• “Mindfulness and Space” Paper Presented at ACSF
    It was my honor to present my paper “Missing Links in Designing Space for Mindfulness in Secular & Communal Settings” at the Architecture, Culture, Spirituality Forum (ACSF) Symposium this month. My paper cries for the urgent and deeper involvement of architecture in supporting mindfulness. It identifies missing links on the path between mindfulness and space … Read more
  • Epilogue to the Human-centric Work Environment Series
    This is our final and 24th article on the Human-centric Work Environment series. Thank you so much for continuously reading this series for over a year. We felt your presence and attention, which encouraged us to keep writing. We’d like to look back on the narrative we generated, evaluate the current status of the Human-centric … Read more
  • Freedom to Connect: Human-Centric Workplace Ecosystem in Cities and Regions – Part 4
    In this article, we will discuss how our new connections, made under Freedom to Connect, are larger, mobile, and more personally tailored than before.  With these characteristics, they will enrich the lives people create (Freedom to Create), enliven the places people choose to live and work (Freedom to Choose), and support and develop businesses. Yoko’s … Read more
  • Freedom to Create: Human-centric Workplace Ecosystem in Cities and Regions – Part 3
    In this article, we will discuss the second freedom, Freedom to Create, associated with the large-scale workplace ecosystem in the New Normal. When you are able to truly choose spaces and places to live and work (Freedom to Choose) as shown in the last article, you also gain the power to design your everyday life … Read more
  • Freedom to Choose Where to Work and Live:  Human-centric Workplace Ecosystem in Cities and Regions-Part 2
    In part 1 of this article, we introduced the concept of the three freedoms associated with a large-scale workplace ecosystem for people and businesses. In this article, we are diving deeper into the first freedom, the Freedom to Choose the place where you live and work.  For almost a century since the 1920s, many people … Read more
  • Human-centric Workplace Ecosystem in Cities and Regions – Part 1
    In the next few articles, we will be expanding the concepts dealing with the work environments that we have been writing about throughout this series (workplace at the level of an office, room, or a building) to the scale of cities and regions. The New Normal that we have entered now allows people the freedom … Read more
  • Creating an Ecosystem of Nodes and Nudges Connected by Michiyuki
    In this article, we want to demonstrate the importance and value of creating an ecosystem that supports workplace well-being by connecting and activating spatial nodes and nudges. This involves designing for in-between spaces using the Japanese concept of Michiyuki, which encompasses both traveling and the path of travel.  Essential components of the Human-centric work environment … Read more
  • Mindfulness and the Workspace
    In this article, we are discussing why and how workplace design can and should contribute to people’s mindfulness beyond the walls of a meditation studio. Merits of Mindfulness The benefits of mindfulness have been abundantly discussed and many, if not all, have been scientifically proven. Being mindful is to be aware at the present moment. … Read more
  • Alignment of Work with the Environment from a Virtual Perspective
    With the world now largely working virtually, how can we align the varied and desirable environmental elements for work to create well-being and positive value for both individuals and businesses?  The clarification of “environment” and “work” takes on added dimension because the design process must now incorporate both physical and virtual elements for virtual workers. … Read more
  • Alignment of Work with the Environment
    In this article, we will discuss the importance of the alignment between the “work” we do and the “environment” in which we do that work for individual and business well-being. Achieving this alignment requires detailed analysis and planning. For this reason, we believe that workplace design needs to be considered as an important business function … Read more
  • Wishing You a Happy Holiday Season
    Thank you very much for reading our article series, “Human-centric Work Environment: Designing and Technology.” It has been a great joy for us to offer our humble insights on the subject of well-being, especially as everyone becomes acutely aware of its importance. We will take a short break during the holidays and will come back … Read more
  • Technology Creating Human-Centric Work Environments
    The work office ecosystem has kept pace as technology and societal needs have evolved. Technology has infiltrated every aspect of the office, whether it be the traditional office setting (large offices, large computer stations, cubicles, open seating), or the corner of the living room that has been repurposed as a home office. We are interacting … Read more
  • Water- Five Senses and the Work Environment
    In the work environment, water plays various important roles when it comes to our well-being and productivity, much more than we realize. This is because we not only drink water, but also see, listen to, and touch it. In this article, we are going to look at how our body and five senses respond to … Read more
  • Light – Part 2: Five Senses and the Work Environment
    How do we use light for maximum benefit in our workplaces? How can the risks associated with bad lighting be mitigated? We will address these questions from the perspective of the three categories of light (Light as objective matter for vision, Light as matter that influences our entire body, and Light as agency catering moods) … Read more
