When we say “most” architects, we’re basing our conclusion on the responses to our first AD Discussion of 2018. Even though Tim Harford, author of the book Messy, contends that disorder and a bit of confusion can be linked to spaces that inspire more creativity, our readers tend to disagree. In our review of comments on our article, the majority of respondents explained that workspaces with out-of-place objects negatively affected their ability to concentrate. Many responses alluded to their more efficient and prolific results gained by working in an organized space. But that doesn’t mean that all ArchDaily readers agreed; there are still ardent defenders of “control chaos” who insist that their best work emerges from working beneath piles of papers or supplies.
Perhaps this debate seems irrelevant; “what’s the point?” you may ask. But if we consider the number of architects who are designing offices and workspaces–at different scales and with different functions–we can start to see some merit to the conversation. Can we ensure that, through design, the organized and the disorganized have optimal environments for creation? We’re all different and we all have the right to be comfortable (as long as we’re being productive). How can we generate workspace designs that are not just multi-purpose but also “organizationally-flexible”?
And what characteristics, if any, might these hypothetically inclusive workspaces share with the controversial open-plan office?
Marc Goodwin‘s ongoing project of capturing architecture offices from around the world is a good place to start understanding the potential of spaces of creative production. If you check out his photo galleries of offices in Shanghai, Paris, Seoul, London and Scandinavia, you’ll start to see that different workspaces adapt to different cultural norms and, perhaps, even, the preferences of their proprietors.
What do you think? Do you work in an office that inspires creativity? What aspects of the design do you attribute to this? Let us know!
While architects are known for promoting sleek, clutter-free spaces, we have to ask: is this the best way to inspire creativity? Personal preference certainly plays a large part in how you respond to a stark table-tops with nary a stray pencil–maybe this is your nirvana.
At my most recent job, I did all of my best work at home. I would actively try to avoid the office for as long as possible. At home, I had two desks and complete control over my environment. Distractions and breaks were choices. Once I went into the office, the environment changed.