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System Concepts 2 Savoy Court, Strand, London WC2R OE2,

tel 0171 240 3388, e-mail: helpdesk@system-concepts.com. Contact: Tom Stewart. Specialises in the fields of ergonomics, human factors and the provision of health and safety advice. Its services focus is on improving the efficiency and productivity of the workforce through the provision of a safe, comfortable and effective working environment. Ergonomics can enhance programmes such as quality, productivity and safety initiatives. System Concepts' projects include usability tests for large software projects, website design and testing, and health/safety consultancy.

Workplace Forum

c/o DEGW, Porters North, 8 Crinan Street, London N1 9SQ, tel 0171 239 7784, website www.workplaceforum.com. Contact: Tony Thomson.

Distributes a range of publications including discussion papers, case studies and digests of relevant articles published in the academic and professional press. wf On-line, launched in early 1998, now enables a worldwide constituency to participate, freed from the constraints of time and distance, via the Internet website. wf also undertakes specially commissioned studies and benchmarking for individual companies and interest groups.

RKW (Space Management Consultants)

Cheam Cottage, Golf Lane, Whitehill, Hants GU35 9EH, tel 01420 478763. Contact: Richard Watts, website on www.rkw.co.uk

hok Consulting

216 Oxford Street, London W1R 1AH, tel 0171 636 2006. Contact: Alex Redgrave

Centre for Facilities Management Strathclyde Graduate Business School, The University of Strathclyde, 199 Cathedral St, Glasgow G4 0QU. www.strath.ac.uk. Contact: Keith Alexander 0141 553 4165. Runs courses and publishes papers on the management of the workplace.

British Institute of Facilities Management 67 High Street, Saffron Waldon, Essex, tel 01799 508608. Website www.bifm.org.uk

GMW Partnership 239 Kensington High Street, London W8, tel 0207 937 8020.


Probe (Post-Occupancy Review of Buildings and their Engineering)

Obtains feedback on performance of recently completed buildings, publishes it rapidly in Building Services Journal and reflects on results, from time to time, at conferences. Available from Adrian Leaman, tel 01904 671280,

e-mail Adrian Leaman@usable- -buildings.co.uk. The authors of Report 4 (Bill Bordass, Adrian Leaman, and Paul Ruyssevelt) advocate that, during the fitting-out process, foresight is required in perceiving the right links between ends (such as business goals, staff satisfaction and energy efficiency) and the available means to meet these ends (such as buildings, budgets, quality and perceived constraints). The trick is to put emphasis on the right places (both ends and means, rather than just the means as is often the case, or confusing the two by treating means as ends); see www.usablebuildings.co.uk.

Pena W, Parshall S and Kelly, Problem Seeking: a primer to architectural programming AIA Press, 1735 New York Avenue, N. W. Washington D. C. 20006 USA. Problem Seeking is a 'how to do it' book for architects and clients of architectural services. It underlies hok's method of work, referred to earlier in this update, and was written initially by William Pena faia (founder of crss which is now part of hok). Although its background lies in American programming principles, the steps that it sets out remain valid:

Establish goals

Collect and analyse facts

Uncover and test concepts

Determine needs

State the problem.

Work in the Knowledge Driven Economy Report available from the Department of Trade and Industry Future Unit. Contact: Philip James, tel 0171 215 0299

It is also available on the Internet at www.dti.gov.uk. The report promotes two particular scenarios for the future: The Wired World scenario is comprised of a network of 'economic agents' coming together on a project- by-project basis and held together by a web of contracts. Thus self-employment and 'portfolio' work are common and small, innovative and responsive businesses become the dominant force in the economy over large established companies. A Built to Last scenario starts from the basis that if knowledge is the principal source of competitive advantage, then it will be in the interest of business to capture and internalise that knowledge. The consequence is an economic landscape dominated by stable and often large companies. Self-employment and temporary work are therefore rare. The second scenario offers the more familiar landscape, but bucks a recent trend towards growth in small businesses and more flexible forms of working. By contrast, the first scenario offers new opportunities to create:

Trust-based communication networks

The creation of a culture and economy in which individuals are able to prosper outside the comfort zone of a stable company

The development of demand-led systems of learning which support individuals and their need for a complex mix of adaptable skills.

Handy C, The Empty Raincoat Hutchinson A book which has influenced work in the knowledge-driven economy by describing how technology enables more and more people to 'go portfolio'. By this, the author means exchanging full-time employment for independence. The portfolio is a collection of different bits and pieces of work for different clients. It is one way of making sense of the future.

Becker F and Steele F, Workplace by Design: Mapping the High-performance Workscape Jossey-Bass, 1995. Workplace by Design shows how companies have created effective alternative workplace strategies and successfully put aside conventional, awkward notions of space, based on hierarchy and status. It also shows how diverse companies have implemented a total workplace strategy to effectively involve designers, consultants, and internal staff in diagnosing and solving space problems.

Leaman A (Ed), Buildings in the Age of Paradox Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies

The University of York. Based on a conference held in 1995, Buildings in the Age of paradox, looks at the changing working environment and its effect on the workplace including space intensification and diversification and design for manageability.

Worthington J, Reinventing the Workplace Butterworth-Heinemann 1997 Based on a seminar held at the University of York, it has 16 papers on different aspects of the workplace. It sets out the organisational and technological developments that are influencing the procurement, layout and management of the workplace, through case studies and reflections on practice. Of particular interest in the office fit-out context are papers on supporting organisational change and managing change.


The cude project (clients and users in design education), as described in AJ 20.05.99, may eventually be the means of drawing design skills and management advisors closer together. 'New professionalism must recognise a significant architect's role within the circle of the delivery team.

'Clients in large projects are looking for the integrator who can help to clarify their needs and draw together an understanding of space, organisational structure, finance and technology to support their business objectives.

'This breadth requires a sensitivity to both supporting client processes and providing building products. From the client's perspective, architecture's highest value is often in our ability to identify problems, define concepts, frame solutions and create meaningful form.'

These skills are not always given sufficient emphasis within the overall process of organisational change.

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