Thursday, 23 June 2011

Tim Jennings speaks on curse of social media at New London Architecture's 'London's Workplaces' event

Self-confessed "grumpy old man" Tim Jennings thrusts an embittered yet sharp riposte towards "social networking media evangelists" who tell him how many apps he can get for his smart-phone. "They're on a mission to make non-users feel inadequate," chides Jennings. "I don't even have a smart phone."
   Jennings, md of architecture and design firm, ttsp, passionately pleads for Londoners to "cherish and nurture the office" rather than let social networking media render our workplaces increasingly obsolete. "Yeah, the pros of social media are all snappy, cool and - 'whatever'. 
   "But, as a parent, I call them 'anti-social' media," says Jennings. "At their worst, they breed a shallow and bullying culture."
Jennings also worries about "a communications breakdown" if companies providing Wi-Fi access across  London suffer technological breakdown? "If the Cloud bursts, it's gonna piss down," warns Jennings. "Be careful what you wish for."
   Jennings wants a premium set on interpersonal relationships and skills rather than filling data centres with a "raft of electronic tittle tattle". Offices with motivated and energised people provide far more nuanced opinions and warm feelings than social networking media. 
   He wants our future held in the hands of creative, responsive and respectful people who know how to converse face-to-face. "So, let's cherish and nurture the office," says Jennings. "And not just treat the office as an exercise in selecting cool furniture and funky interiors."

Tim Jennings, managing director of ttsp, spoke at London's Workplaces: Remaining Competitive in a Changing World, a thought-provoking New London Architecture conference held on Wednesday, 22 June 2011, sponsored by Buro Four. NLA events take place at The Building Centre at 22 Store Street, WC1 and on location throughout London.
Click on images to enlarge. Photos: Copyright of Paul Coleman. No re-use without written permission.

Paul Coleman, London, June 2011.

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