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This Morning in Crystal City

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This ain't your grandfather's office environment... heck, it's not even your older brother's. This morning, at our Creative Office Revolution in Crystal City, we heard from the folks leading the charge. (The revolutionaries, for those excited that Les Miserables is back on Broadway.)

We welcomed WeWork co-founder Miguel McKelvey, here pointing out one of his early development notes showing that the firm (and ideally, its members) shouldn't have one path to success, but many diverse, rich, and complex paths to growing a vibrant ecosystem of collaboration. (We've also reported this drawing as a rare giant squid sighting. Why not multi-task?) To Miguel, a creative office isn't just an old space spruced up with brightly colored wallpaper and a few new tables; it's about "finding a way to cultivate human beings and allow people to flourish." 

LiquidSpace founder Mark Gilbreath says his firm is HQ'd at one of WeWork's San Fran locations. He's helping lead the shift with his firm's innovative on-demand space-reserving app. Mark says office workers spend 65% of their time someplace other than their assigned desk—whether it's down the hall or off-site. (The classic "put your feet up" move gets more awkward if you're in motion.) So apps like LiquidSpace are helping consumerize the real estate experience, from landlords looking to fill vacancies to on-the-go professionals in need of space at a moment's notice.

The just-announced HiRise (started by JLL's Andy O'Brien and colleagues Alex Lassar and Dave Adams), which we told you about Friday, will also help consumerize the space search. Here Andy shows the crowd (for the first time) how HiRise's website will function, which will let tenants reserve smaller blocks of space all the way down to the seat. Tenants can even customize seating assignments the way you'd call dibs on an airplane seat, Andy says. Speed to occupancy is the goal with HiRise; landlords will have about a week to approve a lease and once given the OK, tenants can move in within a matter of days.

"Disruptive change" is how FOX Architects founder Bob Fox describes today's business climate, and since that change is so unpredictable, a constant stream of new ideas is vital to keeping up with workplace trends. And designing a firm's space doesn't just mean more collaborative areas, Bob says; it's about assembling a puzzle of features that encourage productivity and stay consistent with the tenant's culture.

Thanks to the 425 of you who came out to Vornado/Charles E. Smith's 251 18th St this morning, where the sixth floor has been transformed into the Design Lab, a collection of six spec suites each designed by a different architecture firm. Vornado/Charles E. Smith prez Mitchell Schear reported that one of the spaces has already been leased, with prospects actively chasing the others.

And since it's Opening Day, after all, we were happy to have virtuoso violinist Glenn Donnellan playing the "electric slugger" to fire the crowd up for today's Nats-Mets matchup. Stay tuned for more event coverage tomorrow.