How can service designers help design better workplaces?

We are excited to share the recording of this webinar on the intersection of Spatial Design and Service Design to improve the workplace.

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Mentioned references

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Automated transcript

This transcript was computer generated so there might be some errors in the transcript.

I'm Eliya. Hello. It's really nice that you joined us today.

I'm a student in, in the last year I'm working on my bachelor thesis.

And well, I always, I was always fascinated by space since I was little. I think it started by redesigning my room monthly and not really playing with Lego or playable or dolls, but building spaces for them.

So I think it was kind of, you know, you saw where it will go with me and. But what really got me about space and spatial design is this, when you look around, everything around us, all the rooms we, we we use, or the spaces we walk through, they're all designed and someone had to design them and hopefully designed them for people, the people that they use.

And that's not often the case. So I'm really eager to participate in that with spatial design to design rooms where people come together. Yeah.

Awesome. Thank you so much. Maybe Dave. Yeah. Can we hear a bit about you, Dave?

Also my last year of spatial design. Just a few things about me. I really love music and enjoy skateboarding.

But about my work, or I can take my bachelor work as an example. As Aliah said questioning sometimes this function and sterility from spaces specific public spaces or cities. And this is what I work with in my bachelor degree.  So it's about structural interventions in public spaces.

It's a really well known method in art or in design as well. There are a lot of already works have been done to in this process. But the different, or the approach I go for as a special designer is in the beginning there's not really a vision where you have to, to lead to like a vision from an artist or a vision from a community.

So you just start being on this place and. Designing this, not really a physics space, more dismantle space, this space of possibilities. So trying to reach the people their needs in the in the process of making things, building things like really simple and easy and guide them a bit like with the tools and everything.

So because I learned carpenter before I study, so I have their skill and out of this process of making division can blossom or it's not Yeah. Out of this. And so you can really make a solid, fundamental creation to develop or going more into a bigger and it's about the engineering or the investment that have to be taken for maybe a public space.

You really have solid substance from the community, from the people that living in the cities based on what they build, what they created together. And my part is to design dismantle possibilities, space of possibility, and not the, the physics space. Giving things or giving furnitures or giving options.

So that's a, a different approach for making interventions and getting an idea of space and getting people back to the relation of space. Yeah. Awesome.

Thank you so much. I like this idea that we already feel, which is this notion of, you know it's not just about space as we usually believe, you know, like mental space options.

I'm, I'm already quite excited to hear and see. How does that happen now?

Once more a big thank you to you guys for taking the time to create all this material that you will share with us today. We are very grateful that you're spending all this time with us today. Thank you so much.

Thank you for invitation. We we're gonna show you some insights on the project, on, on the room we're sitting in now.

First off, we wanna ask you a question about, This space, how would you feel in this work environment?

Maya says uninspired. Question mark.


Would you wanna work here?

I would say two war. Seeing the, the ventilator? Yeah.

Do you wanna work in groups here? Research. Do some research.

Rico says it depends on colleagues, but the space looks a bit flat. We have Anya saying, feels ears. Hence lectures. The mind what this is, it's an office job.

Mechanical task.

Yeah, that's, that's what we thought. I mean, it, it functions, it really functions. As an office it works, but you don't get the feeling that here is Yeah. The people in here are doing research, are experimenting, doing some inspiring work. And that's also why the head of the research group, which narrative contacted us as he said, and, and we went together through this office last summer and yeah, but it's just not really sexy anymore.

So we needed to change that, but we were both. Rather new to this process or to redesigning an office. We had a module about that with an amazing teacher. They're in here as as well.

But yeah, we renew. And how would you proceed? How would you as service designers redesign that office?

We have a few comments from the previous question. Again, I, I'll come back to those so that people have time to answer the three questions.

Luis, who says, It's plant disorganized. And we have Deidre say saying more specifically, I hate seeing the back of large screens and plastic water, bottle trash cans. All could be more discreet and a plastic water bottle should go. And we have someone saying, just thumbs up.

And so Anya says how she would proceed, she said, understand why there is clutter or what actions create the clutter. And so an observation of why it happened like that we have my Yeah. Saying speak to the people who work there most frequently and ask what works about the current design, about the room, what doesn't work, and why, and how they want to feel in their workspace.

So not just being critical, but also seeing the value and also seeing a bit of a vision of where people like to go. Jose says, so first is asking what are we trying to achieve here? Be more imaginative, more creative, more functional. How do we want to feel? Is this for us? We have soda saying what things bother the employees of this office?

Well, it's good to hear we had the same thoughts. Maybe we wanna talk a bit about process.

Yes. So first we started with with interviews with the people. Check their needs. Why is it state of the art? Talk with them and really try to involve them in the process from the beginning. Then we made a kind of a, a board where we collect all the informations and then we saw, okay it needs more flexible spaces or more spaces where you can be in silence.

