What does your office space say about you (or your firm)?!

28 Oct

For the longest time, I’ve received emails from “Reach Personal Branding” getting their newsletter.  Quite honestly, I usually delete them (I don’t even remember how I subscribed to them!).  This time however, for some reason, I decided to open the email, and to my pleasant surprise, I found a quick newsletter article that made me think about the work space that we, as architects, tend to work in…take 2 minutes to read it: http://www.reachpersonalbranding.com/newsletter/current/

The article stuck out to me because of their reference to Pixar Animation Studios.  Anyone who loves animated movies knows that Pixar is FANTASTIC!  They have developed a plethora of amazing movies (one of my favorites being the Toy Story series), and they can attribute that much to the design of their workspace…coworkers have fun, are encouraged to explore their creativity, and naturally made to run into each other to exchange ideas and get away from their desk.  Great concept!

So it seems to me to be this kind of equation: Pixar Animation Studios makes movies + great creativity-inducing workspace = GREAT MOVIES!

Obviously, the concept of great work environments is nothing new, and many companies are adopting it.  But how fast are ARCHITECTURE FIRMS adopting it?  Architecture/Interiors/Design firms are the ones usually creating these amazing workspaces, but if you have visited any firms, you’ll find that many firms don’t exactly have that kind of “cool, fun, creative-inducing” design space.  Many of them explore the concept of “openness”, where office cubicles have half walls, there are small conference spaces withing work areas, and some employees share space…but on the flip side, many offices still take the stance of looking “clean, professional” and sometimes almost “prestigious”.  What if we “practiced what we preached”?!

So, the equation would then become:  [insert arch. firm here] creates architecture + great creativity-inducing workspace = GREAT ARCHITECTURE!

I think it would be a great experiment for architecture firms to start to loosen their belts and relax the office space a bit.  Think about how amazing a Pixar movie is in correlation to their work environment…what if we did the same in architecture/design/engineering?  For those of you who think we have amazing architecture now, think about what we can produce with these same environments in our offices!!!

I am sure there are design offices out there that use this method.  If you think you have a great work environment in your architectural/design/engineering office, I would love to know about it!  Send me a picture, write about it, comment on this wall post, etc…I would love the opportunity to learn about your space and what makes it great, and learn about how I can do the same for other offices!

Thanks!  Ryan   [ ryan@toastingdesign.com ]

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3 Responses to “What does your office space say about you (or your firm)?!”

  1. Aric November 1, 2011 at 4:15 PM #

    I really do think that the way an office looks and feels makes a major difference. One of the many things I loved about the firm I used to work for was how amazing their offices were. The offices were in an old mill building that created a very open and flexible work environment. Even the three principals offices had large doors that barely ever closed making it a team effort among all members. I have included a link below that has a photo of the office.


    • Ryan November 1, 2011 at 5:26 PM #

      Thanks Aric, great start to this conversation!

  2. Alper November 1, 2011 at 7:32 PM #

    The offices I've worked since now were regular office spaces, but I guess I, and I'm sure a major number of people around me, have seen what you're talking about and tried to find out ways to make the space more creative and comfortable. I prefer special lighting, posters of various kinds, like sceneries, movies, famous characters etc. little statues or collectibles and music of course. We need to go a long way to convert our offices from formal spaces to spaces like you've mentioned. By the way, I don't need to mention the functionality of the space because most of the time we had the chance of designing the space for ourselves and our working needs.

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