the spheres will be packed with a plant collection worthy of top-notch conservatories, allowing Amazon employees to amble through tree canopies three stories off the ground, meet with colleagues in rooms with walls made from vines and eat kale Caesar salads next to an indoor creek. [...]
“The whole idea was to get people to think more creatively, maybe come up with a new idea they wouldn’t have if they were just in their office,” said Dale Alberda, the lead architect on the project at NBBJ — nytimes.com
While the benefits of greenery for employee productivity is well established, and any good tech company needs to play up the "serendipity machine" game, Amazon is taking this to an architectural level:The spheres will have meeting areas called treehouses, and suspension bridges high off the ground...
When its spheres and three surrounding towers are completed, [Amazon] will have 10 million square feet of office space in Seattle, more than 15 percent of the city's inventory, on a campus that occupies more than 10 square blocks. That will provide space for Amazon to more than double in size, to 50,000 Seattle workers in the next decade...The spheres, designed by architecture firm NBBJ, are Amazon's boldest statement yet in the first project it's building from the ground up. — Bloomberg
When Amazon donated an empty South Lake Union hotel for use as a homeless shelter, it was investing in a model that Mary’s Place, the service provider, has perfected: turning vacant or transitioning buildings into temporary shelter. — Crosscut.com
Called Amazon Books, the store will be located at Westfield UTC mall near UC San Diego...The store will presumably resemble the Seattle location, which sells a limited selection of Amazon's best-reviewed books. That venue also doubles as a showroom for the e-commerce brand's expanding hardware lineup, which includes its Kindle, Fire TV, Fire tablets and Echo. The Echo, the company's latest gadget, is an in-home personal assistant powered by artificial intelligence. — The Los Angeles Times
A handful of scientists and policy makers are...grappling with the long-term environmental effect of an economy that runs increasingly on gotta-have-it-now gratification [...]
The environmental cost can include the additional cardboard — 35.4 million tons of containerboard were produced in 2014 in the United States, with e-commerce companies among the fastest-growing users — and the emissions from increasingly personalized freight services. — NY Times
Dash fits squarely into the current age of smart-home technology... It is not simply a matter of practical efficiency but of a proactive, preëmptive way of living, in which inefficiency is the worst kind of waste. The way we manage our chores is a measure of our worthiness. No one wants to live in a stupid home... And only a chump would ever run out of toilet paper.
But what if there is actual value in running out of things? — the New Yorker
In just a few minutes I was hooked. . . The photos and video were stunning. By assuming unusual vantage points, the drone allowed me to “see” so much more of my surroundings than usual.
[The view] would have otherwise been impossible without the use of a private plane, helicopter, or balloon. With any of those vehicles, I would have needed a telephoto lens, and all of them would have made an unacceptable commotion on the beach. What’s more, I would not have been in the photos! — Martha Stewart
The simple logic: Individuals who collaborate are creative. Consequently, all boundaries must disappear, including floors and walls. Private offices no longer exist, not even for top management. The open creative playground is the prevailing fundamental design of the digital economy. Those who don't already have it, have to create it. Stragglers like Microsoft, Yahoo and SAP are gutting their buildings and eliminating many offices. — spiegel.de
Reminiscent of a greenhouse or conservatory, the three intersecting biodomes replace an earlier plan for a six-story office building and would establish a visual focus and “heart” for the three-block project, according to plans filed with the city.
The spheres will offer “a plant-rich environment” filled with species from mountainous ecologies around the globe, chosen for their “ability to coexist in a microclimate that also suits people,” according to the plans. — seattletimes.com
I’m no architecture critic, but the word “iconic” keeps popping to mind. In an industry full of soulless suburban campuses, give Jeff Bezos & Co. credit for building this in the city, at least. — geekwire.com
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