The Art of Creating Spaces that Spark Innovation
An office is just an office, right? But what if it’s not? What if it can be more? What if you could actually make your real estate work for you? Turns out, you can. More and more, office settings are utilizing what we call, “smart spaces,” or spaces designed for multi-use and flexibility.
We all (human beings and business owners) want to get the best bang for our buck. In an effort to maximize efficiencies, we’ve started to look more closely at how our clients are using their space. We found that many areas, even corridors, can be opportunities for maximization. More than just a passageway to get from one place to another, corridors can be innovation hubs. Simple design techniques such as placement of technology or adding seating areas can help create places for chance encounters, which is sometimes where the best ideas are shared and innovation is sparked.
Large cafeterias are another example of a traditionally underutilized space that now plays a significant role in maximizing real estate. More and more, offices are transforming areas exclusively used over the lunch hour, into multi-use meeting spaces that can accommodate various needs throughout the day.
Having a combination of large and small meeting spaces also offers increased flexibility for various uses; movable furniture expands these possibilities even further. These elements, combined with access to technology, allow people to personalize their work experience, positively effecting not just their day but company culture as well.
As the modern workforce continues to value flexibility, especially the ability to work remotely, smart spaces will continue to prove their worth. For a real life example, check out how WTS Paradigm, a software company in Madison, WI, implemented smart spaces in a really unique way to engage their employees, while creating highly functional, multi-purpose space.
Eric Romano, AIA, EIT, LEED AP