Haworth suggests an “organic” metaphor as a process for creating, managing, and maintaining space. The organic metaphor is that of a living thing, with internal systems that adapt in response to environmental changes. “An Organic Workspace® is designed to embrace change, ensuring that the physical space, technology, and policy remain in alignment with the goals of the organization,” says Dr. Mike O’Neill, Senior Research Strategist at Haworth. The design team embraced this strategy and concept when developing the Watt Innovation Center for learning.
The demountable walls also provide the transparency required to help achieve the vision for the Innovation Center—to create a place where students are inspired. From the moment they enter the building, students have a view into the engineering classrooms, the auditorium, and the project labs. That visual access perpetuates high energy, bringing inspiration to the broader student population.
The furniture also plays an important role in flexibility. “One of the goals was to have mobile and flexible architecture and furniture components. As program needs change, these components could serve those ever-changing needs of the users,” said Cathy Bunn, Project Architect, Perkins + Will. “Most of the furniture is on wheels. The tables flip up and you can roll them out the door. And dry erase writing surfaces allow for impromptu creativity and information sharing.”