Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my senior thesis project, which had the above title. It was mainly concerned with working atmospheres, and how to foster creativity within the relative rigidity of the corporate environment. From time to time, I’m going to use this (blog) space to suss out my thoughts and explore the topic further.
My initial interest in this topic developed from my coursework within the advertising department in the School of Journalism. When it comes time to show work in advertising classes, students pin their work up to a wall and everyone offers critiques. Groups would explain their work and the process of producing it, and I realized that what I was seeing was the result of creative team collaborations. The teams that were able to meet regularly were more successful, but more importantly, the teams who looked like they were having the most fun almost always came up with the most creative ads. The group dynamic was incredibly important for producing quality work. I began to wonder how this process of making work fun would translate into the professional setting at advertising agencies. How do you produce creative and interesting work every day in an environment rife with deadlines, reports, intense competition and high expectations?
This is when I began to wonder what role physical spaces might play in creative work flow.
Psychologies of Space
The physical environment in which a person works has a profound impact on their work habits and what they produce. In arguing for a more open plan office, many architects, designers and employers agreed that the high expectations on creativity in advertising offices requires a space that allows for collaborative areas and relaxed atmospheres.
The potential impact of physical surroundings on creative work is infinite. Small, cramped office spaces tend to lead to small and cramped ideas. There must be a strong interaction between the collaborative nature of advertising, the process of getting ideas, and the physical space where this all takes place.
Stay tuned for more rambling thoughts and snippets.