is an elusive creature. It changes with the ebb and flow of fashion, politics,
and cultural whimsy, or it can change seemingly overnight due to a major event.
When the University's collaboration laboratory for design was approached about
designing a new start-up incubator for IT college students, naturally several
concrete goals arose as to function and performance of the space, but in the
end, the element of cool was the focus.
clear that if this incubator environment was to become successful as a beacon
for undergrads, it needed to have a high cool-factor in terms of the
surrounding aesthetic, and how students prefer to work. The concept for this
Gen Y office environment is a marriage between the raw edge of urbanism and the
honed edge of tech. Other aims involve reuse and restyling of existing office systems
to conserve cost, demonstrate sustainability, and to create an atmosphere of
The pulling away of skins and cladding to reveal inner structure, no
matter how raw, reflects Gen Y’s need for authenticity and transparency. This
sentiment is reflected in the exposure of metal studs that are normally
concealed beyond the drywall. The turret jutting out of the corner of the
conference room is clad in transparent corrugated roofing material, revealing the
construction. The new generation of knowledge worker likes to have a variety of
work scenarios available to him or her. In addition to having a conventional
workspace, the space also affords alcoves for alone time, as well as a
community chill space that allows for a variety of seating configurations.