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Albert DePlazaola: Challenging the industry to think differently

Albert DePlazaola is constantly challenging CRE professionals and designers to think differently about the relationship between business and strategy in order to shape more successful workplace outcomes. He recently used this approach at the AIA Leadership Institute and BOLD WEST 2016 events.

A Boston College graduate with a ​​master's degree from Georgetown, Unispace’s Global Strategy Leader Albert DePlazaola specialises in design strategy, workplace strategy and change management.

On 18 November, Albert facilitated a skills workshop in San Francisco as part of the AIA Leadership Institute national one-day leadership training event for architects across the USA.

The presentation and facilitated session was intended to get designers to think a bit differently about the relationship between business and strategy,” explains Albert. “I challenged the participants to examine sample organisations using the ‘STAR model’ and then choose a workplace strategy that will best support it. The results were fascinating.”

Hosted by AIA California Council and AIACC Academy for Emerging Professionals, the event enabled San Francisco based participants to build skills and learn about leadership in local face-to-face sessions. Making the most of technology and a hybrid-educational model, a National Plenary Broadcast was also transmitted across the nation from Washington DC. [more on the event]

Earlier this month, Albert was also a panellist at Bisnow's Big West Coast Office Event. Held in San Francisco on 2 November, the ‘Future of Shared Space’ panel explored the impact that coworking is having on corporate real estate decisions. Albert joined Ronen Olshansky (Cross Campus) and Leah Alexander (Industrious) in the session moderated by Warren Neilson (stok).

The ever-increasing new paradigm of coworking is touching all aspects of commercial real estate and changing the workplace as we know it. “One of the key themes that arose from our discussion is how coworking is adopting product design practices to ensure a client-centric approach,” explains Albert.

Other interesting ideas included how many organisations are drawing upon the lessons learned from the coworking model and incorporating into their own workplace strategies, as well as the potential to outsource coworking initiatives to hotels and other sector-blurring markets,” he says.

View our Design Profile interview with Albert