Dream Design Studio

anyone know of a see through glass one to put in the middle of the room like a military command center?

If you use primarily any dry erase marker, you should be able to write on any kind of glass. You could do a clear board, or use another smoked glass product. You could laminate two pieces together and use a PVB print of some kind as well… grid pattern,etc.

Fun topic. I’ll have to give it some thought as to the rest of my dream studio plans.

My old office had something like that. It was a glass panel mounted in an extruded aluminum track top and bottom. The tracks contained strips of white LEDs that you could turn on to make what you drew light up a little. I think it was custom made.

We had another board that worked with a computer and projector. There were different electronic pens and erasers that you could use to draw and the computer woud then make the actual mark through the projector. You never actually wrote on the board, just virtual. You could then take screenshots of your drawings and turn them into PDFs for distribution after the meeting. That was pretty slick.

The rest of the setup was just wide open desk space and cabinets. Too much flourescent lighting, however, i always wanted a window or skylight. Also because it was a shared environmant we couldn’t pipe in good music, everyone had to use headphones or bring an iPod so the people in accounting wouldn’t get upset. They didn’t work as well to techno and indie tracks.

I also wanted to put up more artwork, not nearly enough for my tastes. I wanted to do large vector art murals similar to work like Scott Hansen’s ISO50 portfolio.

You can never have enough windows in an office. My current one is better than most. I sit right in front of window (sadly, it overlooks the roof of the warehouse, but beggars not be choosers).

As for my dream, I just want a chair that doesn’t cause my arse to go numb.

Heres a link to duponts site for SentryGlas Expressions. I’ve seen it done and it looks pretty nice.


Natural light is a must, as well as the ability to see a good distance to exercise your eyes, so no cubicles. Similar to the dry-erase thing, I want project walls. Have sketches, etc pinned up and then store the whole wall away, then just bring out what you need when you need it. Nothing worse than having to take down a wall full of sketches to put up another wall when a differen client comes in. Make the walls portable and interchangeable and they can store away in a room on a rack so you can have 10 times the working wall space than your actual studio has.
And good chairs are an absolute must!!! And a good library and social area, couch, video games, etc for after hours and breaks. Makes staying late at work easier when you can go to a regular “living” type of area with cool stuff instead of still being in an “office”.

I just set up a design studio, mostly for Interaction Design, but Industrial Design goes down here too:

Lots of glass windows

Lots of whiteboards, plus moveable A-frame whiteboards. (I wanted the floor to ceiling kind, but facilities won’t let us because we’re leasing the building.)

Custom “kindergarten table” at waist-height to facilitate stand-up meetings and sit-downs. Plenty of surface space for group activities. Data projector is cable-locked to table for use by anyone at any time. (The next step it to connect a Wacom Cintiq with MindManager and Alias Sketchbook.)

Lots of creative toys, 4x5 cards, juicy markers. (Tip: programmers like to juggle.)

Low stools for campfire whiteboarding sessions or other meetings. Also useful to pull up to designers desks

Desks have very low walls–everyone can see everyone else and have impromptu conversations. Headphones are an acceptable privacy tool.

Reading nook with sofa and throw-rug.

Streaming music.

Lots of pinup space in public areas for socializing our work with passers-by. I stick post-it pads so that people can comment and add-on to concepts.

Oh, and just this morning we were talking about putting in some digital signage that would show off our work and also show a “live” project status dashboard.

We’ve been doing a lot of work on our companies “fuzzy front end” process lately and wondered aloud why management doesn’t have a digital “command and control room” with live data on the entire project portfolio. We thought we’d start with us as an example of such a thing.

I just got a tour of NBBJ in Seattle and let me say that they have done an amazing job of creating what I would consider the dream office.
They have open cubicles, with not sturctural walls. Just some modular shelving to put up and take down. There are tons of tiny private meeting areas and little cubbies for privacy when the time comes.
There’s a huge central area that they call the “Big Staircase” which is… a huge staircase, like stairs with a 5 foot run and a 3 foot rise. That’s where they do the big meetings.
It’s really an amazing office.

i have enclosed the balcony with glass which i have turned into a barbq section with four fans. also have a surround view of tehran’s north and east side.

Oops, I realized I told you what I have, but didn’t talk about what I really want.

I want a corporate design space that acts like a catalyst for both staff and the company. I want my designers nomadic: in the office if they need and want to be, otherwise I want them mobile, visting with colleagues and in the field. I want to facilitate learning and a bias for action. I want a space that encourages positive social interaction, synthesis and sharing. I want facilities that help the process of design. Lastly, I want something pleasant, fun/whimsical and comfortable.


It would be smack-dab in the middle of the building. Everyone would walk through its curved cooridors on their way to work, seeing and contributing to work in progress.

Its social hub is surrounded by spokes of project war-rooms, theaters and various labs (usability, materials, brainstorming etc.) It would include a cafe with library, hotel workspaces, and flex-space for fullscale mockups etc. There would be a variety of work surfaces, presentation surfaces, and seating options. Some private, others social. You could easily “post content” to digital signs, keeping it vibrant and fresh.

Everything would be on wheels. There would be no concept of offices, only private “hotel workspaces” that people could grab on demand. Everyone is issued a wireless laptop and mobile phone. Docking stations and large monitors abound. Assigned workspaces become more like “home base” than an office. Designers can relocate themselves at will since nothing ties them down. Nomadic camps would form in unusual shapes and with different levels of “elemental protection.”

connectivity with all design with the larger brand.

Large groups like ours get segmented and often designers find out about other designers at the store vs 18 months earlier at the studio. I think what cg is talking about sounds awesome mixed with some way to align all of the creative resources in a company so they can cross pollinate.