The Future Office – V – Mathematics and the Future Office

The Future Office – V

“Mathematics and the Future Office”

What more do we know about numbers than the greatest mathematicians in the world?  David Hilbert for instance knows just about as much of a ‘three’ as anyone of us.  Positive integers are the foundation of counting and arithmetic.  The only difference between great mathematicians and those not as well versed in mathematics is, in essence, the ability to identify a whole bunch of ‘threes’ – three oranges, three cookies, etc. – and perform a bunch of manipulations with ‘three’ such as two plus three is five.  Also, one of the reasons that mathematics is so useful is because we can use the statement “two plus three is five” in many different situations, such as knowing we’ll need $5(or a credit card) when we purchase a muffin for $2 and a Frappuccino for $3. Nonetheless, “three” is a number, it’s constant – we cannot understand it any better or worse, it’s what we do with that understanding of “three” that equates to our mathematic ability.
Math is everywhere in our daily lives!  Dependant on what you do for a living and what your aspirations are, there is more or less of it.  The way we go about in our businesses, our processes, it all stems from a mathematical calculation where the sum is positive to our agendas.  If you’re wondering why your car is never ready when the garage tells you it will be, is a mathematic equation!
“Do not worry about
your difficulties with mathematics; I assure you mine are far greater.” – one of Einstein’s famous quote. 
Every architect works with a mathematic equation when their planning office space.  We like to call it an ‘office space metric.’  This is a calculation, per square foot, that determines where the walls go, what size the workstations are, how wide a corridor is and what the lunchroom ends up in terms of seats – it is based off of the culture of the organisation, and fueled by what the vision of that space will be in terms of productivity and efficiency.  This ‘office space metric’ goes as far back as the architect profession itself!  To this day everyone in our industry uses their own little version of this ‘office space metric’ but we’re computing the same data and trying to come out with the same outcome.
The way we’ve been defining the future, is the best practices today being applied as a general practice.  When we find a better way to do something, we trend – the world, slowly (as a global entity, like wildfires in small groups) follows suit and improves their process.  And why wouldn’t we?  Better practices means a better equation – for business that’s increased profitability!  So when it comes to something so integral, as substantial as mathematics, there’s nothing about ‘three’ that we’d like to change – because that never changes!  What we do change are the equations we use to manipulate that three in order to get to a more favorable result. 
With respect to the ‘office space metric,’ we’ve been looking at this equation the same way, with ever so slightly variations in order to take ownership of it.  The equation itself has changed significantly for organisations that are leading the business world – their external placement in the marketplace is a direct reflection of the efficiency of their employees.  WorkplaceOne is a bold re-calculation of how we define a work environment.  This calculation has already been taken and varied ever so slightly so that other organisations can claim ownership to it, however the sum is the same – it is positive to our agendas.
Until next time – go change the world. P.H.


ources cited:

1. How Math Explains the World – James D. Stein
2. Design Does Matter Vol. 2 – Published by Teknion
3. WorkplaceOne – Published by Teknion
4. Teknion Corporation

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1 reply
  1. Mike Hassard
    Mike Hassard says:

    Interesting article. Math is the one constant in the universe, and the world around us.

    If I had understood this better I would have paid more attention school!

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