Can certain spaces make us more creative, while others limit our creativity?
Let us look at some of history’s most creative spaces, or those spaces that spark innovation and creativity and see what they have in common.
According to archdaily’s Jonathan C. Molloy, MIT’s Building 20, the Ancient Greek Agora, 18th Century British teahouses, and early 20th century Parisian cafés were some of the world’s most creative spaces.
Built as a temporary structure in 1942, MIT’s Building 20, other wise known as “the magical incubator”, became home to a diverse group of intellects. The research laboratory for electronics, the laboratory for nuclear science, and the department of linguistics and philosophy were just a few of the diverse groups that were brought together under one roof. The tightness of space and the proximity they had with each other forced these different fields to interact, giving rise to some of the world’s most innovative ideas.
The 18th century teahouse was where the Enlightenment was cultivated and the 20th century Parisian cafés nurtured the idea of modernism. The link is in that space that made room for interaction between various groups, some of which are related and others which are not. This exchange or collision of ideas would not have been possible without a space that hosts the interaction.
Now let us shift to contemporary spaces. What are the most creative spaces today? Where are people being most creative? We cannot deny that Google, Facebook, Pixar, and others are today’s biggest names in creativity and innovation. When we look at the types of spaces that host those new ideas we realize that they are also based on interaction and collision of thoughts. No longer do we have cubicles with dividers and closed rooms. Creative companies today have adopted unconventional workspaces that are stimulating minds to interact through open layouts, nodes for collaboration, freedom to adapt spaces to their needs, and many other aspects. They encourage their employees to interact by creating the spaces in which they could run into each other to exchange and generate ideas.
The interaction of thoughts and ideas can be facilitated in several settings and does not have to be associated with a specific setting as, in the previous examples. There exist today several organizations such as PechaKucha and TED that act as platforms for spreading ideas and creativity by simply bringing people together to present their thoughts. By bringing together individuals from different fields of life, they allow for collaboration and interaction that spark creativity. In this case it was primarily the purpose not the physical setting that provided the platform for interaction.
We realize that space highly impacts the amount of room there is for collaboration and exchange of ideas between individuals. Interaction and exchange of ideas is a key aspect in creativity. To enhance creativity, we must create creative spaces.
C. Molloy, Jonathan. “Can Architecture Make Us More Creative?” 03 Apr 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 18 Oct 2013. <http://www.archdaily.com/353496>
Lloyd, Peter. “Creative Space” goCreate. Accessed 20 Oct 2013. <http://www.archdaily.com/353496>