TODAY’S GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS are more than just places where public officers work. The current thinking is that the creative use of workspaces can stimulate creativity, inspire innovation and foster a collaborative and sharing spirit.
Said Mr Ronald Legaspi, Senior Creative Director of interior design company DB&B: “Innovation, in spatial context, can be encouraged by the surroundings. We call it the ‘feel-good factor’, emphasising on creating wholesome, comfortable and in some cases, fun spaces for people to work in.”
Communication and interactivity are key to this. “An open concept will encourage interaction and pull down the barriers to communications,” said Mr Legaspi, who also counts environment as a vital factor because “a healthy environment will increase productivity and is relative to the feel-good factor”. Finally, the design itself is all-important because primary and accent colours have been proven to get creative juices flowing.
Challenge finds out how these principles are borne out by the interiors of our public agencies.
The open, expansive look of the Energy Market Authority’s (EMA) office encourages interaction and collaboration among officers. Communal areas have been introduced into this office space for brainstorming and collaborative sessions.
They sport vibrant colours which are designed to get the imagination going. The unique two-storey activity hub, which includes an internal stairway connecting two floors, is flanked by informal spaces comprising a breakout area, an open mini library, and a “Smart Board” that enables officers to capture discussion points electronically into their laptops. These spaces are strategically located where the office traffic naturally gathers.
Said Mr Ear Chow Foo, EMA’s Director of Corporate Development Division: “We believe the creative use of work spaces can inspire innovation. Space is one of the enablers in breaking down silos, connecting people and stimulating interaction and collaboration.”
Source: CHALLENGE, JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2010