The Shard London Bridge, which is currently under construction, will be located in Southwark central London. It is due to be finished some time in 2012. Upon completion the Shard will be the tallest skyscraper in the EU, and the 45th tallest in the world.
The Shard is replacing the 1970’s Southwark Tower. It is the creation of the Italian architect Renzo Piano, who worked in conjunction with the architectural firm Broadway Malyan when planning the project. Piano’s vision for the building was to create a vertical ‘City in the Sky’. The development will be a mix of office space, residential accommodation, a hotel, several restaurants and a viewing platform. The Hotel will be the first ever Shangri-La Hotel in the United Kingdom, and will be located between the 34 and 52 floors.
Online retailing is going from strength to strength, with an ever larger portion of the population purchasing items over the internet. But in recent years this trend has been especially pronounced for the online fashion industry which has traditionally stayed with the store front model. And why not? You get to shop for the latest fashion items, with no queues and usually better deals – all from the comfort of your home! Net-A-Porter has cashed in big on this booming trend, making it a force to be reckoned with in the last 10 years. So much so that they have recently moved to larger offices. The new HQ is located at the top of the well known Westfield Shopping Centre, and is by all accounts huge. The office design specialist behind this amazing office was Studiofibre, having also designed Net-a-Porter’s old offices.
Visitors are greeted by large black wooden doors, which lead onto a runway-themed reception. The reception features white leather upholstery and glossy black surfaces. What’s more, for informal meetings there is a bar which is decked out in high-gloss and American style diner stools. There is also an innovative touch-screen that visitors can use to browse the Net-a-Porter website while having a drink. The meeting rooms are also fully enabled to allow conference calling with the Company’s office in New York. All-in-all Net-a-Porter’s new HQ is what all offices should be; functional, well designed and a pleasure to be in!
With the advent of online banking, thankfully visiting the bank has become a less frequent occurrence. I say thankfully for a reason, we all know that going to the bank is a time consuming and dull event, one to be avoided at all costs! To add insult to injury, most central city banks are located in huge buildings which exude grandeur and importance, intended to intimidate and impress. Is this really what we want from banks in the 21st Century? Some banks have made efforts to spice up their retail fronts, but in all honesty they haven’t really been that great in terms of design. More a case of same old with a modern twist rather than anything really revolutionary. This is why we were so impressed with CheBanca! which is located in Milan. The name literally translates to What a Bank!, and they have recently launched a new design concept which they have implemented in their retail locations.
The Project was headed by Crea International, intended to reflect the bank’s focus on simplicity and transparency. It was also intended that the new retail space stand testament to the bank’s innovative aspirations. Crea Interanational has also designed the corporate identity of other brands in Italy, these include Unicredit Banca, Vodafone and others.
The Vpod V1 was designed specifically with high definition video conferencing in mind. It is therefore a bespoke package, ensuring crystal clear picture, sound and usability. It is unique in that it is a standalone device, with equipment fully integrated into the design. This means that it maximises the use of space, occupying only 1.94sqm. The device also allows the user to maximise efficiency by providing a isolated area in which to conduct business. The unit can be installed in any environment, making it the ideal solution for the workplace, retail spaces or even leisure facilities. The Vpod V1 includes LED daylight lighting, acoustic protection, built-in ventilation, HD ready technology and integrated furnishings.
The CHALK ping pong table was designed and developed by Studio Aruliden especially for PUMA. The table is unique in that is has a chalk surface, allowing players to write down the score as they play. It also allows them to note down any inspiring thoughts which may come to them whilst playing. The build materials are of the highest quality, the legs are made of ash wood and the net of chain link. A ping-pong table is a great addition to any office, as it allows staff to take a refreshing break and in many situations can increase productivity as regular sessions of exercise are good not only for the body, but also the mind. The table is a limited edition item, and prices at roughly $4,000.
Brandbase, a advertising agency based in Amsterdam, has commissioned Most Architecture to design its new temporary office space. Brandbase wished to furnish the office with recyclable materials, and so wooden pallets sprang to mind. The space was designed to meet the work requirements of Brandbase, while at the same time maintaining an informal atmosphere that was inviting to all who entered. The existing space was painted white, it being felt that it would provide an inconspicuous base on which the pallets could stand out. To add to the feel, all the furniture and fixtures were painted black. As such the office has three distinctive layers, the white background, the wooden pallets, and the black accents.
Being an advertising agency, BrandBase included new media outlets from the very start of the creative process. It did this by updating the design developments as well the execution of the project on its Facebook page, amassing followers from around the world.
The Hub calls itself a a social enterprise, with the ambition to inspire and support imaginative and enterprising initiatives for a better world. They are involved across four continents and 12 cities, striving to achieve this goal wherever they may be. The Hub in London offers an exciting working environment, located in a listed building minutes from Kings Cross station. The building has been fully resorted, striking the balance between old and new, amalgamating original period features with sleek stylish design. According to The Hub the location “offers an inspired place for meeting, working, innovating, learning and connecting.”
During the day the Hub offers a vibrant working atmosphere to its members, providing a cafe, meeting rooms and several other working areas. All within a social setting, one which encourages networking and the co-working at all times possible. In the evening, the Hub accommodates a whole host of lectures, debates and events.
The core reason to be a freelancer is that one does not have to commit to full working hours that will destroy the joy of working and possibly putting personal life at stake. As a freelancer you can decide your own working hours and show up to work in your pajamas. You don’t have to endure the colleague who yells into the phone or to be paranoid that your boss will catch you reading gossip blogs.
