Space as a Teacher, Space as a Tool

Here at the d.school we’re just two weeks away from the big move to our new, bigger, more permanent home in the Peterson building. It’s going to be the fourth home for the d. in four years, so this is a chance for us to synthesize a lot of what we’ve learned about the physical environment impacts collaboration.

We’ve been fielding requests from far and wide about how we create space that supports collaborative teams working on creative challenges. One of the interesting domains where our learnings are being applied is in game design. NYU Polytechnic invited the co-directors of our Environments Collaborative for the inaugural lecture in their Transformative Speakers series. Students and faculty there are interested in applying frameworks and ideas developed by our Environments Collaborative to the development of a new Game Innovation Lab, the first phase of an overall campus transformation.

Scott Doorley and Scott Witthoft shared lessons learned at the d.school as we’ve moved from our first 900-square-foot building in 2005 through two other buildings and on to our new, 14,000 square-foot home.

“What we’ve really thought about is: how can we make a space that allows people to transform it?” Scott Doorley told the audience in New York. “If you let people modify a space, it changes the posture of the poeple in the community from having or getting a space, to making a space. You have to make sure you leave room for transformation to happen, otherwise it won’t.”

After the lecture, Scott and Scott led a workshop where NYU students and faculty worked space prototypes:

Stay tuned for more hacks, frameworks, reflections and ideas from the Environments Collaborative crew.