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新兴设计方式:数据驱动策略——以微软公司办公室为例第1张图片

Image © Aaron Locke

微软公司如何运用数据驱动策略来构思办公空间设计语言?
How Microsoft Is Making Data-Driven Decisions to Craft its New Workplace Design Language

由专筑网李韧,王帅编译

本文最初发表于“Metropolis Magazine”,标题为“微软全新设计语言背后的故事”。

近期,微软公司正在对全球800个分公司进行改革,并在此过程中就融合技术和办公场地设计发表了深刻的见解。Riku Pentikäinen是微软公司的设计策略主管,他向Metropolis公司的Avinash Rajagopal讲述了微软公司办公场所的新设计,本次设计与各种设计师和家具制造商合作,并且讲述了如何通过数据驱动策略来进行办公空间的设计。

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "The Big Ideas Behind Microsoft’s New 'Design Language.'"
Microsoft is undertaking an ambitious overhaul of its 800 offices around the world and uncovering great insights about the intersections of technology and workplace design in the process. The technology giant’s global director of workplace strategies, Riku Pentikäinen, speaks to Metropolis’s Avinash Rajagopal about the company’s new workplaces, collaborating with designers and furniture manufacturers, and how his team takes a data-driven approach to office design.

新兴设计方式:数据驱动策略——以微软公司办公室为例第2张图片

Image Courtesy of Microsoft

Avinash Rajagopal:您近期公开了多个办公场所,其中运用了多个办公场所设计策略,那么其中的主导因素是什么?

Riku Pentikäinen:回溯几年前,微软公司出品了一些非常酷炫的办公场所,但这些场所都没有共通之处,2年前,我们着手设计微软专属的设计语言,这其实非常棘手,因为每个人都有自己的观点,并且这些观点还并不一致,那么你该如何为微软公司设计专有的设计语言呢?微软公司的办公室应该是什么样子呢?

通过一系列的工作,我们建立了现有的微软专属设计语言,如今,我们的许多新办公场所都有着同样的风格,并且合作的建筑师也以此为基础进行设计工作。但是这只是一个方向,我们并没有在例如颜色、地毯等细部设计做出强制规定。但设定了一个受欢迎、温暖、温馨,以及实用的方向。

老实讲,我们的设计语言非常受欢迎,这让我吃了一惊。建筑师们往往会认为甲方总是从他们身上索取些什么,但是甲方其实很高兴能够看到心目中所期待的设计。因此我们的设计发展迅猛。以米兰为例,意大利以其设计而闻名,但是他们的设计和我们的设计又不太相似,因为他们只是想要做好当下的事情而已,他们喜欢这项工作,并且接受成果,因此微软的米兰分公司就是我们设计语言的一个代表例子。

Avinash Rajagopal: You recently opened a number of new workplaces, and there’s a broader strategy around workplace design in place at Microsoft. What drove that?
Riku Pentikäinen: Going back a couple of years, I saw Microsoft doing a lot of cool spaces from a design perspective, but they didn’t have a whole lot in common. Two years ago, we started a project to establish a design language for Microsoft. It’s very tricky to do—everybody will have a view, and most times it’s not aligned, so how do you establish that for a company? What should Microsoft look and feel like?
As a result of a ton of work, we established what is now the Microsoft design language. Today, many of our new offices are reflective of the design language. We use that as guidance to architects on our aspirational direction, design-wise. But that’s what it is—a direction. We did not want to be prescriptive in terms of color, carpet. It’s about setting a direction that is welcoming, warm, homely, residential.
Quite honestly, I’ve been blown away by the reception we’ve gotten for our design language. You would think that architects would feel that we’re taking something away from them, but they’ve been really appreciative that we’re clear on what we’re expecting. Therefore, we’re seeing less iteration and it does increase speed. I’ll take Milan, for example. Italians are known for their design, and I was certain that they wouldn’t align with our design language, because they’d want to do their own thing. But they loved it and they embraced it, and that site [Microsoft House in Milan] is one of the best examples of our design language.

新兴设计方式:数据驱动策略——以微软公司办公室为例第3张图片


新兴设计方式:数据驱动策略——以微软公司办公室为例第4张图片

Image © Hufton + Crow

AR:对于甲方与建筑师之间的关系,你提到一个很有趣的观点,就这个问题你能描述得再详细一些吗?一个典型的设计过程应该是怎样的?

