This is just a sneak peek from Michelle‘s feature in SCENARIO 02:2016. If you are not a current subscriber to SCENARIO or a member of The Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies, then subscribe or get in touch with us here.
The vision of the design, 93,000 m2 in size, is to create a combined accommodation and work environment with a focus on flexibility in work life over permanent solutions. Precisely flexibility is the keyword for future work. The digital native has exchanged the need for a fixed desk with smartphones and laptops. This constant availability has changed the way we work and will lead to less clearly defined work hours in the future.
However, new physical frameworks and a more fluid transition between toil and leisure are not the only developments that are changing how we will work in the future. Just now, we are also seeing a growing hybridisation of traditionally separate industries, which are going to overlap more and more. This is a trend that has mainly grown from the current technological revolution of the educational system and the job market. Developments like digitisation, datafication and automation create new needs, and these needs will be covered by new types of jobs and titles. According to a study by the US Department of Labour, no less than 65 percent of current US primary school students will end in jobs that haven’t yet been invented.
The growing hybridisation and cross-disciplinary work is perhaps seen most clearly in the creative industries, in particular the design business, which rests on the ability to renew itself all the time. The level of competition is high, and new materials, technologies, and trends keep setting new standards for both producers and consumers. This dynamic also makes more room for collaborative and network-oriented business models. Even though creative collaboration, where you borrow the competencies and knowledge of other industries, has existed for many years, we now see a far greater tendency for the industries to mix it up. This hybrid mindset creates a far more reflexive ecosystem that breaks down industry silos by involving far more parties than before in the design process.
This new development goes by the name of hybrid design. Hybrid design deals with constructions of diverse modes of expression and skills that, in combination, form an original finished product. Hybrid means cross-breed and originally comes from the realm of animals and plants. Here, the cross-breeds were traditionally used to invent new species tailored for specific purposes. This could be a cross-breed between different plant species bred to achieve greater resistance to parasites and diseases. Another example is the mule, an animal hybrid that is bred because it generally is more patient and robust than a horse, but faster and more intelligent than a donkey. When the hybrid car was invented, it was also an attempt to get the best from two worlds. The idea was that you could get the advantages of a combustion engine and still meet new demands and expectations for more environmentally friendly driving.