The new ‘C’

By Sean Hatcher

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Fifteen years go, the business landscape changed forever. New companies were born, invested in and floated, creating millionaires overnight as part of what became known as the ‘Dot Com’ boom. But this boom soon developed into a bubble and ultimately it burst.

The catalyst of this change was technology.

Since the ‘Dot Com’ boom of the millennium, the pace of technological change has gathered ever-increasing pace and has exponentially altered our private and professional lives. It is worth recalling that back in 2000 there were no smart phones, there were no tablets and there were no ‘apps’ to feed them with, but now our lives revolve around these devices and tools, while new highly successful global businesses have been established by their creation.

These businesses, fuelled by a generation of people that have embraced and grown up with such technology, have been driving a previously unknown (or unforeseen) sector in the office tenant market. Known as the ‘TMT’ sector, the leaders of these companies wanted a new type of space, one to work, rest and play in, and it had to be more than just an office space. It needed to reflect them as creatives; it need to reflect their people and it need to reflect their values and lifestyle. The ‘TMT’ sector has been taking London by storm.

At the same time traditional corporate organisations, post-recession, are now re-finding their feet and are growing again. However, such was the impact of the recession, many of these organisations have generally been reshaped. They are now leaner, more diverse and more creative in their thinking.

Indeed, the recession forced fresh new thinking for all, whether re-born corporates reassessing their existence and purpose or newly born creative companies, fresh and refreshingly naïve to the business world.

These two forces of tenant demand can, over the last years, generally be recognized by two seemly opposing design directions and responses; the corporates and their anodyne spaces driven by ‘best practice’ and the creatives with their playful, exposed ceiling, concrete and brick, shabby-chic.

At MCM, we believe however that a new design direction, a new response is, or needs to, emerge as the corporate and the creative worlds merge to form what we have started to call ‘The New C’.

With the corporates, we sense that they are being more ambitious, in a sense, more creative. This shift being driven not only by technology, but a more international culture and outlook, a growing millennial workforce and attracting the very best talent.

With creatives, we sense that they behaving more corporate (even if they don’t want to admit it). This shift is being driven by rapid growth (as they no longer fit in the back bedroom or the converted high street shop), need for organizational structure (with finance, HR and IT departments), attracting investment for growth and development (all from these corporate types) and simply the employees’ growing up’ (the bar after work is replaced by nappy changing and endless D.I.Y at the recently purchased ‘its got great potential’ house).

Responding to ‘The New C’ will, we believe, be the next challenge of design and space response. Its make up has yet to be defined, but all of MCM are excited at being at the forefront of this challenge.

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