  • Light – Part 1: Five Senses and the Work Environment
    In this article, we will define what light is in relation to our mind and body, the five senses and beyond, to better understand its impact and effect on our work environment. (Yoko’s snapshot) Early Spring.  Outside my window, the sunlight is bright enough to not need the ceiling lights on.  It feels warm near … Read more
  • Air: Five Senses and the Work Environment
    We continue our discussion on human body systems and the work environment with a focus on Air. We will pay special attention to the air as sensed and felt by human beings, and to how building occupants’ actions influence the quality of the air they breathe. Let us start again with a snapshot of my … Read more
  • Hearing – Part 2: Five Senses and the Work Environment
    Let us continue the discussion on hearing and the work environment by focusing on soundscape and sound control. Nature of Sound- Soundscape Let us start with the positive aspects of the sounds we hear. What we hear can contribute to our well being and productivity. Sounds from nature (running water, softly chirping birds, breezes) have … Read more
  • Hearing – Part 1: Five Senses and the Work Environment
    We continue with our discussion on human body systems and work environment with a focus on hearing. In addition to the level of sound/noise we hear, how we hear the sound also affects the stress and comfort of hearing. Let us start again with a snapshot of my (Yoko’s) sound environment at my home office. … Read more
  • Vision – Five Senses and the Work Environment
    In our last two articles, we discussed kinesthesis and the corresponding desirable environmental elements in work spaces. We continue with our discussion on human body systems and work environment today with a focus on vision. Visual strain is commonplace for anyone working with computers. It is one of the negative consequences that comes with excessive computer … Read more
  • Kinesthesis – Part 2: Five Senses and the Work Environment
    In our previous article, we introduced Kinesthesis and its relation to the work environment. Today, we continue the discussion by focusing on screens/monitors and how they relate to Kinesthesis. Monitors or screens should be centered in relation to the body, not angled left or right and should be about arm’s … Read more
  • Kinesthesis – Part 1: Five Senses and the Work Environment
    In this and several of the upcoming articles, we will be focusing on the desirable quality of different environmental elements (air, light, water, walls, furniture etc.) in work spaces. We will try to evaluate these elements by looking at them from the inside out based on how our five senses and body systems (respiratory, cardiovascular, … Read more
  • Body, Space, and Technology – Part 2
    In Part 1 of this article, we discussed how our bodies and mind relate to our surrounding work spaces and the elements within them. Now we would like to show how technology plays a role. Technology is extensive and expansive. When referring to work environments, it can mean the office space with its technological equipment … Read more
  • Body, Space, and Technology – Part 1
    Today, we discuss how our bodies and mind relate to our surrounding work space and to all the elements present in that space including technology. This concept needs to be understood to create a truly human-centric work environment.  This is one of the most important, yet often overlooked, steps in the creation of good work … Read more
  • The New Normal – Part 2: Human-centric Work Environment
    In our last article we began the discussion of the New Normal and we are continuing with the topic today from the technological perspective. Human-centric Work Environment Enabled by Technology The advantages of remote work for human beings, businesses, and society are not entirely new of course.  Scholars and experts have been promoting its benefits … Read more
  • The New Normal – Part 1: Human-centric Work Environment
    The pandemic has forced the world to radically alter its view on the future state of business and especially on the concept of “the work environment”.  The new normal is the simultaneous formation of two related elements: first, the human-centric work environment, workspaces designed for the wellness of human beings, and second, the network of … Read more
  • Power of the Work Environment- Introduction to the Human-Centric Work Environment
    In this new series of articles, we are going to discuss ways of maximizing the benefits of spatial design and technology for the well-being (including mental, economic, social) of everyone while working in the New Normal.  Why are we doing this?  We want to show the power of the work environment and how it can … Read more
  • New Article Series “Human-Centric Environment: Design & Technology” Starts Next Week!
    Mirai Work Space is excited to announce that our new article series “Human-centric Work Environment: Design and Technology” will start next week! You will be able to read the first post on Tuesday, May 11th. The series introduces ways for us to stay healthy while working in the New Normal by taking advantage of both … Read more
  • Yoko Kawai Joined the IWBI Research Advisory
    We are excited to announce that Yoko Kawai joined the Research Advisory to the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). Yoko, a co-founder of Mirai Work Space and Lecturer at Yale School of Architecture, is honored to be a part of this interdisciplinary and international group of researchers and practitioners. She previously served to its Task … Read more
  • Human-Centric Work Environment: Design and Technology- Upcoming Article Series!
