Monday, July 23, 2012

Make Space Part I

I am making my way through Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration by Scott Doorley and Scott Witthoft.  It has stimulated conversations about the use of space in our schools.  I am sharing below some highlights from what I have been able to get through.

With a boss or a professor standing at the head of the room, it feels like a "sage on stage"- people are reluctant to share their ideas.  Reconfiguring the physical relationship is a powerful signal that participation is truly welcome.  The result is that you get better ideas out in the open, where they can grow.

We want our teams to work collaboratively instead of individually, so we have generous collaboration spaces, and "bare essential" individual spaces.  We want our teams to get up and try stuff, not sit around and talk in long meetings, so we make seating uncomfortable and tables too small.

Design with alternate uses in mind.

The act of "building"- whether that means cutting wood & building cabinets or selecting materials and furniture - connects you with the space as an invested owner rather than an entitled user.

Space is the "body language" or an organization.  This suggests that a space designer is simultaneously a cultural translator and a builder.

Whether your mobile technology is a camera or sketchbook, capture images and thoughts as you cover your bases... Then surround yourself with evidence of the inspiration by saturating your project room or office with the visuals and notes.