And so we, we really started out of this needs rethinking the space

again. And we especially asked the, the head of the research group, where do you wanna go with the research group? What are future projects you are doing? Do you wanna keep working like this or do you wanna maybe do more workshops?

And really, we really Saw, we really saw a shift to more this flexible work style to more meetings, to more collaborating, more workshops. And also that they wanna represent their research groups. And it also important to say that here are two research groups, sharing the space. This is also something we discussed.

We discussed with the people here who you wanna mix your groups. Can you imagine the space, like more co-working space where groups are mixed or do you want keep them separate? But then you have, you know, the problems of really keeping them separate in an acoustic way and you need more space. And also there were new members of the research group, so we had to face more people, but.

In our survey, we also saw that a lot of people don't come here often. So really wanted to do an office that, you know, gets people here again after Corona, but also yes. So the, the space is not used efficiently. We, yeah, everything signed to a bit of, to co-working space or co-working space, like space.

Yeah, it also was a really a big need for, for the head of the research group bringing back the people to the office for this informal exchange. This was a big, big topic, especially after Corona and also for the creative part of the work, the spontaneous meeting with the coffee or in the cafeteria or outside.

So, so the quality of the work can definitely developed.

We first worked on three different concepts. Got the, the shared concept, the, the co concept. We got like semis shared one and then the separated one.

And we also presented those ideas to whole research groups and they all said, okay, now we want a shared co-working. Idea that that was really good for us cuz we thought this is the best idea. And all, all the members said, yeah, let's go with that idea. And these are some first sketches. This is how we proceeded.

We, we we thought about how or what work will, will they do here? Is it more flexible work? Is it silent work, focused work? Got disagree zones, like the fixed zones. This is more but first some people said they need a fixed desk, like their own desk, but that's completely shifted to flexible ones.

But more focus work, more loud, meeting, collaborating, work, and then this informal part. And then we just make those zones and proceeded further

from that. I think that was a Really valuable time when we could always pitch our ideas and a little bit shake off this old kind of work or how you work.

And more and more people were getting to this idea of being flexible, having less stuff here open it up. And it was also a really big part of the process in the beginning. It, it wasn't that everybody was like, yeah, let's share this space and get more to know each other of this groups. And, but we do.

But in the end of this time from working out the concept a lot of people get really astic about the idea. So it was a big process and I think it really depended on that. We always pitched. The, the possibilities we can make.

And to talk to the, to the people that have to work here in the end, so.


Yeah, it's very important. I mean, we don't design space for us. We design it for the people that use them. So these are more detailed sketches and first sketches. We tried to use a lot of furniture that was already here, but noticed that, yeah, not all of it makes me sense in here. And also there was a lot, a lot, a lot of storage with a lot of junk, I say.

And there are a lot of things that people don't really use. So we said, okay, storage needs to be minimized. But of course, yeah, we still need some storage test, the informal ones.

So after a lot of sketching and redo the, the base or did the plan we did the first 3D models of giving an impression of what can be and also pitched it again and really worked on the top PC with the, with the noise.

Where is more noise? Where is less noise? So I think the whole acoustic was, was until then, not really our focus. And then it was like, oh, okay. When we do it like this, there is gonna be a loud po a louder zone where people talk. And then you have this green focused zone. So the, the sketching and drawing was It had to be done again.

And what really helped, we often worked here in the space itself during the day, but mostly in the evening. But that really helped to be in the space that you are creating and then seeing and discussing in, in real life where to put things and to see the measurements.

Yeah. Think was, yeah, with the back, with the acoustic when you see it, the red parts or the loud parts of the green parts are the more silence parts.

It was a really shit idea to split with the green in the middle, the two red ones. So we, for a really long time we didn't saw that. So I think yeah, and it's, it's easy now when you see it, but to get these two sounds and that split by us, that was it was a long process and we got some good help.

I can really say that we went to different furniture vendors. Vendors, yes. Producers and, and pitched our ideas and they really gave us so much feedback. And also with the old mentor of us, you know, lecture, she helped us really to see stuff like that and to improve our design further, further, further.

Yeah. So here was a lot of mentoring and talking to people that are already in the business and we choose the, and I mean, we needed that, we're students, but I think it's also very helpful if people that still, when you're, when you're good or when you're like finished, you are never finished in your job.

But After your studies Yeah. To share your experience and to deep experience, get experience from others like today. Then we did some first s renderings to really get a feeling for the space also for the other people, for the members of the research group to show how it can look. Because for a lot of people it's, it's difficult to read a plan and to, to imagine them the space

after all this technique work with where is the light and where is transition rooms, then we have figured it out and then we can start with this emotional design.