RP:首先,我们必须吸引到愿意与我们合作的建筑师。对于办公设计项目,我会考虑很多,尤其是建筑师的观点与我们发生冲突时,我会进行更深刻的思考。我们不排斥挑战,但是必须要呈现出最好的用户体验。我们团队的员工无论是销售还是机械工程方向,都必须要知道自己在干什么。

每个区域的办公空间设计策略负责人会最先与建筑师进行沟通,他们会给建筑师一个大概的设计方向与思路,这样的沟通非常重要。但是同时,每一个观点都非常重要,因为最终要呈现出最优秀的设计成果。

AR: You bring up a very interesting point about your relationship with architects and designers who design your spaces. Can you talk a little bit more about that? What does a typical process look like?
RP: First and foremost, we want to attract architects who want to work with us. If I think about our workplace programs, where we get into trouble, time and again, is when the architects’ view is not aligned with ours in terms of program. While we welcome the challenge, we know our end users best. I have a team of people working together, whether it’s our sales or our engineering side, purely understanding how they work.
The regional workplace strategists are the first spoke, in terms of contact with the architects. They give design direction and support to the architects, and it’s a very strong dialogue with the architects on the direction that we want to take. But at the same time, I can’t stress enough the importance of challenging [every idea], and out of that I see us getting the best design outcomes.

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AR:就技术角度来说,我了解到米兰和伦敦分公司都使用了数据驱动设计方法,你能否谈谈其中的空间利用技术?你是如何在项目中运用的呢?

RP:几年前,我们改变了原有的设计思维。我们曾经进行过单人空间的设计项目,然而,我们仍然倾向于功能性为主导的设计方式。在最后,我们与我们的数据科学团队合作,开发出PAA策略,这种方法结合了标志文件,将标志文件与激活的有线数据或无线数据相连接,然后为我们留出了充分的输出时间,这让我们能够了解到建筑中任何时间点的空间利用性。

这让我们在全球范围内减少了额外的工作量。我认为这种方式最大的益处在于微软公司是一个数据驱动型公司,我们只需要直观地展示数据即可,并不需要花费多余的时间来让客户信服我们的观念。这从根本上改变了我们与客户的工作方式。

AR: To get into the technology angle a little bit more, I know that the Milan and London offices had a data-driven approach to design. Can you talk about your space-utilization technology and how you used it for those projects?
RP: A couple years back, we changed the fundamentals of how we design space. We used to do the industry practice of square feet per head; however, we really wanted to go toward utilization-based planning. In the end, we connected with our data science team and we developed what we call our PAA, which is our peak average attendance. In essence, it takes the badge files in and, through machine learning, learns to associate those badge files with a wireless or wired connection that is activated. Which then, on the hind side, gives us exit times, which gives us actual utilization of space at any given point of time in any of our buildings.
That has then enabled us, on a global level, to reduce our footprint significantly. I think one of the biggest benefits in this area is that Microsoft is a super data-driven company. When you have the data—when you’re able to show that for the last six months, this is how much use, or lack of use, your site saw—we don’t need to use as much of our time and energy trying to convince customers. It has quite fundamentally changed the way we work with our end users.

新兴设计方式:数据驱动策略——以微软公司办公室为例第6张图片


AR:刚才你谈到了数据和它的应用,但在未来,它是否会影响到设计的决策方向?

RP:现在我们仍然在进行尝试,利用无线网络进行定位,然后形成热点地图,这能告知我们正在被使用的空间。这是我们将会推出的新技术,我们也通过数据来分析空间的使用状况。

我们还结合了MyAnalytics,从中可以得出数据的运用方式和合作对象,这能够有效提升团队的业务水平,我们从中能够清晰地看出工程合作和销售数量。从物理环境的角度来说,我们支持这种驱动式合作,这是我们在空间程序中引入的另一种数据模式。

除此之外,我们也将此技术用于人力资源管理,通过这些数据,我们能够了解到员工的个人偏好。因此,在这种趋势下,我们的空间程序变得愈发复杂,因为我们结合了多种数据,但这能将我们的收益最大化。

AR: You’re talking about taking data and using it to inform, say, square footage or space allocation. But do you foresee a future where it might be able to inform design decisions?
RP: We have in a pilot phase the ability to use a wireless LAN to triangulate positioning and then create heat maps, which tell us what kinds of spaces are being used. That’s something we will launch in due course. We are bringing in the data feed on how space is being utilized.
We are also bringing in MyAnalytics, which is this whole host of data about how and with whom the individual collaborates. That then can be elevated to data sets on how business groups and units work with one another. As a very classic example, we can see how much engineering collaborates with sales. From a physical-environment perspective, we can support driving that collaboration. That’s another data feed that we’re bringing into our space programming.
Beyond that, we are looking at data feeds like HR data. We’re bringing in survey data, in terms of personal preferences of people. So on a broader trend, I see our space programming becoming more complex, because we’re bringing in more and more data feeds, but it will enable creating environments that will maximize productivity.

