5 Workplace Design Patterns to Foster Innovation in the Workplace:

Graham Kirkwood - 23 August 2012

With new technology that enables us to work anywhere, and collaboration within the office becoming a primary activity, we are witness to a range of new design patterns in the workplace. The danger is an over emphasis on the "we" space, at the expense of the "me" space. Interactive and collaborative spaces must be balanced with spaces for reflection and concentration. Resource Architecture shares 5 ideas to foster innovation within your workplace.

Idea 1:

Optimise productivity by distributing smart work environments through technology: Smart phones, wireless networks and cloud computing enable people to be more mobile, and work anywhere. This means people can move to spaces to concentrate, or work alongside others in more collaborative arrangement depending on the task. Furniture which integrates technology, such as the Steelcase media:scape, shown below, which is helping to reshape where people connect, and how information is shared.

Idea 2:

Creating more diverse, shared space and private space within the workplace that encourages collaboration and concentrated work. Collaboration moves knowledge, promotes relationship building, and fosters innovation. Quiet spaces for concentrated work fosters creative problem solving through reflection.

Project: United Energy and Multinet Gas. Design: Resource Architecture.

Idea 3:

Create Mentoring spaces adjacent to the most experienced leaders. Encourage less experienced people to drop in when they seek input and direction. Mentoring areas encourage impromptu information exchange and collaboration.

Project: Master Builders Association of Victoria. Design: Resource Architecture

Idea 4:

Introduce saturated colour, contrast, light and texture to areas where people interact most to stimulate interaction. Contrast this with subdued light, colour, contrast and soft finishes where people concentrate and reflect most.

Project: Master Builders Association of Victoria Library. Design: Resource Architecture

Idea 5:

Introduce tools which encourage people to communicate graphically, and display ideas for others to see and contribute to.

Project: United Energy and Multinet Gas. Design: Resource Architecture