Museum Hosts Discussion on Architecture and Workplace Culture

By September 5, 2023Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (Sept 5, 2023) Los Altos History Museum’s August program that focused on the stories behind the high-tech buildings featured in the exhibition Building the Future: A Visual History of the Architecture of Silicon Valley” drew a packed house. Given the widespread interest in the subject, the Museum is pleased to announce the return of photographer Richard Adler, joined by the Chair of the Museum’s Diversity Advisory Group Dr. Perlita Dicochea, for a discussion with a group of experts of the relationship between architecture and workplace culture. Titled “Conversations and Reflections: Building Silicon Valley’s Workplace Cultures,” the event is scheduled for Thursday, September 21, from 5:30-7pm at the Los Altos Community Center’s Sequoia Room.


In designing these new buildings, the architects and their clients attempted to reimagine the workplaces they offered to their employees. Many of the new high-tech headquarters in the exhibit were developed from “the inside out” – that is, the architects and their clients gathered extensive data on how their employees want to work, then used that information to guide their design processes.  


“We are interested in understanding how physical environments can foster collaboration and ignite creativity,” said Adler, whose photographs are displayed in the Museum’s exhibition. In dialogue with high-tech industry authorities, Adler and Dicochea will explore concepts such as the flex workplace, open format offices, and other architectural design features on the contemporary work environment. How do these spaces affect the workers, their ability to collaborate, their well-being and their work-life balance? The panel will also consider how perspectives on work and where it happens have shifted in the post-COVID era.  


Initially, Adler’s photography focused on capturing the dramatic exteriors of these buildings, which he believes are intended to communicate an image to the world. More recently, he has ventured into the buildings’ interiors where the actual work unfolds.  


“These environments have been expressly designed to facilitate both structured and unstructured activities,” he said. In addition to supporting individual work, these buildings deliberately incorporate indoor and outdoor spaces that encourage informal interactions and unplanned encounters.  


Event attendees will have the opportunity to view interior photographs of these iconic buildings not featured in the main exhibition, while also networking with fellow attendees over refreshments. 


Admission to the program is $10/person, with complimentary access to Museum members. Register at


Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibitsstore and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.


The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. Tours of the J. Gilbert Smith House are available during open hours. The outdoor agricultural exhibit, gardens and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, visit:, email, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.


Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10,