Embracing Complexity: Office Space

Just as in cities, offices that are complex, alive, interactive are the ones where things happen. This was proven by Thomas Allen. The Allen Curve posits that “interactions between different workers declined exponentially depending on the distance between their offices.”

Indeed, “researchers on different floors almost never had anything to do with each other. This effect starts to take place when people are 50 metres or more apart.”

Newer office design encourages interaction. Steve Jobs famously (via his biography) decreed that his (Apple, Pixar, NeXT etc.) offices limit the number of toilet blocks and have them in a central place that would force interaction. I wrote about this separately.

Linear environments create linear processes and conversations. Open, expansive, complex offices create opportunities. They are an embrace of complexity.

←This Much We Know.→


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