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Franziska Michaelis (Stylepark) in conversation with Jay Osgerby (Studio Barber Osgerby), Philip Tidd (Gensler) and Andreas Gahlert (Bosch eBike)

More than just table football in an office zone

The Vitra Workspace in Frankfurt hosted a panel discussion that explored all the different sides to the theme of “New Work”: Stylepark Board member Franziska Michaelis talked about the future of the workspace – among others with designer Jay Osgerby.
by Fabian Peters | 1/28/2020

“Germans are masterful engineers. Perhaps that’s why they always view their offices a bit as if they were an extension of their workbenches,” quipped Philip Tidd, Managing Director of international architecture practice Gensler, and he should know. His company compiled the "Germany Workplace Survey", a study that examines workplace habits in great detail. Making the Munich-based architect an ideal participant in the panel discussion on the topic of “New Work”, which Vitra held on January 23, 2020 in its Workspace in Frankfurt. The provocative title for the evening’s interaction was dreamed up by Jay Osgerby, one half of the London designer duo of Barber Osgerby: “The desk is dead” the two designers announced when presenting their workspace sofa system called “Soft Work”. A proposition that called for explanation. Stylepark Board member Franziska Michaelis wanted to know more and asked Osgerby, Tidd and Andreas Gahlert, Chief Digital Officer of Bosch eBike,what their experiences are with conventional and advanced office environments. There was a consensus on at least two points: First that possibly it is not the desk, but at least the classic executive office or two-person office that is on the way out. And second that thankfully the days are long gone when a table football unit in the recreation zone was felt to symbolize the achievements of “New Work”. At the end of the discussion the 160 invited guests had plenty of things to talk about and no doubt some of them looked at their workplaces through different eyes the very next morning.