Published in 1997, ‘The New Office’ (Conran Octopus) by Francis Duffy remains a classic for office designers and the occupiers of workspaces. Duffy highlights the connections between office design and management thinking in an era of technological and cultural shifts. The book addresses key issues affecting the office environment—how it can support and stimulate business performance, the management response to IT, new directions in the fabrication, management and location of offices, and the importance of measurement and feedback in business. Case studies from around the world provide lessons from a century’s workplace design pool.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a key representative of minimalist architecture in the 20th century. His “Barcelona” chair is one of the classic designs of our times. Its X-shaped tubular steel structure and leather upholstery continues to find imitators across the globe, an indicator of its timeless appeal. Van der Rohe considered architecture and furniture design to be intimately related. Indeed, he said: “The chair is a very difficult object. A chair must be lightweight, it must be solid and it must be comfortable. It is almost easier to build a skyscraper than it is to make a good chair.”
The world’s largest architectural bookshop, the Prairie Avenue Bookshop, is an independent store in downtown Chicago. It stocks more than 20,000 new and used books, and has an extensive website, updated weekly. Discounts are offered on new titles for the first six months. Colleges and municipal libraries are eligible for institutional prices. The store’s inventory includes books on architecture, design, technology, drawing, urban planning and architectural history, and its ‘Student Guide to Building a Professional Library’ is considered standard reference for students of architecture. International orders can be placed online at ‘www.pabook.com’.