DESIGNING A THINKTANK

With what began as an empty classroom, I was tasked to design a place to bring people from all different fields together to cultivate ideas together. This needed to be a place of inspiration, and a place that promoted freedom to explore such ideas.  

The Laboratory size started at 38 people at the beginning of the school year 2017. Our first year consisted of running out of borrowed space, but due to a successful first year, we had been granted our own space site on campus. Upon seeing the site with the population expected to be working in this space, I realized that this room was going to feel cramped when at full capacity.

Old Classroom

Given budgetary constraints, I was also required to use to use the tables and chairs, that were also in the room. Though this space was dedicated to the lab, it was not expected to be permanent space and so permanent changes to the room we expected to be kept to a minimum. Luminosity was expected to peak at 50 members during this year and so I began with a scale model in CAD to get a view of what this population would look like in this space. 

Space

Because space floor space for this site is valuable, several iterations of the space were made, with different layouts of the necessary things to run the lab, to see what we could have in the space without making the space feel claustrophobic, while still accommodating everyone. I knew that the lab needed to be configured for study spaces and general meetings alike, and so the first addition to the room was white boards on wheels.

With these boards, the space can be broke up so that when room needed to be divided when need be. With the more permanent equipment like hardware benches and computers around perimeter, the core of the room can easily be changed to fit the need of the lab at the time.

Sound

When a final configuration of the site design was decided, and the room was assembled. At first the room functioned as intended. General meetings went well but as members divided into subgroups for smaller meetings and the space became divided the noise level went up. The space division to accomodate