And that's why we did the first renderings with color plate. And yeah. So that's definitely one of a method we learned and we used. So don't start with colors and

fancy stuff, so, yeah.

Yeah. Here, see the mood board, see our color palette, colors that they're in the room here, and then added more of those earth tones, warm tones, the orange from the school.

And what was really special about this project is that we, in the beginning, we had a small budget. The, the project got bigger and bigger. Yeah. We kept it going bigger and bigger. But we had to ask for sponsors for sponsoring for the first time. That was a huge experience to walk in there to a furniture vendor and say, Hey, we got this idea.

Please sponsor the furniture. Mm-hmm. We didn't do it like this.

Yeah. We, we pitched it. These are like parts of the, of the. Slide. We showed them for pitching the project, and of course we had the, the name of the er, so it was definitely easier to go for a sponsoring. But the first one we went after we pitched, he was like, no one gonna buy it.

Like, fuck that. So it's, it's really crap. And you don't really sell it and it sounds like you're not really nice. I lucrative like for him, for making an investment, like a really lucrative idea. So he was, but he was, in the end, he was kind, he was like, okay, you can have some some, yeah.

What she wanted and but when you do it with other vendors, you, they don't gonna sponsor you because it's really yeah. Not business, like how you did it. You were just like, more like, can we have some furniture please, or, yeah, there was, and he was like, straight up to our face. It's, yeah, that was really awesome.

No one gonna buy it to, to fail first.

Yeah. We really failed the first one and then, I mean, all the other meetings went very well. Yeah. So, and he sponsored as well, and in the end

he said, yeah, he also gave us a, a feedback or a kind of little lesson that's not gonna work in the business world that's maybe gonna work in the school, but, but that was, and after this lesson Yeah.

We, we, we didn't fail that the others understood. Yeah.

Big learning. And I think, I don't know how, how you guys. Student or c diff. But for us it was very difficult to, to sell the idea and not to sell yourself under your your work, your value. And, and that was real difficult to stay there.

This is my design. You need to sponsor us. This is good because of that, that, that's I think maybe that is a little bit of problem as a designer problem you face all the time. But we got the sponsoring there in this room is now the, the furniture has worked three times as the amount we paid, so that's good.


Then this was the. The finishing layout for with the list where it's like with the, how much it costs how many pieces, the name of the pieces so the exact list for every physics piece. Object in the room. Yes. So this was the, sorry, this, this we showed to the head of the research group in the end after all talking with all the sponsoring and everything.

And we had the in in one week we had to go to for the money and we can order everything and yeah, then start the build up. So we, yeah, we have to, we, we painted a lot of the room by ourself, basically everything.

Yeah. We did lots in, in the free time.

Three time the, the school. Worked at night and everything and have to build up with the, with the people that brought the furnitures.

And so yeah. But the cost's not gonna be that big cause for a painter. It's, yeah, it's really expensive for the painting all these walls.

Yeah. And it was also, it was a good experience to lead you know, the build up to build up Yes. And also participate in buildup and to get our hands st dirty after all that thinking work.

Yeah. Now really doing it and seeing it, and seeing it get together. That was, that was great. Yeah, we, we already come to the, to the end. Yeah. To the end. These are some looks. Some pictures, how it looks now. We also integrated art from the school in here, from the student. That was very important to do that, to take this opportunity.

And now it's the idea, it's also a bit of an invisible space because the, the, the wall is gonna change. So every half year or after the semester, a new student can exhibit an exchange for for, for money. Mm-hmm. Work and artwork on the wall. So it's kind of off space with, and yeah, the art's gonna change.

So everybody has the possibility.

And this is more like a flexible zone. This is where we are seated now. This can really change. It's for, for workshops for small groups. This is really an active dynamic zone.

This is more the, the focused work zone. With the screens, you can plug in your laptop and work on a second screen. This is also very important in here because a lot of the people work with their laptops or writing. I'm writing papers, so it's needed as well. And it got a lot greener. It got more color, more of those warm tones.

So he was only,

I'm gonna show them again.

Thanks for sharing so much. I'm taking a minute to make a bit of a summary of a few of the learnings, that I've gathered as you were speaking.

To me, it's quite interesting to see one approach that you guys have, which is this   ???? repetitive pitching.

You said this really well, this notion that, oh, I'm gonna pitch an idea, a new idea and, and, and buy this process of coming back always again and again to people with these ideas. You slowly also help people to go from a bit in a process of change. Because they hear that, oh, something else is possible and they hear it again and again and again and again.

And it's quite, quite interesting for me when I see how you said, oh, at the beginning it was very clear that people just wanted their space. They're very like, this is my space. Please protect my little computer and my sticky notes don't touch them. And slowly you made it possible. I'm quite amazed when I hear that and when I see this room, how it is now having something which is very shared.

