Alerus is one of those companies whose logo you know you’ve seen somewhere, or whose name you’ve heard often enough to kind of remember, but you probably don’t know what they do. Neither did I. It’s not important to the narrative here, but, for the record, they’re a financial services firm. Not a huge one, but fairly big. For example, they do have their name on a sports arena, but it’s for the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.
Anyway, the company recently renovated their Minneapolis (my old stompin’ grounds) office location to be all fancy and high tech and whatnot. It can also be rearranged at a moment’s notice—not just the furniture, the whole office, walls and all.
What Sorcery Is This?! TECHNOLOGY
Alerus’ new “modular office” can be manipulated in multiple ways to move, turn, add, or remove walls and partitions. In one area of the office, cubicle-style spaces can be created, expanded, and reconfigured at whim. The partition walls are low, and the top half of each is clear glass, giving co-workers no choice but to look at each other’s ugly mugs and to actually do work, even when there’s no one near their workspace.
In larger offices and conference rooms, shared walls can be moved to open up more space, or swapped out with different colored walls for a quick aesthetic update. Unless the panels being moved in and out are very small and light, it would probably be easier just to paint, but what do I know?
The most impressive part of this fancy marriage of business and technology (business technology?) is the A/V setup. Most of the floor-to-ceiling walls (not the cubicle walls) are fully wired for electricity and data, so wall panels can be replaced with screens—computer, television, or otherwise. Obviously, the thing to do is swap out an entire wall with hi-def TV screens, creating one giant television, a la Barney Stinson’s apartment. That’s the first step toward the world’s greatest office Super Bowl party. Step two: chili. I’ve got a fantastic recipe–hope you’re hungry!