I definitely need an inspiring work space and am curious to know how everyone works. My boss decided that he wanted to create an “open office” for our new space and I am worried…
Do you have an office? desk? cubby hole? windows?
I need to create my “area”, hang a bulletin board, reference books on a shelf, material samples all over the room, colors and music, natural light…
Does anyone really think that we can be confined to a desk with a computer in the middle of a room and that’s it?
It depends on the size of the place, and the people as someone pointed out above.
I used to work in an open studio with 5 other designers and 2 engineers, and for a bunch of fussy designers we got along great and the open studio was awesome. Our desks went around the perimiter with a huge confrence/work table in the middle and a Donkey Kong Jr arcade game off to the side. Most days we all worked at the confrence table sketching together on each other’s projects, except the two engineers, they where cranking proE. There was a lot of horsing around.
When I left for a large corporation, I came to a huge floor of cubicles (well more like pentagons, it’s Nike, we have to be different) in a space with 20’ ceilings and about 70 designers. The noise and camotion can be tough to get used to, but it’s pretty good, the open studio would never work at this scale. There is still a lot of horsing around.
I’ve left that environment to work in a sub-group here with only 3 other designers, 10’ ceilings and more traditional cubes. i’m trying to bring in the horsing around. We could use the open studio in our group.
I agree with the idea of bringing heads together, sketching as a group… making work days a lot of fun but in my case, I work with a thermal engineer and soon with an electrical engineer as well so I don’t see this being too exciting for an open office space.
I am the only in-house designer with full creative freedom so I believe I need a “fun” room.
I am thrilled with the projects I work on and I see an excellent future but I need to be able to feel creative and be so happy that I want to be at the office all day.
I’m sure any employer would understand that being happy at the workplace is equal to greater productivity.
Open office here; 3designers total. Agree with most that it akes the right people to get along and work like this. My huge desk directly faces my coworkers similar huge desk; no partition, I can watch her scratch her eyeball and she can clearly see me pick my nose if she wanted to. Lots of playful horsing and it often helps thinking outside that box that everyone refers to. Also agree that open office may not work best when a bunch (30+) people are involved.
Two conference rooms - one formal and another integrated into the open space for quickies. Lots and lots of horizontal work surface and ALL worksurface anywhere is up for grabs which means any space in my immediate “office area” could be used by someone else and vice-versa. Lot’s of random toys, gadgets, and “junk” everywhere and it all looks to be haphazard but it really isn’t. 24 feet of 12foot high wherehouse shelving for current and previous prototypes and other random parts that you never know when you will use. Putting green and/or mini golf in the space to help settle “scores”. Also, we have a small prototype workshop that is literally part of the open space - hardware bins, tools (all sorts), power tools (drill press dry and wet, grinding wheel, wet saw, TIG/MIG, belt sand, lap wheel). Again, LOTS of horizontal surface in workshop as well. The whole place is wired with a single stereo (4 speakers with different switching configs) and there is all sorts of music always playing in the backround.
The best thing in my opinion is how the workshop is integrated into the office as ideas can quickly go from sketch to a physical form and even sometimes just go straight to physical form without any sketch, just the light bulb in your head. The space really is set-up nicely and I often hang out here on weekends with friends just doing our own thing and projects.
I just set up an open plan space for my design staff of five.
The rest of the company is set up with cubicles (for at least the last decade or two), which worked okay for the older-school HW & SW engineers who preferred solitary work environments. Lately the younger SW developers (embracing new ideas like “extreme programming”) have started pulling down their cubicle walls.
My space has caused some to squirm, but that’s the point isn’t it? It’s all too easy to get comfy. That’s the exact opposite of what I want from my designers! I want them squirming to get out of this building! Go to where the action is! Whether that’s out in the field or with our work partners within the building. User-centered design does not happen sitting behind a desk.
I based this on the concept of an “adult kindergarten” (learning through inquiry, play etc.) I considered the different ways that people communicate and work and tried to be very adaptive: We’ve got stand-up tables for impromptu conversations, moveable whiteboards that you can pull over and sketch stuff out, low to the ground stools for “storytime” (brainstorms, weeklies etc.) And yes, the classic office toys and design magazines scattered throughout.
I’ve experienced open workspace at a firm, private office in a corporation, and working from home as a freelancer… Each has it’s own benefits, but I like my private office now. All the designers leave their doors open, so we still interact plenty, but when we want privacy, we have it.
My office is filled with toys. Yes, I have Spawn action figures laying around all over my desk. One of my favorite toy in the office is Stikfas. And I’m almost 30. . . .
Whatever it takes to relax and get the creative juice going, not that any of my designs look like Spawn… .
Thanks for the replies!
i’ve been thinking about it and well, I figure that if I don’t get my office and I will be out in the open space, I might just take over all of it! Now that I think of it, I think they want me to hang drawings all over the walls and just work all over the place.
I can certainly do that!
It will be interesting though… my group is completely technical, will they be ok with my books, toys and lights around the place? hmm.