And I, I, I feel it's quite interesting this notion of. Helping people to change also perspectives, right? Pitching openly to the users. Hey, what if it was like this? What if it was like this? How would you feel? Is this good? Is and then coming again and again and slowly changing minds. Also in, in some way it changes also your mind because obviously luki you, you get some feedback too, and that's quite something interesting.

So as a research method, like this, repetitive pitching is one element that I heard, which was quite quite interesting.

And another part that you expressed quite, quite strongly, and I come back to you, is this idea of  being part of the space.

So that's something that I think is quite strong. Also this nice idea of, hey if I'm gonna change something here, I first need to be more an indigenous and to feel how it is before transforming anything.

So before I break something, I need to. Know how it'll feel when once I break it which is quite, I quite, quite important to the pitching. You had something more to ask, please. Go on.

Yeah, I just wanted to say maybe, well, yeah, we pitched a lot, but also we just talked a lot. Yeah. With the people not always pitching our ideas, but really talking together.

We, we talk a lot.

You spent the time. Yeah. Yeah. You invested in the relationships.

Yes. Yeah. I think that's very helpful. And get to know the members that are working in here. Also through the interviews personally, which, and coming back here again in the space, talking to the people asking, Hey, what are you doing?

Whether you working on, so definitely being part of the space, being part of the community and. If we summarize it in a, yeah, in a very short way. You have also this idea, which is I think quite valuable for us as service designer. Sometimes we are very abstract, you know, we have service group rooms, we have some crazy mirror boards.

And then people look at this and say, what the fuck is that? You know? And I think you had this translation too, where you, you made your architectural plans and people look at it and like, wow, nice lines. Awesome. I don't know what this is. And then with the renderings, with a few visual elements,  you transformed, its into a language that people can understand.

I think that's also something that is quite impressive in how you worked.

And another thing that I picked up quite strongly is this notion that you say that you take different spaces for different ways of working. I think for services, we are often thinking into trying to create one experience for everyone, you know?

Yeah. And I hear, I feel it's very different. It's like, oh, this is  one space that has to accommodate many different  experiences. So this is some, is a shift that I find is extremely interesting for us as service designer. Not thinking it in one experience, but how can we create one flow that allows multiple experiences.

And then something that I think is extremely important in what you're saying to us is  it's okay to get help.  Yeah. You know, and this reminder of hey even if you are the best, the best guy, sometimes it's good to have an outside perspective. Looking for a mentor, looking for a colleague who can help.

Sometimes just asking the builders, the partners, the, the vendors, Hey, you have, this is my idea. What do you think which furniture would work best? Could be the same for services, even if it's digital. You speak with vendors of software and stuff and ask them, Hey, we want, we want to try to create this.

What do you think? And I think it's, it, it's quite interesting also to see how one of your big failures was one of your big learning too. This moment of, Hey, it's okay that we just miserably failed, you know? And the guy said, Hey, you pitched yourself so badly that even if you sucked, I'm gonna give you one or two furniture.

Furniture. Which is good. But then he gave you the lessons. And I think this is also a reminder for us that it's okay that we jumped in fields that we are not comfortable yet. For example, for you it was the kind of business part and just jumping in it, failing miserably. And then, because people usually are nice and they say, you failed, please do it like that because I don't want to see you fail again.

Yeah. And, and then this happens and then you learn. And and obviously the, the learning is more stronger once you smash down your face. That usually then it's, it's sucks.

Very well. So thanks already for all these little nuggets that you shared with us.


So we wanted to ask you, what would you do differently? We showed you our process. Are there things you would do in a different way or things you would add to the process or things you'd say, oh no, you forgot that that would be so important if you would've done.

I don't know, a gathering of our people and eat together or, you know, what are, what are your experiences, service designers, what do you think should be done as well or differently in this process?

While you are reflecting, I'll jump back in time slowly because we had answers that we didn't pick up previously.

When your question was how will you, well, will you proceed? I'm gonna take a a little bit of time to jump back in time and then we'll have a new answers to take.

Deidre sent, spend some time observing and hearing comments, such drawing answers out in structured way.

So basically being, having a hear an ear in the space and hearing people say, ah, these fucking electrical plugs, I fucking hate them. And then you're like, okay, electrical plugs, we have to fix that, you know, and ah, the blinds, it's always so warm in here. Okay. And then hearing that, and quite interestingly here, without asking questions, but being in the space while these bugs, these pain points happen, so that you can observe them and, and take them.

Definitely a very good way to, to get all of these elements on your side.

So one question is, who was the end client? So in, in, in order to answer what your question, what would you do differently? Would you define your end client as the head of the, the research program? Or was it the people who use the space or did, did you have multiple clients? How, how did you. Where was that?

