Enhancing Creativity Through Workspace Design

Louise Suckley, John Nicholson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The physical space in which work is undertaken plays a key role in facilitating or inhibiting creativity among workers. The design of the workspace can both inspire workers to be creative, facilitate the sharing of knowledge and support social interaction which is so important to the creative process. Equally, the workspace design can have an inhibitive effect by isolating individuals, being physically oppressive and being overly prescriptive in usage.
This chapter begins by exploring the history of the office and how the design of the physical space has changed over the last century as the nature of work and organisational cultures have changed. Following this discussion, focus is given to the knowledge workers that occupy such physical spaces today and the different needs that they have from the office to fulfil their role. Elaboration is provided in the context of those actors primarily located inside the organisation as well as those that span organisational boundaries. The chapter then moves on to considering how workspace design can impact on the concentration part of the creative process in terms of the level of privacy required by workers, both auditory and visual. Discussion and then moves on to considering collaboration and how the workspace can encourage interaction among workers in terms of the location of individuals and the connectivity of the space and spaces.
The chapter concludes by suggesting how to strike the balance between privacy and collaboration through the workspace design in order to meet the needs of all types of knowledge workers and the requirements of a creative process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Creativity at Work
EditorsLee Martin, Nick Wilson
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan, Cham
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783319773506
ISBN (Print)9783319773490, 9783030084349
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2018


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