Google's new home, Apple's new car, and a bunch of the rest
Google has announced its intention to build a new Googleplex. In front of them go Apple, Amazon, and Facebook. Has architecture become the ultimate attractor of top tech talent?
From the Architectural Record article, “Tech really hasn’t adopted a particular language for buildings,” according to Google's VP for real estate. (What do Apple/Foster and Facebook/Gehry say about this?) And I liked the conclusion to the Guardian article – "A Silicon Valley Truman Show, entirely calibrated and controlled by Google’s optimisation analytics. What could possibly go wrong?"
Competing utopias? Gehry's Facebook looks like a weak offering compared to the definitive Apple and Google opposites. Not sure, yet, about the very corporate Amazon.
I liked the Wolf Olins Leadership Report with the manifesto stating that the future CEO is a "Designer-in-Chief."
Lots of Apple news this week. I spent most of my time over a great profile of Jonny Ive in the New Yorker. It included a reference to Marc Newson as the latest add to the Apple design team. That's his concept car for Ford, above. I especially liked the trunk-as-a-drawer idea.
But the big news of the week was speculation on Apple's intention to design and build a car. Most of the commentators took this literally, but my own thinking was closer to this article in the MIT Technology Review – "The world’s most valuable company doesn’t need to build a car in order to reinvent driving."
Related to all of that was Rosabeth Kanter's article in the Wall Street Journal. She also references the car programs of the tech companies, asking, "will auto companies remain metal benders, or will they veer toward becoming software companies?" If they do, will Ford need Foster?
Kanter's message, that CEO's need to foster cultural change in order to "disrupt before they are disrupted," affirms our own philosophy about the importance of the design of the workplace to nurture and sustain a leadership culture.
Don't miss our "4 layers on top of the workplace" presentation. It's a work in progress, so it would be great to have your comments and criticisms on it.
I like Venkat Rao's Ribbonfarm blog. The image above, "the mother of all 2x2s," might be a clue to my interest.
There was a spectacular interactive infographic this week in the New York Times that cleverly illustrated the changing nature of middle-class jobs. Don't miss it.
This was a very interesting article in the Harvard Business Review. While we are doing well in reducing what we use to make stuff, we are consuming more.
Where we are, in Michigan, February is the cruelest month. Despite the days growing longer, the days grow colder. The landscape is white – white ground, white sky, white roads. We should be pleased – we are, apparently, thinking more clearly.