I think a multiple plan. So first way the, the head of the research group with this big issue, this big need that has to change here, something with this kind of coming out and like we have to change here. Also, the people that work here, where for me, they're also clients because they were really involved in this process.

And also the, the whole department design and art or like their representation or their value as well for as an art and design school, working in this really shitty places and being creative in like really, yeah, that space is kind of, this is really stimulating. So we had there also kind of a, a client for me as well, and it can also spread.

Even to the other departments as well, from luer, from the university. So there was also the, the facility manager.

Yes. Facility manager. You cannot do everything here in this spaces and not for all the money. Mm-hmm. So that, that was also the reason that you look for sponsors because the budget were, were, was not so high.

But there must also be trusted to, let's say, bachelor's students, young bachelor's students doing here working on this space, creating a new space. I think that's, it was also very important that you also Yeah. Having Nicole in in the process, keeping her updated and I think

that's, Yeah, so definitely one thing that we hear from that question is realization that you have multiple clients and that multiple stakeholders with different needs and that you have to, to play with all them.

And you have, I think, a quite good understanding of that, that you have the one who's paying, the one who's then managing the one who's living in it but definitely not paying for it. And that's these different needs and and tasks have to also be

managed. Yeah. But also changed during the process.

I mean, first it was just ahead of the research came of the program. Then we've seen, okay, there are a lot of members using this rooms. Yeah. So that came and then the project got bigger and the, the interest in the project grew also from department side. So when there came the third client, I would say,

That's quite interesting also because that shows that this is something that evolves the, the client that, that start, that you start with is not the client you end with. Because more people join more needs come and are showing. So one person, Jose is putting in his hand up so you can slowly unmute yourself and maybe answer that question.

Hi everyone and congratulations on the work. I believe this is like a real big job just for students and congratulations

On that, I just, I, I dunno if I've done it though. I may have had like more participation for the stakeholders. Like as you said, you have new people, stakeholders throughout the, the journey, and I think that maybe they have.

Something that they can care or they can add to the project. Something like maybe if you wanted some more sponsors, maybe they had some of the furniture that you needed, maybe adding this furniture to the places that the, that you were creating, people were like, maybe they very, they may have been like feel more involved in the, in the end product.

I don't know if I've, I've gone out like asking for, for sponsors on, on furniture stores. Maybe as, as, as people ask university, as as, I don't know if you have like a workshop school, part of the school that they create a furniture for, for the school, for, for inner project. Maybe you could have asked them.

I've come up with ideas to, to.

That they don't usually have like a lot of resources to work with. So they tend to call to the community to ask for help. And this usually has like a big impact on the end result. Cause people think to think that they have added something to the end result and they see it there every day. So maybe, I don't know if I've done it differently though.

I've add that to the project that you have done, that you have done. Like having more involvement with the community with the end result. Someone ask for the prototype, something like that. How about asking people creating a content for people to participate on this content? Something like that?

So, so you can sometimes like have a different approach to budget, not only on the money itself, but also with the work that people may be willing to do. Just that. And congratulations

again. So much, Jose, we have, so a few ideas in what you say. I'm gonna summarize it in a few words. We have this idea of maybe you know, bring your own device maybe bring your own furniture.

There is a bit of an idea like that. Bringing, letting people take, take the space with with their stuff. Letting people also part having w maybe workshops or ways to involve the stakeholders even more. I think you did already a good basis work there and, and it's kept, it's possible to go obviously even, even further.

And you hinted at something that was in the chat, and so I will read that for the people in the room which is Fe Rico says. Have you done some prototyping, rearranging the old furniture before, before the whole makeover? Maybe you have a few insights on how you worked in the prototyping phase of this space.

Yes, we worked with the, the tables and everything that was inside here, and there's still three of them in inside here. And the rest we made with the, with the storage, we made like a zones or switch them and maybe like, this could be a diner. So to see the measurement and the dimension it can be maybe a booth and put also the size of two storages there so we can get the, have an idea and put, we did a lot with these black storage boxes and the tables to make, to imitate this big long table as well here.

But we didn't like change the room and. Leave the room like that first some time and then get feedback was just wasn't possible because a lot of people still had their own desks, a lot of furniture in the room, storage and those desks were really, really big. And yeah, yeah, we did at that point, just not possible.

But we still see this, I mean, it's very, very beautiful type, but, but there's a space that can involve and change and we'll, in a few weeks, gather feedback from the people that work now about year here, then yeah. To evolve the space further, but in the prototyping phase, like, but not still using, just with the dimension, but, but the using of the space.

Mm-hmm. And obviously there is way more stuff that was done, experimented than the few slides that you show. And I think we are quite quite aware that there is a lot of word that is hidden that that, that, that was done too. I'd love now maybe to that we move to the next part. Yes. If that's okay for you guys?

