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"Workspheres: Innovative Design Solutions for the Workplace of the Near Future"
2001-02-08 until 2001-04-22
Museum of Modern Art
New York, NY, USA

Beginning February 8, 2001, The Museum of Modern Art presents Workspheres, a unique and forward-looking exhibition that examines the changing nature of the workplace and the role of design in creating effective solutions to accommodate these changes. In the last decade, dramatic innovations in the management of time and the balance between private and professional life have caused work to lose its immediate identification with the office as a room or space in a designated building.

The exhibition sheds light on many theories about our working future, featuring custom-built models of new tools and environments conceived for the exhibition by six international design teams, as well as selected examples of products and design solutions currently in existence. Organized by Paola Antonelli, Curator, and Sarah Robins, Research Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, Workspheres will be on view through April 22, 2001.

Work has become transportable and ubiquitous, almost a state of mind, notes Ms. Antonelli. Like a bubble of pure concentration that one can turn on and off with or without the help of tangible tools, work is where you are. The title of the exhibition comes from the concept of the individual workspace as a halo, a private and personal space, that better defines and enables interaction among people and with work tools.

In preparation for the exhibition, Ms. Antonelli consulted with an international advisory group and conducted an in-depth analysis of contemporary work practices and needs. The advisory board consists of Larry Keeley, president of Doblin Group, Chicago, and an expert on design strategy and innovation; Bruce Mau, a philosopher and designer, from Toronto, Canada; Aura Oslapas, designer and consultant on behavioral design, San Francisco, California; and John Thackara, Director of the Doors of Perception design conference, Amsterdam. The preliminary research conducted by Ms. Antonelli and the advisory board, along with many unofficial advisors, attempted to achieve a greater understanding of contemporary work practices and needs, in order to set limits, create categories, and delineate briefs for the designers. The topics addressed by the briefs include the reorganization of time and data; nomadic and domestic work; space for creativity, isolation, and relaxation within an existing office; individuality within a corporate environment; and the creation of a new workstation for the official office.

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