However freelancing can be a lonely existence. You might find yourself not leaving the house for days and stalking everyone in your chat list just to feel humane. This is when co-working comes into play.
What’s Co-working exactly?
Co-working is essentially the best of both worlds. This concept consists of you renting a work space for a period of time at an office where other people do the same. You and other co-workers are not employed by the same company, working on different projects yet you work side by side with the others creating an ideal working environment. You still get to punch in and out as you please and you are not under the watchful eye of your boss but in the very same time, you get a change of environment and engage in watercooler talk. You may spare your friends in your chat list now.
It’s a way to break up the isolation of working on your own. Here are three incentives that make co-working a whirl:
You don’t want to end up like Jack in “The Shining” – Jack Nicholson’s novelist character holed himself up in a remote haunted hotel to focus on writing, and he eventually went haywire, churning out “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” over and over.
Co-working allows you to get out of the house and soak in the world from perspective other than your four walls. You might discover different phenomenon just by stepping away from your familiar surroundings. And those co-workers of yours can make excellent guinea pigs to try out your ideas before turning them in to clients.
Co-workers come from all different fields. That person at the desk next to you could be a potential new client or to provide a lead. Always bring your business cards and chat up the co-workers who filtered in and out. Freelancers can benefits by having each other’s back.
3. Fewer distractions
Some people – no matter how good they are at their job – just weren’t cut out for working from home full time. Whether it’s a leaf blower outside, a demanding puppy or Oprah on the television, distractions can destroy your aim at meeting a deadline. Remember your 9-to-5 days? You tackled your tasks so you could get out of the office and head home. Therefore by going to a co-working space, it can provide the atmosphere you need to buckle down.
Co-working is not the same from space to space. In fact, co-working doesn’t solely take place in office spaces – sometimes people co-work at cafes providing a refreshing environment to work.
Want a Co-working space yes?
An excellent resource for learning more about this topic is the Coworking wiki. From there you can shop for co-working spaces in your area, read and contribute to a blog as well as learn how to start your own co-working space.
Some important questions you might want to consider before kicking off a co-working space:
1. Agreement on rules and regulations between co-workers
It is utmost important to have all the co-workers discuss and finalize what and where is the comfortable meeting point or a co-working space will not work out.
Can I make phone calls or is talking discourage?
Is the noise level too much or too little for my comfort?
Setup and facility.
Is the co working space open for 24 hours, or does it have fix operating hours?
2. Can I get a tax write-off for renting a co-working space?
It is possible as long as it is done right and fulfill all the criteria for a write-off tax requirement. Better if the one consult an accountant.
A co-working space were to take place at different location every time without a fix location, then it is impossible to have a tax write-off. Phone bills may be possible however it must be prove that phone were use for business. For a freelancer it might be a challenge.
A a co-working space were to take place on a fix location, in a building then it is considered as an office. Write-off is definitely possible for things like phone bills, office rental and numbers of computers expenditure.
3. Cost of participating in a co-working space
Needless to say this is the downside of fixed co-working space. Face it, you are not in your house and that cost money therefore freelancer must take the cost into account and decide which type of co-working space offered is affordable.
Co-working is a concept specifically constructed for freelancers and it is now an urban practice given more and more people prefer freelancer’s way of life. It sets a freedom for a labourer when and where to work but with limitation. This benefits employers because humans tends to deliver better quality of work when they are happy.
Buckle up for a new caliber in USB devices as USB 3.0 starts getting exploited. Point Grey wows us with their new video camera which they plan to debut at 2009 Intel Developer Forum. What looks like an HD-wannabe webcam is actually capable of pumping full 1080p video at an astounding 60fps. The widened pipe of USB 3.0 actually may make high bandwidth devices cheaper now that they can push raw data through to the host computer’s CPU. Previous devices would have to include additional circuitry to compress the data before channeling to the host. The camera uses a 3 mega-pixel Sony CMOS sensor to capture the 1920×1080 video images.
Since host controllers for SuperSpeed USB have yet to hit the market they’ve formed a special alliance with Fresco Logic. Fresco Logic’s FL1000 controller is used in their test system via a PCI-Express USB 3.0 interface card. We’ll have to wait patiently for the IDF 2009 to find out the price on either the card or the camera. The first host controllers we are likely to see will likely be included on ASUS motherboards and Fujitsu laptops, but we’re still waiting on confirmation of a production date. Check back with us and we’ll update as soon as they are available.
Siri is a Virtual Personal Assistant – a new way to interact with the Internet on your mobile phone. Like a real assistant, Siri helps you get things done. You interact with Siri by just saying, in your own words, what you want to do. You can ask Siri to find a romantic place for dinner, and get reservations for Saturday night. You can discover things to do over the weekend, get tickets to the movies, or call a cab when you’re out on the town. You don’t have search through a bunch of web pages, following links and hunting down facts. Siri does all the work giving you the information you need at your fingertips.
We believe that in five years most people who use the Internet will have a Virtual Personal Assistant (VPA) to take care of the details of using online services. We will look back at the birth of VPA’s in 2009 and wonder how we ever got by without our trusted assistant. The days of wading through links and pages from your mobile interface will seem quaint, because the natural way to interact with the rich world of information and services is to have a conversation. As John Batelle, the author of The Search, says “The future of search is a conversation with someone we trust.” Siri is just getting started, and has a lot to learn. Stay tuned – the era of the personal assistant has begun!