Headline Dec 21, 2015/ THE SPACE REACE : " TECHQUARTERS "



OF COURSE, Google has plenty of its own rules, including, as is the norm in Silicon Valley, very tight security, and a requirement-

That you accept {via a touch screen at the reception desk} what amounts to a  non-disclosure agreement, before you are allowed to go the person you have come to see, promising not to reveal any confidential information that you might pick up on your visit.

The space within looks like......well, if an undergraduate publication had more than 15,000 staffers [the reported number of Google employees in Mountain View], it might resemble these Google buildings:

A sprawling, amiable jumble of cubicles, alcoves, fabric partitions, sofas, meeting spaces, Ping-Pong tables, pool tables, and conference rooms made of temporary walls. {The employees call them yurts}.

Here and there are some solid walls, often painted to bright colors, and every so often the space is punctuated by small cafes dispensing free food. {There are more than 30 such cafes scattered around the complex}.

I saw some private massage rooms, says the author, and there are tread mills designed to hold a laptop computer, It goes without saying that there are few private offices. Everything is designed to be flexible so that, when project teams shift, the workspace can be reconfigured. 

THE GROWING PREFERENCE of younger workers to live in cities represents a vast shift in the culture of tech industry- And its effect is only beginning to be understood.

It  recently has certainly not escaped Amazon, which then and recently announced plans to construct new headquarters in downtown Seattle, also designed by NBBJ, the firm working with Google.

The design consists of a trio of glass towers surrounding three enormous glass spheres. The spheres which are of different size and seem to meld together, look like Buckminster Fuller domes that someone has blown out of a soap-bubble pipe:

The place plays at being relaxed, but it positively overflows with high minded virtue. The stairway over which the spaceship is hung is made of ''sustainably farmed rain forest wood from Brazil,'' Katelin Jabbari the Google spokesperson disclosed. 

But for now, lets look at some more Tech Bubbles: 

San Francisco

The wild-child of tech company offices, Zynga's doesn't celebrate casualness as much as intensity. The social gaming company's headquarters are located in a converted industrial building.

You enter through a tunnel lined with  20,000 L.E.D.'s that can be programmed to change color; beyond the light show, a large arrow bedecked with round mirrors shows you the way.

But if some of the d├ęcor feels borrowed from A Clockwork Orange, there's also plenty of standard-issue funkiness, like the old-fashioned chairs beach sat next to a Winnebago, re-christened the Zyngabago.

San Francisco

Airbnb has one of the few tech offices that evidence a real concept, let alone some genuine wit. Designed by the company itself along with a firm with the un-techy name  Interior Design Fair, the office's conferences area are all replicas of vacation homes you can rent on the Airbnb site:

A dome-topped cabin in Aptos, California; an apartment in Hong Kong; a studio in Berlin; a place in Soho. Eames chairs are everywhere. Sadly, the company ourgrew this location and moved in 2014 to new offices, also south of Market Street, in San Francisco.

Palo Alto

Created by Design Blitz, a San Francisco architecture-and-interior design firm that has done a number of lively tech offices; the Skype headquarters have followed the standard game plan:

Start with existing space, strip it down to reveal the structure, leave the ductwork exposed; black out a game room and lots of conversation groupings, add bright colors and freestanding   meeting "pads." 

But this one , a stone's throw from Hewlett Packard, feels more sophisticated than most. There's a lot of openness and an air of    -dare one say it about a tech-company workplace?   -serenity.

Las Vegas

Zappos, the shoe-and-clothing Web-site, is a tech outlier. Its office is a makeover not of an old warehouse or factory but of the former Las Vegas City Hall.-

A flamboyantly ugly modern building that is just as awful on the outside but now contains a big, open-plan tech office on the inside. The space is important less as a pure work of design than as symbol of Zappos founder Tony Hsieh's determination to turn downtown Las Vegas, a bleak place-

That has neither the monumental madness of Las Vegas Strip nor the life of a conventional downtown, into, well, a more conventional downtown. 

The Honour and Serving of the  "Historic Technology Operational Research"   continues. Thank Ya all for reading and see you on the following one.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society:

''' The Talk Of The World '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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