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DEGW Archive – University of Reading

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DEGW Archive

Research project

DEGW was founded as an architectural and space planning consultancy specialising in workplace design.

degw-pic-2DEGW became a prominent actor in shaping the field of office space planning, internationally, by enriching architectural knowledge through their research. The legacy is alive globally and is flourishing across the built environment sectors. Especially in AECOM, as Strategy Plus, the legacy practice continues to evolve.

The archive of the first 25 years of DEGW's work has recently arrived at the Special Collections, University of Reading. Spanning from 1971 to 1997, the archive comprises of about 800 documents: project reports, presentations and drawings, research reports and the firm's business reports. The items in the archive were part of the 'DEGW Knowledge Centre', an in-house library of the firm which might have been continuously referred to during the course of the firm's operations.

The DEGW archive is further complemented by the collections of two of the firm's founders: Frank Duffy and Luigi Giffone. The Frank Duffy Collection is an exhaustive compilation of publications authored by him and includes monographs, edited books and articles. The Luigi Giffone Collection is eclectic and contains office brochures and newsletters along with his sketches, project drawings and presentations.

This research project aims to understand the development of DEGW's design methods linking

  • Organisations to built environment
  • Research and practice
  • Workplace to various urban scales

Explicating the classification issues of these archival materials are also part for our current endeavour. Envisaging this as a 'living archive', further research will explore adaptations of DEGW concepts within the work of current researchers and practitioners.

Current Events

DEGW Foundation Lecture: "Transforming the workplace" by Despina Katsikakis

  • Thursday 5 October, 18:30-20:00 (Doors open 18:00)
  • Building LO22 G01, London Road campus

For more than 30 years, Despina Katsikakis has led innovation, research and implementation of transformative business environments and exemplary real estate developments worldwide. As Cushman & Wakefield’s Head of Occupier Business Performance, she provides input across the firm’s global business on the rapidly-changing context of work and its impact on employee engagement, productivity and wellbeing. With these factors increasingly determining the leasing decisions of leading corporations, Katsikakis’ unrivalled insight on the future of work benefits occupier clients – as well as the building owners and landlords seeking to attract them – through repositioning real estate to drive top line performance.

During her career Katsikakis has advised some of the world’s biggest companies, including Google, Unilever, BP, GSK and Microsoft, on how best to achieve tangible business goals through their workplaces. She has been instrumental in developing the vision and research to future-proof commercial developments around the world, most recently London’s TwentyTwo, the progressive 1.3m sq ft office development currently under construction in the City of London and Europe’s first major WELL-certified new-build project. She serves on the advisory board of Delos™, the pioneers of Wellness Real Estate™ and founders of the WELL Building Standard and regularly lectures around the world, writes and contributes to media, research and publications on the future of the workplace.

Admission free. Please book your place here.

Exhibition 

  • Thursday 5 October, 17:00-18:30
  • The Museum of English Rural Life

The lecture is accompanied by an exhibition of the DEGW archive. The exhibition explores the knowledge practices of DEGW by studying their relationships with their clients.


Past events

Archive, memory and materiality: An exploration through the DEGW archive

Friday, 16th June 2017

As part of the London Festival of Architecture 2017, the event comprises a walk at Broadgate and a pop-up exhibition. DEGW's contribution to the material fabric of London, through projects such as Broadgate and their consultancy for clients in the financial and professional services sectors will be explored.

Broadgate Walk

Meeting point: Broadgate Welcome Centre, Finsbury Avenue Square EC2M 2PA

Time: 15:30 - 17:00

Join DEGW members and others involved in the development of Broadgate on a walk through the area, as we gather stories about the project, enriching the archive in a participatory manner. The walk will be framed through anchor points in the Broadgate area, prompting contributors to discuss DEGW's work and Broadgate in general.

Pop-up exhibition

Venue: AECOM, Aldgate Tower, 2 Leman Street E1 8FA

Viewing time: 17:00 - 19:00

Discussion: 17:30 - 18:00

DEGW's work reveals the fluidity of the built environment in the evolving contexts of organisational and technological change. The exhibition, kindly hosted by AECOM, where the legacy DEGW team continues their award-winning work, will comprise of three themes: DEGW projects in the City and fringe areas, evolution of DEGW methods, and a visual chronology of DEGW's work. Anchored around the archive, the discussion will explore the connections linking the past, present and the future of the City and wider urban fabric of London.

The DEGW Archive workshop

26th April 2017, University of Reading

The aim of this workshop is to explore how we can use the key themes of DEGW to structure the archive and continue to evolve it as a living repository of ideas and future innovation. Through the workshop, we want to identify areas of enrichment for the archive and inform modes of future engagement with the DEGW members and wider audiences. The participants include members of DEGW, academics from the University of Reading and invited external members. The workshop will involve discussions around following four themes:

  • Understanding clients and adding business value
  • Research and design methodologies
  • Linking supply and demand, and its impact on procurement
  • Designing across scales and the importance of urbanism

Alongside the workshop, a pop-up exhibition will be displayed at the Special Collections, Museum of English Rural Life.

For further information about the event, please feel free to contact us.

Architecture Public Lecture Series: Foundation Lecture by John Worthington MBE, 27th October 2016

"DEGW: Five Decades and a Glimpse of the Future - Practice by Learning, Learning through Practice"

The lecture

 

The lecture was accompanied by an exhibition of materials from the DEGW Archive, exploring the design methods adopted and developed by DEGW. Through analysing the design methods, it becomes possible to engage with the key concepts of DEGW: the Supply and Demand model highlighting the importance of user research, and the 4S model demonstrating the different rates of change within various building elements. The DEGW Archive provides substantive cases to understand implications of these concepts in designing the built environment.

The exhibition

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