NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) Associate Professor David A. "DAK" Kopec has been invited to speak at the Haworth's 2011 Distinguished Speaker Series in Dallas on Sept. 13 and Houston on Sept. 14 where he will discuss how the Millennial Generation is reshaping the work environment in ways large and small.
Kopec is part of a two-person panel discussion on "The Future of How We Will Work" that will explore the connections of work, psychology, architecture and design. The speaker series is held by Applied Brilliance, a thought-leadership advisory group that promotes creativity and innovation through systems-thinking solutions.
Kopec, whose specialty is environmental psychology, considers Millennials, individuals born roughly between 1978–2000, to be more collaborative than previous generations. Kopec notes that this is already being reflected in office hierarchies, as some CEOs and presidents reside in cubicle spaces to promote a team environment.
"The Millennial Generation has a strong sense of what is fair and what is not and that carries into the office environment where current hierarchies will need to be reconceived," said Kopec.
Another trend, according to Kopec, is the Millennial Generation's demand that workplace environments be more flexible. Kopec said that even the shape of tables will change to reflect greater portability and teamwork. "I see the removal of rectangular tables which will be replaced by round tables and I see desk space as being more portable as many Millennials prefer the portability of laptops and tend to prefer electronic documents, thus reducing printing needs and static offices," he said.
Kopec envisions a greater blurring of work and personal space, and he credits that to the impact of the Millennial Generation. "More people will be working from home, some people will spend the night at the workplace environment, coffee shops will be added to office spaces and conference rooms will look like living rooms while boardrooms start to look like dining rooms." Kopec holds a doctorate in environmental psychology with a concentration in perception and design and two master's degrees, one in architecture and another in community psychology. He is an associate professor at NSAD, has served twice as a visiting lecturer at Virginia Commonwealth University in Doha, Qatar, and as visiting professor at the University of Hawaii in the schools of architecture and medicine. He has written several journal articles, three books and two monographs. He also serves on the editorial board of QScience Connect, a Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation publication.