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Design Profile: Albert De Plazaola

In this Unispace Design Profile we put the spotlight on Albert De Plazaola from our San Francisco studio.

A Boston College graduate with a ​​master's degree from Georgetown and former positions at Gensler and DEGW, Albert joined Unispace in late 2015 based in our San Francisco studio. He specialises in design strategy, workplace strategy and change management. 

"I look to how the business needs to work, and then determine how we can develop an architectural kit of parts that will encourage the kinds of work behaviours that will achieve organisational and business success," explains Albert. "I'm not a traditional designer, I'm an organisational designer – but I wanted to pursue this career path with the intent to bring design thinking to solve business problems."

In this Unispace Design Profile Albert shares some of the trends he's seeing in workplace plus how his client's priorities have changed from a decade ago.

What workplace trends are you seeing in your region?

Fast, quick, flexible. Clients looking for speed and quality – but it doesn’t need to be a work of art. 

What are the highest priorities for your clients?   

I think we are entering the ‘H&M’ era of workplace, at least for start-ups and tech firms. The workplace needs to be inexpensive and flexible because it might just become redundant or irrelevant in 2 or 3 years.

Do these priorities change according to industry?

I think professional services are still more concerned about space efficiency - and square feet per person - because they’re situated in high cost locations. In contrast, Silicon Valley may spend more on space if they think it will have an effect on team performance.

Have these priorities changed from a decade ago?

Yes - individual workspace is getting smaller and I think expensive non-modular workstations are dead, replaced by adjustable height tables.

Favourite quote: “What if the way we perceive a problem is already part of the problem?” – Slavov Zizek