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Do you see a shift from presentation to collaboration?

By Craig Janssen

As subconsultants, we are exposed to some great design thinking. Recently we’ve seen some common shifts across all of our markets. We wanted to share what we are experiencing with the thought that you may be seeing these shifts too.

The Shift from Presentation to Collaboration

No matter the market, you are likely talking with your clients about engagement.  Culturally, we believe the digital world is driving this shift. We used to be content to be passive participants—like watching a show on television; but the digital world has given us the desire to comment, hack, hyperlink and customize.  This is how we are seeing this trend play out across markets, along with the technology that is making collaboration possible.

In corporate spaces…

Meeting rooms were easy when there was a single speaker and projection screen, but now clients want every person in the meeting to be able to put their ideas up visually. Projection and large screen displays create videoscapes leveraging interface technologies like Brio, AppleTV or TeamSpot to support BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environments where any person in the room can post a drawing, video, image or document in real time.  In addition, the technology frequently has to connect people to the meeting who are located somewhere else geographically making telepresence technologies essential.  We are finding that these conversations have driven our new construction projects in the corporate market such as CenturyLink HQ with Moody Nolan, Weir SPM with Hahnfeld Hoffer Stanford and EPIC Deep Space with Cuningham.

In education spaces…

We are fairly certain that the future of education is not simply rooms to support TED talks. The cultural shift toward collaboration means creating shared control for the content that is presented in the space.  The larger the number of participants, the more challenging this becomes. We are working with William Rawn Architects and Harvard Business School to grapple with the technologies that support their highly collaborative case-study method.  While the visual needs are similar to that of corporate meeting spaces, the audio for recording and voice-lift so that what is said can be heard in real time and captured for archival purposes is significant.

In sports venues…

You may wonder how this trend could ever affect sports venues since they are the ultimate in presentation, but fans are looking for ways to engage the action in ways that put them in control.  We worked with Populous at McLane Stadium for Baylor University to integrate collaborative features into the design.  Fans have instant access via their handheld device to grab any camera view.

While the audio, video, data, control and lighting systems are more complex than what was required for their presentational predecessors, the design goal is to make spaces intuitive so that participants are not aware of the complexity that supports them. One thing is for sure.  The digital world has given us the power to participate.  As users of these spaces, we are no longer content to sit on the sidelines.

Are you seeing a shift in your client’s needs from presentation to collaboration?

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