An interesting UK TV programme on Channel 4 last night – “The Secret Life of Buildings – Work” – explored the impact of architecture on motivation, control, etc… Whilst it was a bit evangelical – not everything about trust and control in organizations is caused by the design of the buildings – it was an interesting set of ideas and illustrations.
Architecture can both mirror and mould a corporate culture. (Having said that, a great corporate culture can produce trust and productivity in a lousy building – whilst the opposite is unlikely to be true.)
One point they did not address was how work environments can support virtual working. Open plan offices can be very noisy for people who are working through technology such as audio conference or video. If individuals are more connected in their work with people in different locations, then the design of their space around should reinforce their ability to connect individually with people in different locations. I’ve not yet seen any research that focuses on this challenge.
Note: The link that originally appeared on this post has been removed. However, a video from the series, about how environment affects brain activity, can be seen here: http://youtu.be/VMkKwdrBFMg.