Setting up a "studio" room

After some discussion around my workplace, our cnc programmer and I have decided to approach our managing director about setting up a “new product and development” room.

We have an empty room in our office building which is near my office and were thinking about setting it up as a place where we can display and discuss new products and projects which are on the go. At the moment we just have a board room, offices and the production meeting room, so this office would provide me with a place to post up sketches and have design brainstorming and refinement meetings.

Has anyone done this before? My boss is a bit old fashioned so I’d have to approach it intelligently without him thinking it’s a ping pong room where we’re going to sit around and have a talk and not get any work done. I am the only official “designer” on staff, but we have a few people who design our products including myself and the managing director and the 2IC.

Also need to think about what to put in it. I was thinking that the first thing we need is a whiteboard and a pinboard.

Any other suggestions?

Hey, I would keep it as simple as possible, whiteboard is essential, and furniture where the team can seat around comfortably at a distance where they can talk with each other without shouting. Ultimatly what’s more important is the content you will generate for each project, so think of the room as a blank canvas.

We call them War Rooms, or Project Rooms here at frog. Nike also evolved into having a “status room”… they really help build momentum around an initiative, get people out of their cubes, and allows you see a lot of work all up and next to each other to contrast and compare.

Here are the benefits: keep all of the visual materials of a project (or projects) on the wall in chronological order so you can always see what is happening, including sketches, research, mockups. Work in that room so the feeling or essence of the project is amplified. Some basics:

All of the walls should either be pinup space or white boards… magnetic whiteboards on all walls would probably be best so you can pin up or talk through ideas
Conference table you don’t mind getting marked up with desk chairs
Lots of shelves help to so you can set up prototypes or mockups

Uses for the room:
Collaborative work sessions
Project review
Impromptu status reports (boss should love this, he can come in the room at any point and SEE where the project is)
Focussed heads down time (multiple people can pump CAD on the same thing in the same space)

Magnetic whiteboards. Good idea.

The room we are looking at is 4.6m x 4.2m. Both the 4.2m walls are clean (no windows or doors). On the 4.6m walls, one has the door which is right in the corner and is 1m wide (incl frame). The other wall has a 2.8m window which is right in the middle and goes pretty much from the floor to the ceiling.

Whiteboard wall paint.

Maybe whiteboard paint over the top of magnetic paint?

That whiteboard paint might be nice for at least 1 wall. Would be good since you could have a projector project directly on the white surface without the need for a screen, and then can make annotations directly on an image that you are projecting. We have some dry-erase overlays on top of big LCD’s (for when you need to show an existing product, model, or 3D database and don’t want to print it).

Some regular magnetic white boards would probably be good as well along with some good old fashioned pinboards for pinups.

We have the same thing here which we use primarily for brainstorming or small meetings.

Circular table with white paper and pens pencils. Photocopier. White board. Metal strips with magnets to hang things. Projector?

Im sure Michael has seen some of the Continuum war rooms also, but they blew my mind at first. They have floor to ceiling whiteboards covering full walls that have to be over 10 ft high… just begging to be sketched on! White boards are great, at one place I interned they had simple metal strips on the walls to pin work up with magnets.