One More Time: New Types of Work Require New Types of Workspaces

About 10 years ago, I was asked to help a Fortune 100 firm re-think the configuration of its R&D facilities.  They felt their standard labs and conference rooms weren’t working, but didn’t know how to fix things.

My research indicated that they needed to reconfigure things so that the company could take advantage of the sharing of information that happens during informal interactions as people are moving through the building, sitting down to chat with colleagues, etc.

The diagram to the right summarized how they needed to rethink their space in order to foster greater innovation.  (Those little starbursts are supposed to illustrate where creative collaboration takes place.)  A recent post at the Whole Buildings Design Guide site suggests this is still an important consideration in facility design:

In this electronic/information age, work teams form and reform to meet organizational needs, technological innovations, and changing business relationships. Buildings and interior spaces need to be flexible to anticipate and support this changing nature of work. Within the past few years, designers have sought to create a new generation of “flexible” buildings and workplace environments within buildings that have infrastructures and structures that fully support change while sustaining new technologies, and multi-capable individuals and teams.

You can read the full post here.

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