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Make Space and Get Your Brain Working

By Gustavo Segui, ISC Marketing Manager

In the past few years, I’ve been interested in how space in terms of Place and Properties (divisions in a space and the features within them), directly impact our Actions and Attitudes (who is in the space and what they do) and therefore the way we learn, work and interact with others.

Think of places as zones that support behavior, so the first step is to think of what kind of behavior is required in this place when people are using it. Reflective or collaborative? Each require different properties and will affect the intended outcome.

The Properties of a room are the special characteristics used to alter our frame of mind and behavior. Think about the difference on mood and behavior inside a fancy restaurant and a cheap fast food one. People behave, dress and even talk differently. That doesn’t mean one is better than the other. How you feel and consequentially how you act is the focus, and they serve different purposes.

If we talk about Properties, among many others, we have to talk about posture. The physical positioning of the human body and the types of behaviors that position elicits. Research says that addressing the unconsciousness/instinctive need of movement in children, can actually support their ability to focus and maintain elevated cognitive function. Changing a feature in a room like offering them an exercise ball to sit on, makes the emotional side of the brain (instinctive) be channeled towards movement, freeing up the rational (reflective, conscious) to focus on the lecture.

The best news is that you don’t need a million dollar budget to create powerful and influential spaces. The Stanford D. School has a guidebook called Make Space, the one I mentioned in the beginning of this article that offers very low budget, smart and simple solutions that can make a huge impact on the way we interact, work, study and live.

I encourage you to look for it and dive into this amazing subject. Hopefully, this short text will create a sparkle of curiosity in you. Now go and Make Space.

“Intentional or not, the form, functionality, and finish of a space reflect the culture, behaviors, and priorities of the people within it. Space is the body language of an organization.” Make Space, Chris Flink – Stanford D. School & IDEO.


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