The adoption of ABW over timeThe evolution of activity-based working seems to follow the classic innovation diffusion pattern. 10The concept started out at as an isolated experiment; it was then embraced by an enthusiastic group of early adopters; after that, the late majority became interested as the necessary technologies became more mature. And today, the ABW concept seems,at last, to be on the verge of becoming a mainstream solution.Large scale ABW projects in IT and consultancy.Lots of publicati- ABW on its way ons and seminars. to become a Some organizati- ABW adopted as amainstream ons try out ABWstandard solutionsolution?in pilot projects. by many largeThe new normal?Adoption The concept getbusinesses and its irst mediagovernment attention. organisations.The irst ABW oice ever.No emulation.Time 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010sStage Innovators Early adopters Early majority Late majority Laggards (?)Q&AJohn Worthington, Founder DEGW, Collaborative UrbanistWhen did DEGW start to work with the idea of sharingHow did ABW evolve into a mainstream solution?work settings? Change is incremental, until a seismic occurrence The seeds were sown in the early 1970s when Franktriggers a change in perceptions. The recession of returned from Princeton and established a listening post198993 was the catalyst to appraise the impact of for JFN Associates, a leading practice of New York spaceICT on the office. The focus was shifting from costs planners. In our projects, we questioned the status quo(efficiency) to maximizing peoples performance in office design and looked for more egalitarian and(effectiveness) and how the organization presented flexible ways of allocating space.itself (expression). From then on, the interest in New Ways of Working only grew and grew.What triggered the idea?As with most insightful and lasting ideas there was notWill we witness the demise of the office any time soon?one eureka moment. Franks 1974 doctoral dissertationThe need to congregate, build trust and exchange Office Interiors and Organisations acted as the catalyst.knowledge and ideas will continue to exist. It may not Over the next two decades, working with innovativebe located in a place we now call an office. It could be corporations and developers, and supported by a globalin a castle or a canteen. The use class called office is research programme, a robust conceptual platformoutdated. Long live the coffee house and bourse.was established for championing distributed ways of working and shared activity-based settings.17