Complete transparency: I’m a creative. Math isn’t my thing.
So I was a trifle disconcerted when I realized the design process for our new building at 3 Columbus Circle doesn’t begin with fabric swatches and color palettes. Instead, we’ve been discussing stack plans, storage and square footage.
It’s the oldest truth in design: form follows function. Before we make our new space cool, we have to make it work. That means answering a lot of math questions.
Have we got space for everyone? Or at least, has everyone who is in the office on any given day got somewhere to sit? A lot of our people are on the move, so do they really need a full-time desk and chair?
We have to think about how much physical storage we need. (Hint: It’s less than you think. There’s this thing called “the cloud.”) We have to consider everyone’s need for personal space. (Hint: Ditto.) And we have to think about who sits next to whom — and whether that changes from time to time.
We have to balance everyone’s natural desire for his or her own working space with the square footage we need to create cool collaborative spaces. When the two collide, which should win out?
These are questions that will define how our agency feels — but I’ll admit, right now, it feels like a lot of math. The good news is we can fit 300 people onto two of our new floors — and we can still go on to make a very cool space.
Nick Moore is chief creative officer and EVP at Wunderman New York.