Start-up, foundation, entrepreneurship, small business…these are words we recognize when thinking about the trendy, innovative-focused businesses that don’t encompass a completely traditional business model. How about uncorporation? Does that word mean anything to you? According to the “all-knowing” Wikipedia, “An uncorporation is an unorthodox form of large business organization. The term appears to embrace any unincorporated business. An uncorporation may be formed in an effort to align managers' and owners' interests more closely than in a typical corporation...”Now do a twitter search for #uncorporate. Besides the derogatory comments about unprofessionalism being coined as “uncorporate” and the free spirits that can’t be tied down to conventional jobs, this tag often leads to posts about developing company cultures, attitudes, and spaces.
According to the Wolff Olins Report, Impossible and Now: How Leaders Are Creating the Uncorporation, “CEOs need to use radical creativity” in order to give the millennial workforce fast culture, fast tools, and fast platforms to perform. Fast Company: Design elaborates on that thought and states, “a century ago, the CEO was a fearsome whip-cracker. Fifty years ago he was a motivator…and now…the CEO has evolved into something new: the designer-in-chief of corporate culture.” As younger generations enter the workforce, they seek freedom, flexibility, individualism.
In the interior design world, “uncorporate” is not necessarily a new idea. Open floorplans, low panels, private spaces, collaborative enclaves, high-design applications, and integration with technology are a few of the trends that describe how organizations are making efforts to provide uncoporate business culture. Think about it, if you’re a person who seeks flexibility in the workplace, the spaces you have to work within would affect that goal.
As we look toward the future of the workplace, I believe we will see more and more uncorporate influence in our interior spaces. Between the culture-driven mentalities of today’s CEO’s, the millennial demographic entering the workplace, and renaissance of high-design vs. practical applications, it is only a matter of time before uncorporate becomes the new corporate.