By Rob Alderson
224 pages, hardbound, $40
Published by Roads Publishing
As boutique shared work spaces continue taking over our cities and blue-chip firms increasingly push a quirky office aesthetic—foosball, anyone?—to foster productivity, the release of The Creative Workplace by Rob Alderson provides a timely focus on truly imaginative working environments. The former editor-in-chief of London-based design publisher (and general arbiter of good taste) It’s Nice That, Alderson takes us on vivid journeys to the headquarters of some of the world’s most inspiring companies and individuals, dwelling on their creative processes and charting how these translate into effective and stimulating work spaces—with inevitably rich visuals.
Beyond the physical attributes of each work space, Alderson also touches on the wider issues at play, questioning the subjectivity of creativity and its blurred boundaries with commercial necessity; as one contributor puts it, the office might perfectly suit creative needs, but if clients ever saw it, they “wouldn’t be impressed.” Alderson also explores the growth of data-driven studies—led by Google and its Silicon Valley neighbors—and statistics increasingly informing companies’ approaches to office design. The result is a highly accessible collection of profiles supplemented with inspirational imagery. Expect to see an abundance of Eames chairs and framed typography on the walls, but also expect a few surprises along the way that are sure to make you reconsider the state of your own work space. —Ben Olsen