Summary: When we spend time outdoors, we are more productive, creative, and happier. A new survey from L.L.Bean found that 87 percent of indoor workers consider themselves people who enjoy the outdoors but 75 percent of indoor workers rarely or never take time to work outside. L.L. Bean created individual workspaces, collaborative conference areas, cycling desks and outdoor team-building activities, striving to give a new meaning to “Out of Office.” Another company produced Extremis: Bistroo Seating, a Parisian bistro furniture piece, that is made up of three legs, two chairs, and one tabletop, and allows you to sit side by side with someone else, making it ideal for a cozy chat or informal working outdoors. Landscape Forms x Arcadia created Upfit Outdoor Structural System which features a “kit-of-parts” that include a simple post-and-beam structure, a louvered roof with weather management capabilities and open roof, power, and embedded lighting.
Analysis: These products highlight the design choices that have been made in the past to promote outdoor working, and I think there are obvious decisions that have been made to promote different types of productivity and connectivity. A good question that this article helped me ask as a designer is, how can I better understand how to create a solution for the community members in my target audience? In L.L Bean’s efforts they were clearly upholding company values in encouraging outdoor connectivity, while promoting quality work from their employees. I think it would be really beneficial moving forward to explore how the population of working professionals in the downtown Dayton area will feel empowered to work in a communal space. This article also inspired some thought on how aesthetic choices will play a critical factor in being inviting for community members. I think I will need to clearly identify my target audience in order to develop a meaningful, spacial design for the historic plot of land.