Yes. That we move a bit more in the exercise. Yes. Part. And then we'll go in the end again with a bit of a question time from the audience and and a bit of a hangout time at the end. Okay? Sure.

Yes. I'm gonna show the, so, ah, yes. Now you should all have access to the new board. One second. Sorry for that.

Just what we would do different now is Yes. More prototyping more. Involving the schools actually. Something we also thought about and what we did, oh, to explain this project, this redesign of the, the offices has a second project.

There are more office to redesign and we will do that. And in the second process we also use workshops as a tool. Yeah. To do workshop to really kind of co-design. Yes. In, in the first part, first step work in this one, two plan. And then we do like zones and we had like real small dimension for tables and stools.

And you could in a playful way, rearrange all the rooms. And in the end it also was the idea or.

To do this rearrangement with the furnitures first and see us as an open space. So as it was mentioned. So yeah, we tried to work more with that too. Yeah. That we didn't, we didn't have done this in the first one.

That's really good to see now that in learnings that you told us, Hey, you could do that as well. Yeah. Even more. Yeah. Push it more. Yeah. I think there's a lot of potential these workshops and using things that are already there and do, bringing up personal things and doing this kind of creative exercises Yeah.

With the people. So that was, that was, yeah. That will, this is what we do

differently. . And as you said, it's it's a version one of the space. Yes. It's gonna continue to, to evolve and we're, and obviously we're, we're quite excited to see how that will evolve. Maybe in one or two years we can do another event and see how it's all change.

Yes. Hopefully. We always already have good questions from Federico because he is the guy asking good questions in this community.

I was thinking while looking at your  impressive work congratulations about the, the job you have done. It's remarkable, especially, and no offense as a bachelor level project is very, very exciting, especially as a service designer, the way you approach the problem.

Imagine myself in my Bachelor, having that kind of clearance in view in the process would've been very help. Useful and helpful to be said to the question.

It's about the use of, let's say, color and friendly environment in the space.

Because I mean, for example, Google Work workspaces are famous to be friendly and playful and colorful.

Only in where the creative people work. Then you have all the standard offices where business people and stuff are always the same. The office of banks and insurance company, the Swiss ones, let's say are all kind of the same. What, what's your, what are your thoughts about it? Why the color and the playful environment is only, at least in my not experienced percept perception only for the people in creative roles and truly be expanded outside.

How do you feel about that?

Well, I agree. That surely is the case a lot of times. And I mean, if you. It kind of makes sense, you know? Okay. Creative people, any colorful rooms and this and that, they need to play. But I think it would be important to also give the more structured work, more desk work, also just, just possibility.

And I also think that there will be a change for sure.

I had one more thing to narrow down the, the topic.

Do you think that this kind of playful and colorful spatial design has a real influence on the quality of work life and the quality of work that people can produce in the environment?

Yes. I think it doesn't have to go as far as Google with, yeah, they, they go really crazy. But for sure, yes. I mean, it, it. Helps playing, it helps communicate with other, it helps spontaneous things to happen where you can learn from it. It really helps with, with innovation. Yeah, with innovating ideas.

So I think absolutely.

I have a weird study for you Rico. I think it's prisons. Some prisons for people who drank too much or are violent. So might be a urban letter, so please. Verifi, verify the sources, but I think they were done. They had done some studies where they changed the group, the color of the room mm-hmm.

To measure how angry the people got in these rooms And I think Pink worked with well to bring down the level of brutality from drunk people. You know, when they are put in these solitary rooms And so color based on that has really an emotional impact on the person. So that's one example, but I'm sure maybe two clubs have a bit more experience on maybe usage of how color has been used in the past to help people change behaviors and make people more comfortable.

Yeah. I think we're, we're where a lot is going on. Now or since the eighties is in the, in the realm of healthcare and wellbeing. For example, in hospitals and

hospitals. There are a lot of studies

I don't remember the name, but there was once a, once a study about a long time, a long time study about people have a certain disease and have to stay a long time at the hospital.

And they found out that if people, if the patients look out of the window on a, on a brick wall, they recover a quiet slowly than someone who is looking out of the of the window into a natural, in the, into nature on a tree. There was a tree. They, they need less medicine. They need they recover quicker.

They're well this is the early study and there's now it's re relatively new, the Swiss Center for Island Health, also in Switzerland. And they're dealing also with wellbeing or with health, this design and health, but not necessarily in the, in the Field of healthcare. It's not only hospitals.

They're also looking for yeah. Dealing with problems or with issues in in workplace. Yeah. It's I know also that this workplace methods are also now transferred more in the, the direction of hospitals because on the one hand there are patients, but on the other hand also, there they are working people in a hospital.

And I think if there's a lot of things going on, there are a lot of studies. I think color is also important. I think it's more also what you see if you look outside, if you have the feeling of yeah, there's nature. I think with colors always, it's kind of Subjective, subject, subjective.

