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On Turning Fifty | Half a Century Spent

For most people, including yours truly, turning fifty is a big deal. I welcomed it (for the most part) with open arms, a big party, and acceptance of well-meaning platitudes:


“You wear it well!”


“Fifty?!? No way!”


And my personal favorite, “I thought you turned fifty last year…”


But how does a business welcome fifty? With another big party, of course.


As we approach our half century celebration, there are many to thank for getting us here. The first is, and must always be, the burkeMICHAEL+ team, both current and past incarnations. Stellar people are everything, and our group makes coming to work a pleasure.


To our clients and partners, thank you for your trust, collaboration, honesty and mirth (that last one’s not always easy to muster, but this team appreciates it). It has been our pleasure to create, learn and grow alongside you.


. . . . . . . . . .


We’re a bunch of nostalgic saps. As we relive the past and peek the future, here are some workplace design trend from the past fifty years we will NOT miss:


Generic cubicle farms | Just keepin’ it real with these dot-matrix printouts here in my cell…


Wenge finishes | Beyond overused in the 2000s and we hope to never see it again (#babybyebyebye…)


Windowless offices | When offices started to feel like interrogation rooms, internal windows made a big play and we are SO glad.


Executive washrooms | As if the gender divide wasn’t enough, what about dictating where you pee based on your salary?


Overthemeing | Whether it’s off-the-shelf artwork sets, legions of ping pong tables, or TOO MANY PLANTS, too much of a good thing is real.


. . . . . . . . . .


Here’s what we’re looking forward to more of in the next fifty years:


Residential realness | People love their houses. Workplaces will feel more like home than ever.


Multi-use spaces | Who says today’s conference room can’t be tomorrow’s video studio? Or lunch buffet? Or napping location?


Old meets new | No more throwing everything away and starting from scratch. Companies are buying timeless quality that can and should evolve with the business. #sustainable


Officeless design | What’s wrong with dropping desks in the middle of a former hotel lobby? Nothing. Sounds fun. Let’s do it.


In the meantime, let’s party.


(Visit our Events page to attend our 50th anniversary gala, “Pure Gold, Baby,” at the Andy Warhol Museum on 2/27/2020.)

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