Creative Spacing

September 21, 2014

From the September 2014 issue of
Comstock’s Magazine.

By Russell Nichols

Four factors to consider

The Shop @ VSP Global needed a makeover. The eye-care giant VSP Global wanted to attract regional talent by promoting its status as a user-friendly prototyping lab. For help renovating its modern, glass-box building on 17th and I streets, strategists turned to architecture firm Dreyfuss & Blackford. The choice seemed like fate, considering the firm originally designed the building as a Vogel Chevrolet showroom back in 1956.

Vogel Chevrolet Showroom by Dreyfuss & Blackford Architects.

VSP wanted the space to be flexible, buildable and breakable, a learning space and a prototype in itself (form following function). With that in mind, architects put wheels on the tables and on corrugated cardboard walls to make everything portable and adaptable.

“The rapid evolution of the way we work is driven by technology,” says Design Principal Jason Silva, who oversaw the project. “You end up with an ability to think fast, move rapidly, make quick decisions and have failure happen quicker so you can achieve success.”

The best visions evolve out of a joint effort between the physical (architects) and operational (leadership) sides, Silva says.

“This idea of experimentation in the work environment and flexibility of individuals to be able to work out their own ideas is something very attractive to millennials,” he says. “We’re still in the process of understanding this younger generation, but it behooves an organization to be deliberate when they’re planning for the future.”

Creative teams want an environment that allows them to:

  1. Focus: Be productive and concentrate on critical tasks.
  2. Collaborate: Brainstorm and share resources.
  3. Learn: Listen to lectures, webinars and video presentations.
  4. Socialize: Relax, have fun and give the brain a break.

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