madeleine monshausen / spatial design •̀ᴗ• office, retail & residential / contemporary work environment development / berlin /  / +49 172 8686672 / ABOUT

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to struggle, to labor,  to toil, to work hard

to do, to make, to create, to accomplish

distinction and defiinition by R.D. Precht on Lanz & Precht,  Ausgabe 6 (in German)  

When creating work spaces it has become inevitable to reflect on where current common practices might not fit into the design process of a profoundly changing world anymore. We have to reshape the way we think about work, therefore I had to ask the question: How does the development of elements which define contemporary and future work space parameters- such as digital innovation, automation technologies, AI, democratised structures, diversity and equality in workforce demographics, transparency and accountability, challenges through climate change, etc.- translate into the process of creating these spaces and what does that mean for the approach to our work as designers? Expectations towards individual fulfillment are more and more ingrained in our approaches to what we do, shifting the comprehension of work on a broader spectrum from labour to profession and therefore the question is implied: “How can environments support the development of nonhierarchical structures in the way we think about work and the expectations we have?



flux /flʌks/

“a series of changes, continuous change”[2]

With rapidly changing ways of how we work- fundamentally changing methods and requirements- flexibility in how we use work spaces has become essential. So as we ask the question "What is needed?" we also need to establish a position in regards to "When is it needed?". Besides work-related parameters, possible general future challenges might determine the developments, which we need to elaborate on as well. The goal is to identify parameters of work areas, which are particularly sensitive to change and wich might be more static, and to fit them to the spatial conditions. A structure is developed, in which those parameters can shift and develop freely within a pattern. With lower hierarchies and an increased focus on individual development, these questions aren't answered on management level solely, but require to also look at individual visions of employees and even the user community, which ought to be inspired at the same time.


diversity  /dʌɪˈvəːsɪti/
“the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc.”[3]

Defining what a contemporary office environment requires, is therefore to establish a fluent and interactive process of input and output, that allows to constantly review and adapt to fundamental developments, always considering the continuous fluctuation of the solution. Having established that these determinations in progressive company structures are not to be made solely on a management level, the question is how to comprehend what might be a democratic solution. An empathetic, fruitful exchange between individuals, teams, management, project teams and users is the center of the development process. With a variety of communication methods, the aim is to make the process comprehensible for each part of the community and develop solutions in accordance to who is concerened directly.


parts  /pɑːt/
“one of the often indefinite or unequal subdivisions into which something is or is regarded as divided and which together constitute the whole”

A democratic way in designing the approach to the development of the spaces entails to look more individually at what is needed. More importantly than calculating how many desks, computers, meeting spaces etc are required per employee, we should ask the question: “How do you work?” or “What makes a good work environment for you?” Drawing conclusions from both, individual emotional/ physical desires and materialistic requirements, we ultimately develop a set of characteristic adjectives in how we work and what is needed. 


pattern  ˈpa-tərn

“the repeated way in which something happens or is done”

By specifying characteristics in relation to habits, requirements and methods of working, we create a unit inherent "pattern", that provides information in regards to the combination of such characteristics per unit and ultimately enables us to create spaces that satisfy a broad spectrum of needs in relation to their occurrences. Flexible within a set framework, "toolsets" designed accordingly can be exchanged and varied. Besides common aspects, the determination derives from the definitions by the individual employees, teams, units, experts, etc.- the whole is the sum of its parts and the way we combine them, rather than fitting the parts inito a predifined structure that might or might not fit. 


denominator  /dɪˈnɒm.ɪ.neɪ.tər/
“a shared trait”

In order to establish the basis for a sensible infrastructural network, the characteristic patchworks of the units or teams are compared to each other in terms of similarities and differences. Common areas are to be established that match inter-unit requirements and are designed to reflect the filtered collective characteristics in their individual composition, following compatibility and dynamics. These areas celebrate exchange, team building, information flow, community and brand-identification.


between  /bi-ˈtwēn/
“in the time, space, or interval that separates”

In a distinct statement through a thoughtful design of infrastructural elements, connectivity is to be celebrated- a developing pathway that supports a feeling of relation, provides a network experience and invites connection through transparency.