Manchesters Reunited

Alongside Mix Interiors, we gathered at Tattu, in Manchester’s relatively new kid on the block that is the Spinningfields district, along with some of the best-known protagonists in the architectural and design community.

We kicked off by flirting with a SWOT of Manchester. Not surprisingly, we spent most of the time on strengths. Most around the table accepted that Manchester’s civil leadership of Howard Bernstein and Richard Leese, with a combined life at the top of 38 years, is one of the key reasons for its success.

Gavin P: “Manchester’s leadership has been faultless”

Richard: “Greater Manchester does act together. You see that in so many things across the city region. Yorkshire can’t agree. Birmingham has more of a construction culture but Manchester has a design culture”

The question was asked, who has a designated desk? The response was that 4 out of 11 do not (36% – imagine if that were typical of the UK workplace). 

We asked, broadly speaking, what are the major trends in the workplace? Are sit/stand desks, agile working, third space and ergonomics just fads? Or are they being embraced by the client? Gregg kicked off by saying that his team have ‘fitbits’ to encourage them to move around the workspace and added that, just because the desk is there, it doesn’t mean you have to do all your work from it (Greg being one of those without a desk).

Julian: “Business is unrecognisable from five years ago. Our furniture has to have sources of power to work in today’s workspace”

Gavin K: “Third space is the new first space!”

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