Workplace Design and Health – Part 3

This is the third of a three-part series on the relationship between workplace design and health.

In the previous two articles on workplace design and health in this series, I described how our physical space directly impacts our culture. The dominant spatial form of our times, the monoculture, has been deployed unrelentingly on our work environments to yield one-dimensional spaces that do not support diverse settings for work styles. In this final article, I will describe a set of design parameters that illustrate modern principles regarding space, culture and health to create today’s collaborative workplace.

Good design accommodates a huge range of inputs. Even a seemingly simple object, such as a doorknob, must resolve technical requirements with regard to the latch, key and handle. However, the doorknob will also be judged by how well the technical aspects connect with the human touch. Does the knob feel good in the hand? Similarly, the successful workspace must address technical stipulations while making that vital connection to our senses.

Most design starts with an understanding of basic requirements. Designers and architects call this the programme, which comprises the ingredient list for the space.

A typical programme might include:

  • 100 workstations
  • 10 manager workstations
  • 2 offices
  • 6 small meeting rooms
  • 1 boardroom
  • 1 small lunch room and
  • 1 coffee station

However, there are thousands of ways these pieces could be assembled, yielding wildly different kinds of workspaces.

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