The Evolution of the Workplace: Corporate Brands Have Become Broadcasters

As a young architectural designer and broadcast scenic designer more than twenty years ago, I wouldn’t have guessed that the fields of architecture and broadcast media would become as intertwined as they have today; to form a new hybrid “camera-ready” workplace.

Taking the way-back machine to the year 2000, (for me) Architecture, and the workplace within it, was designed to accommodate things like natural daylight and ventilation, building systems, program adjacencies and environmentally responsible materials. It was the job of interior architecture to provide a healthy, inspirational place for people to work as well as communicate the values, culture, and brand of the company it expressed.

In the Broadcast industry at that time, digital media and video production was synonymous with commercial broadcast stations and television networks. The broadcast studio was something CNN or NBC built to accommodate their daily line-up of programming. In my mind, the studio was the home of the evening news, weather, and sports updates.

One of my first broadcast news studios for CNNfn, an example of a”traditional broadcast” project, while a Sr. Design Director at Jack Morton Worldwide, completed 2000
Recent corporate video “news” studio for the financial industry, an example of the emerging corporate broadcast”non-traditional” studio, completed 2018 .

Today, with the evolution of broadband, social media and a video content consuming culture, companies are increasingly embracing video (and their dedicated corporate YouTube channels) as a preferred brand communication strategy to reach their target audiences and customers organically.

As a result, in the past three to five years, large national architecture and interior design firms have established digital media practices to support their corporate clients around this proliferation of technology within the workplace.

In addition, today, the typical tools of the broadcast trade (lighting, cameras, mass distribution) have become less expensive, higher quality and effortless to operate. In fact, I was just speaking with a colleague the other day about how good the iPhone has become and its ability to replace traditional broadcast cameras within the corporate setting.

New corporate workplace build-outs now include “zoom rooms”, video optimized conference rooms and media rooms for corporate video production. Clients want to ensure their companies are communicating their brand effectively across the video platform.

Technologically speaking, it’s easier now, more than ever, to produce high-quality video content and reach your customers. In this way, corporate brands have become broadcasters. They use the web and social media channels as their distribution network and develop their own channels full of “live-to-tape” or “pre-recorded” programming content.

(Above) Clients are now planning “Media Rooms” into their interior build-outs

(Above) Companies use their You-Tube Channels to distribute custom video content
(Above) Large video walls and interactive touch displays are now commonplace in corporate lobbies and seen as powerful experiential elements as well as essential brand storytelling tools.

The convergence of corporate workplace interiors, video content and video production today are undeniable. The disciplines of interior architecture and digital media no longer inhabit disparate fields of thought. Companies now want dedicated spaces to produce corporate videos for internal and external communications. They want corporate video conference rooms to reflect their brand on-camera and have all guests well-lit with a microphone. They want to optimize their public spaces visually for social sharing and promoting their brand.

Interior architecture and digital media have truly become intertwined in a way that I could not have imagined twenty years ago as a young architectural designer or broadcast scenic designer. As companies continue to use video as a primary communication channel and the “tools of the trade” continue to make it easier to produce and distribute content, this interconnectedness will only increase in the future.

Further, the advancement of augmented reality and virtual reality combined with advanced motion tracking and LED display systems (AKA. “The Mandalorian Effect”) demonstrate exciting things on the horizon.

With all of this, I can’t wait to see where the future of workplace is headed with “brands as their own broadcasters”, pushing the potential video content, brand communication and reaching audiences in new ways.