    Mirai Work Space is proud to announce that we will publish a series of articles “Human-centric Work Environment: Design and Technology” on this website in early 2021! The series introduces ways for us to stay healthy while working in the New Normal by taking advantage of both spatial design and technology. It is our honor … Read more
  • Mindful Ways to Work from Home Webinar
    Yoko Kawai will talk at the webinar “Mindful Ways to Work from Home: A Blueprint for Your Space and Soul for Focus Amidst COVID-19” hosted by Japan America Society of Southern California and Women’s Leadership Counts. It is on Wednesday, June 24, at 10-11AM (PT) / 1-2PM (ET). This event will open their “Activating Your … Read more
  • Workspace under the New Normal – Interview
    Yoko Kawai was interviewed for the report “Workspace and Work under the New Normal amid Covid-19 Pandemic” written by Miki Motegi-Hall of Whitebox CRE Solution for JETRO, Japanese External Trade Organization. Link to the report in Japanese here:「Covid-19 パンデミック下での新たな日常でのワークスペースと働き方」) In the interview, Yoko discusses how to normalize and soften the “new” office environment that is … Read more
  • We joined Task Force on COVID-19 at International WELL Building Institute
    Yoko Kawai, a co-founder of Mirai Work Space and principal of Penguin Environmental Design, has just joined Task Force on COVID-19 and other Respiratory Infections at The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). Yoko contributes to the Mind, Movement, and Community emphases of the Task Force. Having long explored the value of these spatial concepts in … Read more
  • Creative & Healthy Ways to Use Your Home to Work at Home
    Do you work at home and feel stressed and enprisoned? Your home should help you. I’d like to share some tips on how you could use it in creative ways to stay well while working at home. I learned these tips over the years from two resources. One is my research on teleworkers and their … Read more
  • Noguchi’s Body-Space Devices & Our Environment in this Crisis
    If you are forced to stay at home in this COVID-19 crisis, the architecture of your home might seem like the enclosure that stops you from moving. The “Body-Space Devices” exhibition at the Noguchi Museum is a good reminder that it should not be.
  • Michiyuki and the Katsura Imperial Villa
    Michiyuki: Traveling and Beyond Being under water blurs the self/space boundary because you are always in motion. Michiyuki, the Japanese spatial concept for “moving self,” means traveling from once place to another. It specifically refers to the space you covered and the time you spent while traveling. But by translating Michiyuki to “traveling,” something is … Read more
  • Mindfulness through Ma
    More than a gate Another Japanese spatial concept that contributes to designing a mindful space is the boundary in motion. One of the Japanese words for this is Ma, which generally means “gap.” The Chinese character for Ma (間) represents a gate made out of two doors with the moonlight coming through. But Ma is much more … Read more
  • Utsuroi in Japanese Architecture and Landscape
    Utsuroi: changing space Utsuroi, another Japanese spatial concept that causes the self/space boundary to blur, is present throughout Japanese architecture and gardens. Utsuroi means gradual and inevitable change from one state to another. It can also refer to reflection or projection of one thing onto another. Both meanings suggest that nothing is reliable, and everything is … Read more
  • Healthy and Creative: Recent Design for Daikin U.S. New York Office
    As a founding member of Mirai Work Space Alliance, we have recently designed a new office space for Daikin U.S. Corporation in New York. This renovation project aimed to enhance the company’s brand image and provide a healthy and creative environment to its employees by applying the idea of “Space for Well-being“. Brand image and … Read more
  • Yugen and the Art of Mysteriousness in Japanese Architecture
    Yugen: appreciating the unknown Japan is a country made up of islands. Surrounded by the ocean, its climate is humid and constantly changing. Along the coast, high mountains are often covered in mist and fog. In part, familiarity with these transforming, obscured landscapes–as seen in this scroll from the Edo period–is what creates the Japanese … Read more
  • Self, Space, and Beyond: Where and How Do We Experience Mindfulness?
    Connections between the mind, body, and environment Imagine you are walking through an outdoor path in Kyoto, surrounded by bamboo. While you walk, your blood pressure happens to decrease. Is it because you are taking in the smells of the bamboo as you walk? Is your mind communicating a positive reaction to the space to … Read more