新兴设计方式:数据驱动策略——以微软公司办公室为例第7张图片


AR:一些数据来源于前辈的提供,设计也是如此。

RP:数据的输入并非来自盲目的查看数据源。你需要将主观态度结合客观态度来看待空间的运用。我们希望每个空间都能适配于不同的团队,并且每个团队也能以自己的方式调整空间。

在此我们与Steelcase、Herman Miller、 Knoll、 Haworth等进行合作,从而寻找更多的解决方案。同时我们也与Orange Books、 Framery合作,为空间带来更多灵活性。另外,我们仍然也在寻求终端用户自身能够操纵的灵活性方式,这样空间也能够更加随意地变化。这是我们当前最为关注的事。

AR: Some of this data comes from people with experience providing input. Design has that experiential dimension as well.
RP: Getting input is not blindly looking at a data source. You need to have the subjective and the objective to form a holistic view of how space is performing. We’re looking to do it in a manner where we’re easily able to configure the space to bring in another team, and the space they’re given adjusts itself.
That’s an area where we work with the likes of Steelcase, Herman Miller, Knoll, and Haworth to push them to bring us more solutions that enable that adaptation. We also work with the likes of Orange Books and Framery to bring that flexibility into the space. Ultimately, we’re seeking a flexibility such that the end users themselves can do the changes, and the space transforms itself for a new team, or for more concentration or collaboration. That’s something that we are super focused on: giving more flexibility to the end users.

新兴设计方式:数据驱动策略——以微软公司办公室为例第8张图片


AR:你能否谈谈其工作空间设计和技术运用中所遇到的困扰?

RP:
我想了解这样一个问题,那就是人们对于未来工作空间变化趋势会有着怎样的期待,同时我们应当如何调整空间来适应这样的变化。我们对此正在进行深入地了解,我们还不知道实际会是什么样。其实,我看到了许多来自不同层面的数据投入,有时我们甚至比高校的发展更加先进,但是,孩子们在上学之后,未来如何发展?具体在哪里工作?这些其实是未知数。

研究项目的另一部分是关于如今的一些干扰因素对办公场所会有着怎样的影响。例如,3D打印家具对办公场所的影响有哪些?经济因素的影响是什么?物理环境对人们意味着什么?这一过程还有着许多未知数,但是我坚信我们的团队能够解决这些问题。

AR: Could you talk about some of the pieces of the puzzle that you’re still figuring out in workplace design and technology?
RP: One of the questions I want to get to the bottom of is how the expectation of the future workforce will change, and how we can adjust our space to meet that. We’re getting insight into what that expectation might look like. We are not yet at the phase of translating that into a physical layout, so that is still an unknown for me. I’ve seen a lot of the input that we get from what I would call the future workforce on different levels, because we look further than university: kids starting elementary school, how they work, and how they will expect to work. That to me is still an unknown.
And another part of the research program is about understanding how some of the disruptions that we’re seeing today impact the workplace. What is the impact of 3D printing of furniture on the workplace? What is the impact of the gig economy, and what does that mean for the physical environment? The list of unknowns is very long, but what gives me confidence is that we’ve established a top-notch team, combining people from within and outside Microsoft.

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AR:随着技术和文化的变迁,你是否认为微软语言将会成为适用的理论框架?它会随着时间而改变吗?

RP:设计语言的一大标准是不能随意地变动,因此我们的设计语言是一种固定的模式。我认为,我们在十年后设计建造的空间仍然与米兰分公司有着类似的风格,并且我们也将持续发展,同时也会结合众多未来的因素。我们不会给出异想天开的设计理念,“现在我们需要重新开始”,这也是设计语言的关键因素之一,它并不会随着时间的流逝而改变,因为它基于微软的企业文化,这在未来也将充满意义。

AR: As technology and culture change, do you foresee the Microsoft language being a sort of living, flexible framework? Will it change over time?
RP: One of the first criteria for our design language was that it needs to be timeless with distinction. So our design language will remain. I’d say that a space we will build ten years from now will have some of the same feel to it as Milan. However, we will continue to evolve. It will continue to take the future workforce into account. We will not throw the design language out and go, “Now we need to start fresh.” That was one of the key criteria for the design language when we were creating it: that it needs to be timeless with distinction, and it needs to be founded on the new Microsoft culture. I think that will ensure that it will be relevant in the future.

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新兴设计方式:数据驱动策略——以微软公司办公室为例第11张图片


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