Creative Office Spaces in Chicago: Global Brand Design Firm Redesigns Its Workspace for Collaboration

Firms that rely on creativity know the importance of cultivating a work environment conducive to open ideas and sharing. Many intangibles can go into making this happen, but perhaps one of the most overlooked is the arrangement of the physical space itself. Creative office space design can be a key element in establishing the culture necessary to keep a creative firm on the top of its game.

Universal Building tenant Kaleidoscope, located near West Town in Chicago, is putting this practice to test as it launches an effort to redesign its office space with the goal of better supporting its creative endeavors.

Kaleidoscope is the world’s premier integrated brand design and realization agency, providing services such as brand identity development, packaging and industrial design. The firm works in a team-oriented environment and relies on collaborative efforts to produce for its clients. In order to help facilitate this activity, the firm looked at how it could better configure its space.

“We want our office space to reflect our organizational culture, so we thought it would be best to create a more collaborative environment,” said Lauren Licata. “For a creative firm, collaboration is very important, but we don’t want it to feel scheduled. We want it to happen naturally and organically.”

When reconfiguring its 27,000-square-foot floor plate, Licata said that the firm is arranging the overall space as “I space, we space and team space.”

For ‘I space,’ or, personal space, the firm decided to go with bench-style seating. Rather than having cubical stacks, as it does now, the new layout will have long-tables with benches, allowing for co-workers to all share one large workspace for their “home base.”

“It’s important that we don’t create silos and that we are able to interact with co-workers on a regular basis,” said Licata. “Sometimes ideas come rapidly and we don’t want to have any barriers up to prevent co-workers from communicating.”

For the “we space” portion, the firm is redesigning its kitchen and lounge space, where co-workers can gather in a comfortable setting on couches or chairs to have smaller, one-on-one conversations.

The “team space” portion of the office focuses on break-out and conference rooms. The new scheme for conference rooms will focus on flexibility, as walls will be adjustable to allow for large groups or multiple conferences in separate rooms.

And while collaboration and co-creation is the main goal of the new layout, there are times when employees need to work alone to concentrate on a project. For this, the offices will offer private spaces when employees need to remove themselves from their home base area and focus intensely on a task.

The new configuration will also offer perks, such as a nap room. Executives know that sometimes employees function better if they are able to work on their own schedule and create their own timeline. Offering such amenities as a nap room encourages employees to embrace this idea and recharge for a more productive day overall.

While reconfiguring the space will be a benefit to the firm’s production and its clients, it also serves another function: a recruitment tool.

“One of the reasons we are redesigning our space is that we recognize the influence office space can have on recruiting top talent,” said Licata. “Our goal is to have a space where people want to come to work every day. Gen Y-ers expect certain amenities as well as a work-life balance and we want to be able to provide that for them.”

Read more about Kaleidoscope and its creative office lofts here:

Creating a Unique Workspace:  Kaleidoscope Agency Flourishes in Historic Office Lofts in Chicago

For more information about leasing office lofts in The Universal Building in Chicago, please call 773.342.2020


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