How to Make Creative, Collaborative Spaces

Co-directors of Stanford University's school of design discuss practical changes individuals and business can make to transform their physical space into a creative and collaborative workshop.

What's the Latest Development?

There are concrete steps individuals and businesses can take to make their offices into creative and collaborative spaces, say the directors of the design school at Stanford University. Furniture that encourages good posture is more likely to invite engaged problem solving, for example, while a more relaxed sofa-posture invites criticism because the body is disengaged from the issue. Creating vertical spaces like posting boards can invite transparency by providing a physical space for open communication.

What's the Big Idea?

When designing a physical space, create one that allows people to "bring their full selves" to work, says co-director Scott Doorley. That means bringing negative energy along with positive energy and bringing criticism along with new ideas. A space that facilitates the visualization of ideas is important and one way to create that space is by eliminating status symbols: "Giving people the opportunity to be at  eye level with each other and eliminating things like corner offices seems to allow ideas to come from where they need to come from."

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