Workstations Designed For Collaboration, Modeled On Friendly Neighborhoods | Co.Design: business + innovation + design

This article brings up an interesting idea of a “forced” playful space. You can certainly encourage creativity and playfulness, but forcing the issue can backfire in a bad way.

“We have recently seen many offices that try to evoke a kind of forced playfulness,” says Sam Hecht, founder of London-based Industrial Facility. “Slides, chill-out zones, ping-pong, or a kind of home-like interior. We were very suspicious of this.”

For his own take on the flexible office system, Hecht and his partner, Kim Colin, adopted a more nuanced approach to getting employees to think fondly of their office–and not view them as places of mandatory drudgery. Locale, for Herman Miller, uses modular pieces that easily adjust in place and height to create what Hecht calls neighborhoods.

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I definitely agree that everyone has to buy in or the “playful” environment doesn’t truly exist. A space designated for “play” just becomes a dead zone at work if nobody wants to hang out there, or knows they’ll be scolded by fellow workers for disrupting work, or viewed as “lazy.”

I’m curious to hear more of why the Locale design would make people feel more neighborly. Thoughts? Ideas? Leave them in the comments below.

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