I tried to lifeblog during the Future Salon and my computer froze on me. Nevertheless here a couple of take aways from the Salon with George Yu.
If you are in Pasadena you should check out the new Honda design center . They deliberately moved the designers away from headquarters into the pedestrian area of the city to connect them to community. They rented a corner store front.
Now the problem is that you want to be part off the community, but your latest prototypes shouldn't be seen. Also you want natural light to come in during the day and interesting light going out in the evening.
The first time he visited the Honda Design team George saw a big CNC machine that they just got to create full size models for their prototype cars. He asked them whether he could use it and they said sure, the machine has downtimes and during these he can create what he wants. He used it to create big milky plastic elements that he and his team put together to create a second layer within the office, light comes through, but you can't see the prototypes within, but there is also enough room to show to the outside world things that are shared. Check it out, it is really stylish.
Style is out of style. George said that if someone comes up to him and says: "I like your style" He doesn't really know what to do. Style just doesn't play a role in his Architectural world.
The other thing that changed in the last 10 years is that you are not looked down upon if you do work for large corporation. It gives you a certain amount of freedom as the corporations have the bigger budgets.
I also had a hallway conversation with him about office furniture, as he was interested in when our building was done. He said that he likes to work with Vitra for office furniture. I know Vitra because a friend of mine did the SAP implementation there and two Winters ago my lovely wife and I visited their design museum.
His reasoning was that the American companies only have the concept of your desk space and then community areas. Vitra has concepts for in between. He said that one of the solutions he just implemented was having really large desks, where several people can work on and you partition them as needed for the current projects.
One thing that I would have loved to try out for myself was the Blow Up art installation where they used 16 oversized balloons and your own movements in them triggered sounds and people would interact and play music with them. Super sweet check out the second video to get an impression.
All in all a very interesting evening.