For years, design schools primarily took a numerical approach to space planning: How many people need to be accommodated? How many square feet will be allocated for each employee and their desks? How many people will a conference room hold? “From our point of view, that really gets it all wrong,” says Joyce Bromberg, chief design officer at Convene, a firm that designs and services premium places to work, meet and host inspiring events.
Having spent years at Steelcase developing what came to be known as community-based planning, Bromberg has a unique perspective on where workplace design has come from and where it’s headed.
Convene provides human-centered coworking spaces and amenity services that are changing the workplace design game.
Rather, the industry has awoken to the fact that human-centered design is the more effective approach to creating spaces that enable people to live, work and play at their best.
“It’s really about using the techniques that come out of cultural anthropology, which are about asking people questions about what they do in the context of where they do it, about preserving what is best about what they do and looking at how they interact with the objects around them and their tools—whether those are analog tools or digital tools—and then asking them to engage in a participatory design activity that allows us to tap into what we think of as their explicit, passive and latent needs,” Bromberg explains.
Through strategic partnerships with prominent commercial landlords, Convene helps design, build, and manage workplaces and amenity spaces to deliver engaging tenant experiences built upon top-tier hospitality and technology platforms.
“A lot of companies say that they practice human-centered design,” she observes.