• 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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.…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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,…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…

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