A friend asked me, from a design aspect, what makes people walk by a space and want to walk in and explore?
Though it took me a while to gather my thoughts, here’s how I replied:
“It depends. But before I answer your question, let me ask you: When was the last time you entered a space by curiosity? Why did you go in? Did the space have anything to offer? From my experience, a person enters a space because it has something they want. This “Value” could be goods to buy, things to try, or even places to explore. If the goal is to attract people to come in, the space needs to offer something the user wants. Once this “Value” is grasped, the design will form from it, almost like advertising it.”
As I answered him, I realized that my daily challenge at Workwell Partners is to create these spaces for employees at corporate and offices. Although the “value” differs for each employee, my ultimate goal is to create a pleasant and motivating space that the employees want to work in. By identifying the style of business and type of employees, I can narrow down the workstation that best fits them. For example, competitive companies, such as telemarketing or sales, are best suited to have high acoustic dividers to absorb nearby calls. Whereas, Collaborative companies, such as project managers and developers, are encourage to have lower dividers for better interaction. The more hard copy the employee works with, the greater the work station and storage capacity they will need. The advancement in technology can have a great impact on this “Value” as well. Monitor arms and keyboard trays open the work surface and help ergonomically. USB Chargers inside lockable storage cabinets give extra security and comfort in mind. Color can also depict the employees mood. The color blue is known to be the most productive color, hence it is wildly popular in office spaces. By designing beyond the users expectation, one can easily attract anyone into a space.
*The above rendering was created by guest writer Kinya Kasai for a recent CET designer competition