The Workplace Brief Generator

Professor Brainstawm, Professor Piehead, stand aside. At last, a device has been conceived that removes all of the uncertainty and pain from developing the dreaded Workplace Brief, generating exactly what you need with the minimum of time, money, emotional turmoil, heartache and thought-shower retreats in the Cotswolds. We are indebted to our friend and collaborator Simon Heath (@SimonHeath) for the the excellent illustration, should you decide to try it at home. Which, like kung fu, is not recommended.

As the saying goes, paper in, paper out.

Your crisp white wafer first enters the Mandate Maximisation Modulariser, for the project leadership team, to ensure that they have the required PSI for their destiny [editor’s note – it is odd that PSI refers to inflating, yet the Greek letter psi looks like something that would puncture just about anything]. Consider this the very oxygen of the project. And breeeeeeathe. Okay. Ready to move on?

Workplace Brief Generator

Next, it moves straight into the Requirements Exponentiator, proven in trials over many years to serve a vital purpose in applying a geometric algorithm to reasonable requests to produce a series of unsatisfiable demands against which the project’s success will be evaluated by st peter at the pearly gates.  Or at your next appraisal. Whichever is sooner.

The output is then fed into the Inference Engine, a powerful piece of kit that is able to take a series of statements from which it’s able extrapolate entirely inaccurate assumptions that will form a vital part of the Brief. Due to a typo in development it was drafted as Interference Engine when submitted to the Patent Office – however as no difference to the outcome was observed and due to the costs of re-design the term was left as is. The Patent Office don’t yet seem to have replied. It works in subtle (yet fairly noisy, at this stage) harmony with the Flimflam Flagellator that takes a series of overly-used and entirely misunderstood phrases, chops them up and flicks them wildly into the Engine. We are not actually sure what this does. However, work is a place you do, not something you go.

It then passes through a Fiduciary Dreamscaper, which draws lots of little equal-sized squares on the paper and requires a biomass quantity of beans (white, borlotti or canneilini will do) and generates a cost plan out of all proportion with the importance of the project or the available funds, paving the way for a repeated passing over of the Asynchronous Value Extractor which removes the beans associated with all of the useful and important enablers leaving disproportionally aligned and slightly unsafe aesthetic abstractions and some nice but uncomfortable chairs for Reception. Firmer than they look.

At varying stages of the generator’s activity the Decision Deferalation software patch kicks in, as there have been hazardous leaks on previous projects where one or two firm decisions have been made and communicated to the project team, causing confusion and delay. Following counselling and a long period of prescribed rest in Customer Service, a full recovery was possible in each case with only an irregular twitch of the left shoulder leaving a clue as to the trauma experienced.

The Engagement Simulator ensures that a calm feeling of having consulted occupants of the new space spreads evenly across the project team. It is uniquely powered by a small survey monkey in an up-cycled lampshade, chasing relentlessly after a majority return. Thankfully the survey monkey has a very a short memory and is able to maintain consistently meaningless output. No survey monkeys were harmed in the drafting of this blog post.

As Facilities Managers do so much like to mention that they weren’t involved in the project – usually long after it has finished – the Operability Obstructioniser is just for them. It enables the project to remove all opportunities for the space to be manageable, or for spare parts to be obtained from countries other than those without an operating export function. Applying the unit makes certain that FM’s have plenty to mention – and even enables them to mention it at the point the Brief is concluded. Which negates mentioning it at all.

To ensure that as design develops none of the drawings from the various consultants bear any relation to one another, in comes the Co-ordination De-coupling Unit to do its bit. It facilitates entirely isolated design development, and where any such slips the net it takes completed design and adds the required level of discord so as to de-relationalise the outcome. Dizzy.

All the while the designers will love the contribution of the Reality Distortionator that will exceed the impact of even their most randomly generated solutions. Operating like one of those halls of wonky mirrors on the structurally unsound end of the Pier, it avidly consumes sensibility and outputs a surreal depiction only explicable to the artificial eye. It also has 256 colours.

Note you may experience a slight tingling sensation that will leave your clothing damp when operating the Generator – don’t be alarmed this is simply the Dehmanising Defrag Spray at work, making sure that at every stage the relationship between the individual, their needs and their identity and existence as a human being is separated from the detail of the final Brief. It also provides a list of mitigating circumstances on a carefully integrated loop tape.

Approaching the end of the cycle, the Solution Solidification Kit makes sure that no-one is ever able to change anything, either at Brief stage or several years after completion of the project, administering a range of electrical shocks from the slightly uncomfortable to near-paralysis for anyone that considers the team may not be irrationally wedded to the solution.

Finally, just before the end product emerges is the Pizza Ordering Button. After all, you’re worth it.

The output in beta trial so far all looks strangely similar. Success, surely.


 For more of Simon’s superb work see

Leave a Reply