What's New?

The Puget Sound region fosters a culture of creativity and discovery; it is the nexus of big ideas, the home of innovators and innovations that have shaped our region and changed the world. We all know Seattle is changing rapidly (who hasn’t seen the three year time lapse video stitched together by Ricardo Martin-Brualla from the Space Needle’s 360-degree webcam). The demolition of the seismically vulnerable Alaskan Way Viaduct is almost complete, making way for Waterfront Seattle to fulfill the community’s vision for beautiful public spaces, a salmon-friendly seawall, and year-round cultural, educational, and recreational activities. LMN Architects is planning a $100 million design for a 50,000 square-foot expansion to the aquarium, the iconic Space Needle got a 360 degree spacelift with floor-to-forever glass to “elevate the awe” (the Loupe revolving glass floor opened to the public in 2018, overall renovations to be completed 2019). Construction is starting for the New Arena at Seattle Center, and yeah….we’re getting a professional hockey team!

While the city that almost never sleeps perseveres with its transformation (we still have the most cranes in the sky of any U.S. city), office environments are changing too.

Modern Tribes

Companies also look to move faster, generate original ideas and be more innovative, they require the diverse thinking and creativity found only in teams — no one person can do it alone. These hyper-collaborative teams are today’s modern tribes — a close knit unit with a shared mission, charged with tackling complex problems. They work in rapid cycles, inspired by practices such as agile and design thinking.


“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” — Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO

“Teams today need to navigate a fast-paced flow, bouncing between team members, iterating and improving on each other’s ideas. Everyone is accountable to keep work moving forward.” — Gale Moutrey Vice President, Workplace Innovation + Brand Communications, Steelcase

Steelcase Flex

One innovative idea coming from Steelcase is their Flex Collection, an interconnected system of moveable desks, tables, whiteboards and technology designed to help teams adapt their space as work changes.

To learn more about how teams work today, read: New Work. New Rules.

Most days I reroute my old Honda to find the most efficient way to my next destination—change is good, I think, more opportunities to explore the city I now call home. Sometimes I pass the Seattle Center, where our hockey team will play for the 2021–22 NHL season. Did you know the Seattle Metropolitans were the first American team to win the Stanley Cup in 1917? I imagine the team in play—skates scraping on the battlefield of ice as they hurtle towards another shot at the Holy Grail of hockey. Poetry in motion.

author bio

Author Ann de Bruin, OpenSquare Workspace Consultant / Education

Email: adebruin@open-sq.com

Ann joined OpenSquare as the Workspace Consultant for our Education Team in January 2019. She is a Canadian ex-pat with a passion for learning, who comes to us by way of Hawaii and Los Angles, where she worked for various Steelcase dealerships as designer/account manager/sales. Ann traded the sunshine and surf for Washington rain and those amazing views of Mt. Rainier, to be closer to her daughter and family. In her free time, you’ll find Ann hanging about the aisles of Home Depot plotting renovations for her vintage seventies house with the faux wood carpet, or in some neighborhood café perched at a counter with pen, paper and a semi-dry cappuccino.