Subjective. We have one I know a master teases now she's dealing with color in space and what, what it makes with the people. And she's did a lot of experiments and workshops, but the result is very, they're very diverse. It's very, it's a very individual thing, but I, I'm pretty sure that there are also studies about different the use of color in space and what it will do.

But I'm not sure. I think there is, there are not, there's no evidence about that specific color gives a specific mood. But it's always, I think I'm, I'm a friend of testing and looking and make it, make it flexible. I think, yeah, you can make it fancy color or I think that it makes something with the space, but it's but I'm think, yeah, as I said, it's topic of health.

That you can really, trans, there's a, there's a lot of evidence that you can, that is going more and more will be transferred off to workplace. And I think workplace is not a place only where you work. But I think that's also why Google is doing that, that workplace is also a place where you live. You spend a lot of time in this, in this space.

So they should be as good as the place yeah. At, at home, for example, where you live, you know?

Mm-hmm. So what you know now, Frederico, is you have the good keywords for your search in Google's color which is healthcare, healthcare architecture, impact of colors also looking at cultural differences in perception of color.

I think these are very interesting topics also to go and search evidence. And also I think Cloud said it very well, is go out and try stuff. I think that's, that's something what we're giving you. I think today what the people here are giving us is to say, Hey, you can play with the room as you play with experiences.

So feel okay to play with that? Yeah. Yeah.

One, one thing I want to add, I think it's more about the atmosphere in a space than only color and atmosphere is something that you can, that is, that is very you. You think you have it in your hand and understand, and suddenly it's gone. But there are also, I know there are, there's, there are also studies about that and literature.

For example, Barbara Mutzbauer she's also a lecturer with us. She, she made her PhD about atmosphere. And this is this, then it becomes complex and you cannot, yeah. There, it's, it's not, you cannot create evidence about this. It's more about experiencing and, and searching for different yeah. Notions about that.

Perfect. I see we have comment or question from Deidre from Buenos Airs.

Thank you all very much. I just wanted to share with you, I can put it in the chat, a link to the page.

There is a financial institution here in Buenos Airs, and they have a world class art collection.

They started collecting art the fa the partners from all over the world, but now they've made it a regional and a, a national collection and it's a banking institution. It's so. Everybody's desk is, as it would be, and what you would imagine bar Rico, as you mentioned, like a regular or financial office, but there are paintings, sculptures, installations all throughout the working space.

So I first visited it during Covid, so there were about six people in an office of 200 and just art. And, you know, somebody left their flask or their water bottle or some messy desk. And so it was. Emptiness and art. And they opened the collection once a week to visitors and so you can walk through their office so they can be distracted by the art, they can be distracted by the visitors.

One of the pieces was a, a movie by an artist called Nicola Constant, who puts herself into different characters. And they had it in the boardroom and they had to remove it because the guy the, the people were getting distracted by this moving artwork, which was very beautiful. So it's another idea.

I'm going to share the link to the page, which is also in English, and I will do that now.

Thank you so much for sharing that. Again, maybe for you Cal Rico, I know you like studies and stuff, so I'm mentioning that also there is a very interesting study on pain management and art. Showing beautiful pictures to people is, has sometimes the same effect as a good painkiller.

So there is also, again, something that is very useful for when you're dealing with space and having to convince someone that it has importance, that art has an importance. Just being able to translate the value in an Excel spreadsheet sometimes is useful to convince the one who's deciding and has an Excel spreadsheet.

Right. Definitely. Okay. Jose, you have one question also, let's go.

Well, more than a question, I always come with some comment, but I just heard plus it, it's class, right? Sorry. Professor? Yes, yes, yes. Yeah. It said something that sparked my mind and it was like, it said a big part of our life happens in our office.

And for me it was like. How do we design these spaces that don't actually feel like home? So some people don't feel like they are really trapped in an office, like, oh, I have to spend all my life here in this office.

For instance, I was reading sometime, sometime I go read that for instance, in and meta they have these gym offices that you can go and practice some exercises there and they are like, okay, so even up will happen.

And it's like, okay, so you want me to be here all the time, even when I'm exercising, I'm eating, so you're giving me everything. You don't want me to go home, but you want me here. Like, like it's, it's more like you're in prison rather than at work. So you make it so cozy just to get into that mindset for you to be working all the time and that you lose track of, of time.

It's like when in the, in the casino people have like this oxygen thing that they just push it into the casino so people stay there for longer. It's just, just a thought that it came to my mind that we need to be like, really need to really understand the powerful words sometimes that it, it, it could be red, like really good, but also really bad from some perspective that might come.

