Building as Organizational Statement


Mildred & Ed Hall (known for other work on low/high context cultures) review the impact of building on behavior in an anthropological study centered around a new corporate campus for John Deere in Illinois. There are many ways that this summarizes much of the same approach (and confusion) that we take today. And yet, this idea of “building as organizational statement” resonates with me in a way unintended by the authors. Organizations are consistently changing; how is a static building supposed to mimic that?

A similar thought (albeit unrelated to this book)— beyond constraining the actual experience and productivity of individuals and groups, how do the constraints of the built environment end up impacting organizational structure? For example, if I’m running a quickly growing company based in SF and I can no longer afford to grow in this city… how does my search for more optimal real estate (plus workforce) dictate the organizational shape and success of the firm?

Pointer from: Book found at William Stout Architectural Books in SF