Collaborative Spaces: Fact or Fiction?

August 6, 2012

We've all seen the cool photos and read the hype:  if you don't devote a serious chunk of real estate to temples of teamwork your business will FAIL!  Is this true?  Maybe, but...

Having the wrong kind of collaborative space is worse.

In today's economy it is more important than ever to make every cent count.  You pay for every inch of your space whether it's being utilized or not.  When you set aside space for team collaboration you either have to pay for a larger space or give less space to other functions.  So those team spaces better give you some return on your investment.

How do you know if you have the wrong kind of collaborative space?
  • After occupying your space for a year your collaborative zone still looks like the picture above.
  • While stopping off for an Expresso Macchiato you find your entire team camped out at their "usual table".
  • Your staff is using the space:  as a great place for an afternoon nap because it's so peaceful and quiet.
  • You call for a meeting at "the team space" and nobody shows up because nobody knows where it is.
  • You find yourself mediating space disputes that sound more like 1st graders on a playground than like the professionals you hired.

How do you get the right kind of collaborative space?

  • Create spaces based on how your team actually works:  not how you think they should work.
  • Make the spaces convenient for your team by making location and resources easily accessible to them.
  • Looking great is definitely a goal but remember that functionality is always top dog.
  • Use technology when it makes sense.  There are some amazing technological advances in collaborative space tools but these only make sense if your team has the desire and capability to use them.
  • Work with an architect that has the experience to draw from other solutions but who recognizes that your business and your staff are unique and require a unique solution.


    Architecture in 4-D

    May 18, 2011

    3-D movies seem to be everywhere (at least if you’re the parent of Disney-aged kids).  There are even 3-D televisions for those who want to bring the fun home.  But as my world-weary and jaded 8 and 10 year-olds will tell you, 3-D is sooooooo two minutes ago.  The real hardcore experience is 4-D.  You need to feel the ogre sneeze on you; your hair needs to be ruffled as the alien experiment breathes down your neck; the very earth beneath you needs to quake with the monsters’ footsteps.


    Continue reading...

    Church extends welcome matt with its wheelchair ramp

    May 12, 2011
    by Whitney Gould
    Originally posted on JS Online October 9, 2005

    Wheelchair ramps are so much a part of the urban landscape these days that we tend not to notice them. Sometimes they're clumsy afterthoughts — simple wooden planks set atop existing steps; sometimes they're integrated into new construction.

    But how do you improve accessibility for a building that is too historic for a quick retrofit?

    Lake Park Lutheran Church, 2647 N. Stowell Ave., is a shining example of how accessibility dilemm...

    Continue reading...

    What's In a Name?

    May 12, 2011
    Architectural Environments Studio; that’s quite a mouthful.Years ago when it was time to christen my new business, I had the daunting task of selecting a name. I quickly dismissed the traditional and commonplace option of naming the firm after myself. Part of the reason for this was the fact that the pronunciation (BuyRice) and spelling (Beyreis) of my last name eludes people more often than not.  It also sounds more like a shopping list than a proper company name. However, the main reason ...
    Continue reading...

    Blog Archive

    About Me

    I am an architect and have been licensed in the State of Wisconsin for 10 years. I've worked in office design for over 15 years.