Back to the Future
R03, Jan Vondrák, 17.11.2019
It's not uncommon for us to work for young, dynamic companies that approach us to design their headquarters. It is entertaining to design this kind of architecture. Just as we need to get to know our private clients personally, so do we need to know the company we work with. We delve into the issues of sewing bespoke shirts, felling of trees and always seek to get to the core of what is essential to each firm. Due to the time-consuming nature of the whole process from permits to construction, it is always a challenge to know where the clients will be at when the building is finished.
It is a kind of crystal ball divination, that can be risky. Especially when combined with our optimism. Majority of our clients are successful, so we try to free their thinking of financial plans and corporate strategies and nudge them forward with hope that things will turn out well. A major impulse, when designing for these clients, is a readiness for future application of new technologies, but also an angel tax, which brings enough spatial reserves for the future growth of the company. Our question towards the clients aim precisely at that kind of future that we have to expect.
All these thoughts lead to contemplation of what will we become tomorrow. Because architects design the future. And that's what we love about our profession.
A new workday begins in the 358th floor of a skyscraper. I fly in to work 9 am, like every day. Since the workweek shrunk to two days a week, it's hard for me to get up. I need a more rigorous routine. What's more, today there was a traffic jam in our flight corridor again. Classic Tuesdays. Our android assistant greets me by the buzz of her servomotors, blinks her cameras and asks: "Good morning, sir. What would you like for breakfast?" I order my cereal raw oatmeal heated to 37 degrees celsius and hover further to my workplace. My office is wonderful. This far up one has a great view of Prague. The whole city as if it were in the palm of my hand. The buildings might be a few years old by now, but it still counts among the best in town. Everyone has their own place, but all the offices can be connected or rearranged into clusters according to the type of projects we're working on. Each profession has a slightly different office layout and a different routine. Luckily enough, they figured out that different work calls for a different environment a long time ago. Would you believe that back in 21st century everyone worked in one vast office? Obviously, in such rooms you couldn't focus on your work at all. Looking back it sounds absurd. Stressed out workers sitting behind white cubes with screens (holograms hadn't been invented then) and printing their documents on paper? What kind of days were those... The computer cubes we got rid off a half a century ago with the arrival of shared computational force. And paper? Paper is now only a domain of books. It might sound old fashioned, but books I enjoy greatly.
Aside from everyone having their own office, it is also possible to work anywhere in the complex. Various nooks and corners each for different work activities. I prefer to work in the mandarin restaurant on 86th floor. Their 20th century style instant noodles are out of this galaxy! A fine place to work. I turn on my holographic unit, with which my virtual assistant Inó appears. She's fast and efficient, but she doesn't like when I bring my dog to the office. She's scared of animals. How an app can be scared of dogs is beyond me. Maybe she was programmed this way. Last time he wanted to bite her leg and couldn't get his head around the fact that Inó is just a cluster of light.
After lunch I usually go to have a nap in the relaxation room. Morning efforts wear you out and I need to recharge for the afternoon. The levitation therapy is really a feat of technology. You float in the darkness in an anti-grafity field and the surrounding world ceases to exist. I like to listen to music when I levitate. I prefer the old classics - Beethoven, Mozart or AC/DC. Today though, there is no time for rest. Seven hour workday might be demanding, but is also short. And I have to get a load of work done bore three pm. And then fly home as fast as the laws of thermodynamics allow. It is Tuesday afternoon and the weekend begins.
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R03, Jan Vondrák, 17.11.2019