Worrell Design's Minneapolis headquarters. Worrell Design's Minneapolis headquarters.

Ten Tips for Designing an Innovative Workspace

If nearly 40 years of experience has taught us anything, it is that space matters. After reaching that delicate balance of form and function, made evident by the continued innovations that occur here daily, we now share with you Worrell’s 10 Tips for Creative Workspaces.


It’s called the Medici Effect – a phenomenon that occurs when individuals from diverse fields come together in one location to collaborate and pursue new ideas. By officing near other artists, makers, builders and more, you’re establishing a dynamic environment that breeds creative inspiration.


Get More Out of Everything

Get More Out of Everything
Creative workspaces are fluid and adjust to the needs of every need or situation. Features that serve multiple purposes, like moveable pegboards and white wall partitions enable ideation to take place in any space at any time. Glass walls can also serve dual purposes; they create privacy for certain meetings, while functioning as a place to sketch ideas and stick Post-its, not to mention they also look cool.


Put Your Trophies on Display
Put your Trophies on Display
Product development is incredibly challenging, therefore it’s important to celebrate when it’s gone well. True, it’s so anti-Minnesotan, but having a gallery provides an opportunity to tell others about your successes. It also serves as a source of pride and motivation for the people that day in and day out need to be reminded of their greatest efforts.


Give your Carpenters a Hammer
Bringing technology and tools in-house—like 3D printers, CNC machines, table saws injection molds, etc. — allows your people to see, touch, test and experience their concepts in real-time. With each tool you add, you introduce a new way to build something.


Don’t Forget about Recess
Epic Ping-Pong or foosball battles provide a much-needed opportunity to decompress. And you never know, maybe by moving the body you’ll shake lose the mental block that was inhibiting your creative juices from flowing.


Practice an Open Door Policy
Create (lots of) room for having people over. If you do, you’ll realize that dedicated spaces for gathering give partners, clients and the broader community an opportunity to meet and share ideas, ultimately fostering better relationships and more innovation.


Create Spaces for Discovery
Every mad scientist needs a lab. Labs enable tangible and hands-on learning experiences, they encourage idea sharing and experimentation and they are stocked with seemingly unrelated resources that when combined can form new things (think whiteboards, glue-guns, sewing machines and Post-its).


Give People a Place to Hangout
You know that friend who had the pool in high school? Yeah, people like spending time with their friends in fun spaces. By creating comfortable common spaces, such as bars, kitchens and couches, you’ll invite the ingredients necessary to turn mundane working relationships into meaningful friendships, which are a sign of a healthy organization.


Seating Arrangements
Seating Arrangements are not an Afterthought
The location of staff and the distances between them should be carefully considered. Arrange yourselves in clusters of expertise; this helps people who do the same task get their questions answered quickly. But, place buckets of expertise adjacent to the functions just ahead and just behind them in a common workflow; this encourages collaboration, while influencing each team to consider the needs of the other functions.


Let the Sun Shine In
Natural light improves quality of life and heightens productivity. Make sure to utilize windows and position desks strategically to ensure that natural light reaches all workspaces, or, if necessary, blast a hole through your wall.

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