Agile workspace design is a term thrown around a lot – but when it’s done well it can truly transform a space into a productive and charming workplace.
April 5th, 2018
What exactly is agile workspace design? According to agile training specialist CPrime, the process can be seen as “a disciplined project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation, a leadership philosophy that encourages teamwork, self-organization and accountability.”
In terms of design practicalities, this means open spaces, self-driven workers, and a moveable or relaxed environment compared to the rigid forms of the cubicles of old. A new favourite on the design scene for many reasons, here are IndesignLives’ top 5 examples of agile workspace design done right…
Interior Design and Management Solutions company PTID designed the interior of the Sydney office of Tabcorp in the city’s CBD in 2017. The final stage of the four-floor fit-out is a full floor of open work environment cleverly utilising agile workspace design to present a compelling space. The accommodation provides 5,400 square metres of totally open work environment supporting a diverse range of work styles based on a detailed strategic accommodation brief.
Following a decade of growth, 2015 saw REA redesigning its Melbourne office in collaboration with Futurespace. The new workplace design unshackles REA Group from the constraints of legacy technologies and workspaces. This helps “better support their collaborative and agile way of working,” explains Angela Ferguson, Futurespace managing director.
Custom-designed agile walls were one creative product that evolved for the project, helping to overcome the challenge of facilitating REA’s process of working on walls, while providing collaborative areas in an open working environment. The design of different spaces, nooks and crannies near a central marketplace and main street was a strategy to “multiply random bump-in factors and interaction between neighbourhoods.”
Global science-led pharmaceutical AstraZeneca adopted agile workspace design for its new Sydney base, again designed by Futurespace. A core goal for AstraZeneca’s new office was a sense of community between teams and individuals. Alongside this, the space needed to provide a framework to support agile working behaviours and collaborative work, as well as access to natural light and the outdoors. Ultimately, the space includes elements of democratic spatial design, such as an equal quality of accommodation for all staff, ensuring that management is accessible to all employees.
Not a workspace in the traditional sense sure, but work is carried out schools, and rethinking traditional classroom design is an important facet of forward-thinking agile workspace design. Harbord Public School, a Sydney primary school designed by the NSW Government Architects Office, sees a three-storey building replacing 19 demountable classrooms.
Outside, this allows for larger outdoor areas for play and learning. Inside, there is an emphasis on openness and visual connection. Individual classrooms have multi-stacking glass doors that mean they can be opened to each other to create multifunctional rooms for collaboration and a holistic environment. Each floor of the new building is defined by a different colour scheme: green, orange and yellow, which are a means of differentiating year groups. Furthermore, this individualising of areas encourages ‘ownership’ by students and staff, as well as assisting in wayfinding.
In 2017, UBT launched its head office at Sydney’s Olympic Park, which brings the luxury of a boutique hotel to an agile workplace typology designed for networking and collaboration. Split across three floors, the core areas of each space are dedicated to different built areas. Meeting and utility rooms, lockers, quiet rooms and support spaces alike help to maintain access to natural light and sightlines from the perimeter windows. One of the keys to success in this fit-out is the fully catered café that offers lunch to UBT’s clients, staff and guests each day.
Level 5 accommodates some 150 employees in an activity-based working format, which can be easily reconfigured to accommodate more employees or teams. This floor also hosts an innovation space, formal meeting rooms, focus rooms and casual collaboration areas. Level 4 comprises 23 meeting rooms including a training facility that can accommodate up to 120 people.
Take a look at some of the other agile working projects on IndesignLive.
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