Shared workspaces is the latest fad hitting the U.S. workplace by storm. Each year, the amount of shared work spaces doubles as the co-working model is increasingly applied to a broadening community of users.
In the U.S. alone, 30.2 million independent workers use co-working spaces including 17.8 million self-employed ‘soloprenuers’ (entrepreneurs with no employees) to 12.4 million free-lance workers or ‘side-giggers’ who specialize in part-time independent work.
When IgniteHQ approached us to furnish their Marietta headquarters we were thrilled to take on this exciting and dynamic project. Together with Atlanta-based interior design firm VeenendaalCave we are working to bring IgniteHQ’s co-working vision to life.
IgniteHQ, north Georgia’s premier startup incubator and businesses accelerator, is slated to open the doors of their new headquarters in February. The new space will provide physical workspace, educational programming, mentorship and more to turn ideas into successful businesses. Furthermore, as the startup incubator to Kennesaw State University, the nature of IgniteHQ’s space and vision entails a set of unique challenges and considerations.
“Our vision is to create a communal environment that supports creativity and collaboration while providing the support and structure our members need to become more successful,” said Catherine Pearson, Program Manager for IgniteHQ. “Our space will function not only as a residence for our members, but as a resource providing dozens of free educational programs and training opportunities as well as access to experienced mentors and advisors.”
Environments shape the culture of organizations from defining work styles, facilitating departmental interaction and underpinning hierarchy. Companies are often characterized by the spaces designed for employees to come together, generate their best ideas and interact with each other. Having a well-designed space can spark one’s imagination, and bolster efficiency and partnership.
IgniteHQ’s vision for the space is a “cutting edge, adaptable, comfortable and inviting work space that allows entrepreneurs and innovators to work on their startups,” according to Corporate Environments Project Designer Meredith Roman.
Often in Corporate or Higher Education applications, there is a bit of a ‘one size fits all’ approach – where employees and students are given equal space to do equal work.
IgniteHQ’s various members will have a myriad of needs. The aspect of day-to-day adaptability was a new, essential concept for this space.
For Corporate Environments, it was important to create an agile work space that may be rearranged to adapt to varying needs, work styles and cultures. We wanted to create an adaptable work environment that would change and grow with members and address the needs of IgniteHQ over time
“We focused the design around the idea that members can come into the space, have a basic ‘starter kit’ for their office, but still have room to make the space truly theirs by rearranging their work environment and even bringing in their own work tools or furniture as needed,” Roman said.
IgniteHQ’s space follows the latest trends in workplace design, mirroring several key tenets of the “Immersive Planning” space layout model developed by well-known furniture manufacturer and workplace research leader, Knoll, Inc.
Knoll’s Immersive Planning Model states:
- Group-based work is the norm
- Hospitality and residential influences enter the workplace
- Despite new alternatives, office is still home base
- Empowered by choice, employees make the workplace their own
To make the space adaptable to various needs, Corporate Environments chose to install movable DIRTT prefab interior walls. These walls may be rearranged to create a different space at any given moment.
Members will utilize the space for housing business offices, hosting formal meetings and as a casual work setting. Formal and informal work spaces, collaborative spaces, creative spaces, private spaces and spaces to unwind are all important to incorporate.
Together with IgniteHQ and VeenendaalCave, Corporate Environments designed a dynamic, convertible space that will inspire individual and collective work while remaining comfortable for a diverse population.
Corporate Environments is a leading architectural and interior solutions provider with 30 years of experience in facilitating the creation of exceptional work spaces for clients around Atlanta. Their unique team offers an in-depth full-service approach, from space planning and workplace design knowledge to skillful project management and service.