Thank you guys. Question of creating a space workspace, which is too good. That even that home then feels like a place that you hate and therefore you spend more place in your work. How do you deal with this kind of philosophical questions about when, when is a workplace too good mm-hmm. Or did that already happen?


I know this question yet. I think there's always, you have always this two sites. Yeah. I think it's, if it, if Google is doing it, or Apple or Amazon then it's, yeah, it's, it's clear you, if you, if you well, Working is more I think it's in the future more going to another community.

You have the family at home but sometimes you go to office. I have also, I work here at the university for example. I, I like it very much because yeah, colleagues are getting friends. Let's say. This is also the, on the personal level,

But also, yeah, I like the spaces here, but I also like to go home because the space there is completely different here is design and art.

Sometimes you don't see it because the spaces don't look like design and art. But at home it's completely different. For example, my wife is not a designer. The kids are Yeah, for sure. They're are creative and it, it looks totally messy at home. Always in the weekend I have to clean up, but in, in Basel where I live I also have an office space where also other colleagues are.

So I think it's, it's always interesting to have different places where you go and they have a, a certain let's say for me, a certain character that, that you go there and meeting different people, I think is moving around is also very. Very important. And I think it's also, I see, see it also critical to have only one space.

Yeah. Like at Google it's super nice. You have also gym there where you have to go. You can eat there, you can go out you have a bar like for example, Novartis camps in Basel. Also with a complete city, you don't have to live there. There's, I think, I don't know if they also have a hotel for sure.

They have spaces where you can stay the whole night if you're doing research and you don't wanna go home. And it really feel, I, I've been there once and it feels really like a, a city a city, like a gated community where you go and you're in this bubble. And I see this also critical. I think it goes more in the direction that you have different places also in the city.

For example, I, what I like very much this idea from From in Bueno Island, where have this kind of, you have a place where you sh where you can look at art. This is also open for the public where you have a cafe where you can work. It's, it's a co-working space that you really move around and find the place where you, you can work very well.

But in this point of view, I think this is not the point of view of Apple or Google because they have another thing in mind. It's not, I think, yeah, they, they want to give a good workplace good environment, a good, good feeling to work there. But the other hand, on the other hand, they also always have the, also the numbers in mind, or I think there's also the, have to say the war of talents.

Yeah. We have to see that, that you also can make advertisement for your own,

for the company to get the best people you give them. Different things opportunities, nice spaces, good food, a gym, everything for free. And then you got the best talents. I think this is also a economical thing where where big companies are, have better chances to get to get the, the, the new talents coming.

I think there is something quite interesting what you're saying, which is creating community, not replacing community. Yeah. Which is work is another community. Yes. Mm-hmm. And shouldn't replace all the other communities. Exactly. And I think that's where the ethical question comes is is the workplace replacing home replacing other stuff?

Mm-hmm. And it's just centralized the bubble of of work. Or is it adding space? Yeah. Is it adding a new community? And I really love this idea that. If it's multiple spaces, then people are forced to move from one place to another. They meet new people. There is some some serendipity in the middle.

And instead of just having a bubble of perfection mm-hmm. There goes again to this notion of natural. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Where you have to move, you have to change. Which is a very interesting idea. So we have this notion of going from perfect to natural, that comes again and again. And and also this idea that of creating community, not replacing  community I have a question which is very concluded and very practical.

So if a service designer has to work with a space, And sadly he can't hire a spatial designer to work with them because, you know, budgets are limited or he doesn't know one.

What is one trick, one tip that you will say, please do that, and you are already doing something good.

I think go to this, this place you have to design and one time you see it full busy with everybody, with the people, and then you go on the next day when it's empty or on the time, and you'll check out the same space from the same

position when it's empty.

So be in this space multiple times. At different times and yes. To see the differences.

Yes. Like probably the, the crazy change from busy to empty. I think. I think this two crazy relations. So you can. Yeah. Design for the full range of use. Wonderful. What will be your advice?

Just speaking to the people and getting to know what they need.

Because they need the space, so you should get to know them and what they do.

Get to know people, understand what they do and why they are doing it here. Yeah. Thank you so much.

Think about experience and interactions in space. First and then about the furniture. So I think this is the, the thing yeah.

So furniture comes second.

Well, my first idea was, yeah, to observe. Observe.

Wonderful. So let's stay exactly on that.

So next time you have to design a space.

Observe. Observe multiple times at multiple moments. Ask people, what are you doing here? Why are you doing it here?

Think about first the interactions and then furniture, and remember. It's all about creating a context where not just one context, but may, maybe also different contexts And that's one thing that we learned which is a bit different than what we do sometimes in Service design.

Thank you everyone.

I want to thank again Eliya, Dave, and Klaus for hosting this event, for sharing, your knowledge.

Remember, you can always go on SDN Switzerland in Google to find the next events.  Thank you so much for joining. Cheers.

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