One of the items that frequently comes up when considering shaping your environment for creativity is having a variety of distinct and defined spaces to occupy. The low-down is simple: a variety of spaces inspire a variety of modes of thinking and a variety of activities. This is about the creative process itself and it is also about collaboration vs privacy. I won’t go into that here, though – let’s look at some pictures!
Insert spaces around circulation routes
A common strategy that works quite nicely is defining a sort of space around circulation passages – which a often placed around the edges of a space. As in the above example, window seats are a simple way to achieve this. This has the benefits, firstly, of inserting a more relaxed type of space into a workplace and secondly, providing a way for two people who may have a chance meeting in this circulation space, to be able to take a moment to have a sit down together. Finally, when done right, you can add a layer of vibrancy and activity to your circulation routes which often are in danger of becoming dull and non-stimulating spaces.
Another good option – especially for refurbishment cases, is the construction of very small scale spaces for private work. You may be in an office that has very generous lobby or circulation spaces that you feel are being under-used. A small formal imposition, done nicely can define a new layer of private space in an otherwise very open and public area.
Defining a variety of spaces is not only a matter of form and scale – materials are very good (and often necessary) for defining spaces as separate. Notice in the above examples, spaces where a defined contrast to the tectonics of the rest of the space defines a completely new space – conceptually and functionally. When building different types of space is not an option, materials can be an easy way to achieve this.
Perhaps one of the easiest solutions. Notice in the above examples how the type of furniture put in a space defines the type of activity: furniture will change how people sit, what they work on and how they interact with those working around them.
If you have any examples of beautiful workplaces I’d love to see them!
Feature image courtesy of REthink Development – Creative Office Conversion