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The Case for Creative Workspace – the human factor in contemporary workplace design and innovation – Part II


The human factor in contemporary workplace design and innovation

After I published my last post Defined by Design on applying design thinking to reinvent the work experience, I was intrigued as to how design thinking could play a role in enhancing the space that employees work in and what implications this might have for architects and interior designers. Some research into the topic lead me to discover that there is not much published on this, but it certainly warrants greater attention. For those who liked, shared and commented on Part I, thank you! The engagement and endorsement has been appreciated. For those who have not yet read or want to re-read Part 1, I invite you to and would love to receive your comments. Here is Part II, with a link to an interesting take on the future of the office at the end.   Enjoy!

Bringing a diverse group of people from across the value chain together to respond to a design brief is a really good way of eliciting valuable insights, inviting recommendations and harvesting some really great ideas. Making the process as fun as possible can get people motivated. When people are engaged they feel valued and generally give of their best. Through facilitated participation, design thinking encourages people to think beyond pre-conceived constraints to use their imaginations and express what they want. This process gives interior design teams a great platform from which to observe how people respond to each other and what factors increase productivity and drive results. Audio-video footage of the workshops aids the design team to translate the ideas into visual concepts and storyboards that accommodate everyone’s ideas. These can then be presented back to the same group, and the client project team, via web links and video-conferencing.

When done effectively, space can be a great catalyst for organisational change. Those companies that aspire to create environments that enhance innovation should be looking to design thinking and the value that it offers to engage and motivate employees in developing and sustaining a culture that fosters people to work together and bring ideas to the fore.

The workplaces of the future won’t be static as the next generation workforce seeks options to work more flexibly from different locations to meet globalization and in the same achieve greater work-life balance. Interior designers are being challenges to co-create work spaces in communal environments that cater to this trend while retaining some form of brand connection. Additionally, architects and interior have had to radically change their design approach in recent years to adapt to green technology, particularly as energy efficiency plays a key role in achieving sustainable work environments. This has a significant influence in engineering how people respond to environments as much as they do using them. Good design accommodates both sides of the equation.

Design thinking can certainly go a long way to keep people ‘connected’ with an employer brand through the value added features and benefits of a workspace.



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