Printer Friendly

The world of work.


By Tim Allen, Adryan Bell, Richard Graham, Bridget Hardy, Felicity Swaffer. London: OGC/DEGW. 2004. Free


Edited by Andrew Harrison, Paul Wheeler and Carolyn Whitehead. London: Spon Press. 2003. [pounds sterling]45

Both books examine the changing form of the workplace and suggest that this change is a successful rethinking of the way to house and pattern the knowledge-based professions.

Working Without Walls is a joint collaboration of DEGW and the Office of Government Collaboration. Along with a short discussion of the changing workplace, a number of themes--the paperless office, new work styles, managing cultural change--are briefly examined and accompanied by an outline of important lessons. Each chapter is illustrated with images and descriptions of appropriate changes from different government facilities.

The Distributed Workplace is based on a two-year multi-disciplinary research project that examined the impact of the new knowledge economy on spatial and management and creation of location independent workplaces. It provides an extensive discussion of the issues related to this goal--workplace efficiency, space needs and models of design, costing and implementation--discussed in a concise and informative manner. The editors provide a quite complete overview of the different ways to frame the organisation and design for distributed styles of work.

Those who seek a more complete discussion of what these new workplaces imply for workers at all levels and what they think of these new forms (neither book presents significant research about this question with only managers and administrators for the most part interviewed in this regard), how these changing workplaces might ultimately effect work, and what their drawbacks might be, will find themselves disappointed by both books. Also disappointing is that both books treat the issues of sustainability and human environments as if only the organisation of the firm and the physical sites in which they are housed are relevant. How the changing workplace might affect urban form and lifestyles, what their overall effect on social and cultural life might be are rarely even alluded to. In essence, both books have been written by boosters. Working Without Walls reads like a brochure outlining the government's many successes, while The Distributed Workplace is more complete and analytic but primarily an uncritical discussion of the methods to achieve the benefits of this new workplace.

For those who want to know more about what the new workplace is and how to develop it these books can be of help, particularly The Distributed Workplace with its detailed discussion and copious illustration of its various themes.

Book reviews from The Architectural Review can now be seen on our website at and the books can be ordered online, many at special discount.
COPYRIGHT 2005 EMAP Architecture
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Robbins, Edward
Publication:The Architectural Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 2005
Previous Article:L'affaire Suisse.
Next Article:The power of horticulture.

Related Articles
On Gwendolyn Brooks: Reliant Contemplation.
Teachers--Transforming Their World and Their Work. (Professional Books).
Mythical Murcutt; Glenn Murcutt: Buildings + Projects 1962-2003.
Putting It on Paper: the Ground Rules for Creating Promotional Pieces that Sell Books.
The Hip Girl's Handbook for the Working World.
Slick work.
Self-Publishing Manual.
Self-Publishing Manual.
Your Coach (in a Book).

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |