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August 30, 2011

New building

New buildingby Josh Bernoff

This is the view from my window at Forrester's new building at 60 Acorn Park Drive, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. There are more than 600 of us here. It's an amazing space, built just for us.

I could go on about the client spaces, phone system, cafe, gym, view, coffee machines, and kitchens (and they are wonderful) but one of the best things about it is just that it's not the same place we were before.

Because we're all in a new space, you bump into different people. The hallway conversations are different. Serendipitous meetings happen (and this space actually encourages them).

Moving means you have to get rid of old files. I've already dumped most of my paper -- some of my colleagues haven't (you know who you are). Dumping old files is liberating. And sometimes you find something and say "I'm going to go back to this, I shouldn't have lost track of it."

I take a new route to work. For me, it's a 15-minute bike ride -- and some of us are taking advantage of the fact that the new building is right on the MBTA transit system. Somehow, the new route gets you out of a different kind of rut -- the one that starts with you augering into your work day as you unconsciously drive the same old route. The same applies to the same old lunch places.

Here's the WIM (what it means for you). Newness is a good thing, and you don't have to move to experience it. Go visit a colleague in a different department. Take an hour and dump -- or rediscover -- some old files. Walk around your neighborhood at lunch, go in a different direction. Look out the window and admire the view. Free yourself from those old, useless, stressful ruts you've gotten yourself into. Try something or someone different. Even if you don't make a physical move, make a mental one. 

Let me know how it turns out.

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Comments

Gillian

I love Cambridge - have a friend with a B & B on Putnam Ave so I come down a few times each year to visit. You're right about getting variety in life - changes ones thoughts and though processes.

Sibylle

Hi Josh,
Thanks for sharing this "moving experience". Our department moved only to another part of the building in April and we made the same experiences you did: Throwing away - at least - 8 m3 of old paper formerly buried in now no langer necessary filing cabinets was extremely liberating. But the best is that we are now patched together with new groups of colleagues who teach us different perspectives and inspire us every day. Moving means staying flexible. And congratulations to having the opportunity to cycle to work - I do this regularly, too. :-)

Steve

Congrats--I remember when you guys started. It was like "a few folks and a dog (literally)" in a small office in Alewife by a Dunkin' Donuts.

Josh Bernoff

Steve, ironically, we are quite close to the same spot -- we're right next to Alewife again.

Jackie Kmetz

Congrats on the new digs! I love change and think it keeps things interesting. I even try to vary routes to the usual places with my driving. Sometimes on a whim I'll even rearrange furniture and pictures--it's amazing what you appreciate when it catches your eye in a different way.

Margulies Perruzzi Architects

Josh – Great article! We would have to agree with you that this project turned out phenomenally ... We hope that you continue to enjoy the space just as much as we enjoyed collaborating with Forrester on yet another successful project.

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