“We’re starting to see movement away from the traditional corporate office toward workplaces that are more like creative studios—a plurality of spaces, each designed to support people and the technologies that can make their work easier.”
-James Ludwig Vice President, Global Design, Steelcase
Creating the Conditions for Creativity at Work
Steelcase and Microsoft are collaborating to explore how the workplace can more successfully drive creative performance. Accelerating creativity, they say, starts with understanding the behaviors and modes of creative work, and then envisioning how place and technology can help.
“It’s really all about the intersection of the digital and the physical – having the right place and the right technology at the right time,” says Ludwig. “That’s why we’re starting to see movement away from the traditional corporate office toward workplaces that are more like creative studios —a plurality of spaces, each designed to support people and the technologies that can make their work easier.”
Traditionally, technology has not always been leveraged during the early stages of the creative process,” says Groene. This can put people and teams at a disadvantage. Something arises in our heads. It’s usually incomplete and we jot it down, find a whiteboard and pull in colleagues. Computers usually came in at later stages. But now technology can be a tool to amplify our thinking throughout the entire process. We can take our content with us wherever we want to work. It will always be there, with the right security and the speed of light,” he explains.
The Creative Spaces Ecosystem
To help organizations accelerate the shift toward more creative work, Steelcase and Microsoft co-developed Creative Spaces, an interdependent ecosystem of spaces and technologies designed for the diverse modes of creative work, such as uninterrupted individual focus, developing ideas in a pair, generating solutions as a group, converging around ideas and allowing time for diffused thinking – allowing the mind to wander. They are places that build trust, inspire new ways of thinking and fuel experimentation. This initial collection of thoughtfully curated destinations bring together design and materiality without compromising performance to enable creative work.
“The future will be powered by ideas,” says Ludwig. “How we create, identify, foster and make ideas tangible – that’s how value is created. Our spaces and technologies need to help us solve problems, not cause friction or get in the way. When space and technologies come together to really support people’s work and really support their wellbeing — then we’re removing the drag on their experiences. They can naturally be centered on ideas instead of what’s not working for them. And, as a result, ideas will flow through the organization faster.”