban garden in Manhattan.

This book looks at the spaces and solutions that have been designed for human work, tracing the transformation from work to occupation, from today’s lived experience to tomorrow’s unpredictable, imagined futures.

NCAR Mesa Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado. IM Pei & Associates, 1967

(Iwan Baan)

TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles. Clive Wilkinson Architects, 1998

(Iwan Baan)

Arcosanti, Mayer, Arizona. Paolo Soleri et al (including an estimated 8,000 volunteers, designers, builders, collaborators, bell makers, architects, artists, students, and ceramicists), 1970-present

(Iwan Baan)

PA Technology Center, New Jersey. Richard Rogers Partnership and structural engineer Peter Rice, 1975-1983

(Iwan Baan)

IBM Boca Raton, Florida. Marcel Breuer & Associates with Robert Gatje, 1970

(Iwan Baan)

Burroughs Wellcome Corporate Headquarters, Durham, North Carolina. Paul Rudolph, 1972

(Iwan Baan)

Arcosanti, Mayer, Arizona. Paolo Soleri et al, 1970-present

(Iwan Baan)


You can purchase ‘The Office of Good Intentions. Human(s) Work’ here

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