I really love a good, functional, collaborative workspace and hope if I ever find myself back in a corporate work environment, I can land in a space as innovative and cool as the I3 studio at Delta Faucet Company’s headquarters. After visiting the site last month for the 2011 Home Improvement/DIY Blogger event, I was uber-interested to learn more about the loft-like office space and share a sneak peek of the real-life workpad that the company’s industrial design, engineering, marketing, and purchasing teams come to every day.
Unique from a competitive perspective, the fully-customized I3 studio environment represents the merger of inspiration, innovation, and imagination; it was among the most enviable workplaces I’ve had the pleasure of touring, and I’ve been excited to share it with you fellow workspace dorks.
- Tall ceilings and exposed vents? Yes.
- Dark paint and lots of natural sunlight? Yessir.
- Dry erase boards and corkboards galore? Yep.
- Movable furniture? Seriously, lots of it, yeah.
Not only is the space maintained for maximum inspiration with conference rooms and walkways lined with textures and objects that would make anyone go ga-ga over, but the workspaces that accountants and financiers would call cubicles are instead formed from custom-designed walls on casters. The walls are embedded with utility, from magnet boards to dry erase surfaces, there’s no lack of space for sketching, planning, and playing. With no doors and no formal ceiling, the space was designed to encourage collaboration, innovation, creativity between the various departments that call I3 (work)home. There’s no one in the photo, but it was an office alive with activity, communication, and laughter, like an innovative adult’s playground.
I went wild for the lighting and exposed shelving in this next meeting space. The shelves are ever turning over colorful objects, prototypes, magazines, unlikely textiles like metallic mesh that would make a great New Year’s skirt, and raw materials like natural sponges and gem stones. Ergonomics are key, and while the teams in this space operate very methodically to make their products the best for the consumer, they’ve also integrated design theory to make the best work space to for themselves. Cool chairs, dudes.
It’s forever refreshing to see traditional offices get revamped into inspiring workspaces, and something I’ve been passionate about for a long time; I don’t have a case study to back it up, but I love how a inspiring office yields inspired employees and innovative processes and technologies. It’s creative madness, and in an environment that wants to foster imagination and collaboration, it shouldn’t be any other way.