To Tate Modern, the art gallery on the south bank of the Thames built within the former Bankside power station. The cavernous internal space has been filled with a collection of near-vertical slides, catapulting visitors – who should presumably be concentrating on the Picassos – from the upper floors to ground-level at great speed.
Quite what do the slides have to do with art, I wondered? I saw something of an analogy with the design of some bid centres. Not, I hasten to point out, that these spaces include slides to eject disruptive account managers into the car park outside at high velocity.
In other words, the physical design of the centre breaks with the conventions of the office in which it’s located. Content contributors joining bid teams are surprised: slightly disorientated, perhaps. They’re forced to accept that this is a different type of space, where a different type of work will be called for.
Rather than the bid centre being a dispiriting area to be avoided at all costs (”they lock you in until late at night with only cold pizza to eat, you know”), by being more playful, the very design draws contributors in and allows, encourages them to approach the work at hand in a more positive manner.
Rather like the Tate’s slides and the gallery’s artwork, perhaps.