Hyein Lee

Hyein Lee

Design Strategy & Innovation MA
2011

Designing Spaces for Designers

Spatial design strategy of physical work environment for creatives

Work environments have always been a critical issue in terms of performance and profit of businesses. Many researchers have revealed that physical environments improve employees'­ work performance. Recent research also shows that creativity plays an important role between physical environment and work performance. Physical work environments enhance employees'­ creative thinking and creative thinking improves work performance. However, every organisation cannot use the same space scheme to enhance employees'­ creative thinking. According to Meel, Martens, and Ree, different organisations need different work environments based on their own work processes. Existing models address general offices regarding creativity, but not for creative industries or designers that have their own unique work processes. This research explores how physical work environments can improve the creativity of designers within creative industries. For the purpose of this research, creative industries in this study are restricted to client-based businesses that need to think in different ways to develop innovative solutions including design, branding, and advertising. A spatial work environment design strategy will be created for designers as a result of this research through examining designers'­ work processes. Several research methods will be used to create the strategy such as case studies, interviews, observation, and detailed 'office'­ surveys. As a key design research tool, visual observation and audit will be critical for this research. Unstructured workplace interviews will also help to give colour and insight on current problems of the contemporary work process or 'journey'­. So far this research has found that organisations need to invest in physical work environments and there is a clear need to develop a spatial strategy in order to enhance designers'­ creative thinking. Latest research focuses on relationships between physical environments and social interactions while former research has been restricted to physical interactions regarding work environments. Also, corporate culture has risen as a key factor that interacts with creative thinking within businesses. These research trends mean that there is now a need to consider interrelationships among physical environments, individuals, and social communications beyond simple physical interactions. Consequently, this research will consider how physical environments can make a creative corporate culture that encourages designers'­ creative thinking. It is anticipated that the final result will address both physical and social human interactions in a comprehensive perspective.