Optimizing Untapped Collaboration Spaces
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Background:

This Fortune 500 B2B firm is headquartered in the US Midwest. The suburban campus houses 1,600+ employees across four buildings. Three of the buildings are supported by a single cafeteria, which contains a kitchen area, serving area, and dining area. The picture to the right here? It's great clipart, but not what we look like today… please follow this LINK, as a reference.

The kitchen serving area is open from 7:30-9:00a and again from 11:30a-1:30p, Monday-Friday. There are vending machines for soft drinks and snacks. We know it’s shocking, but this is the ONLY time the cafeteria space is used.

Problem:

So, we have a large commons space, which should be highly attractive for use for meetings, for collaboration, for sitting out of your desk to work, etc. But, it’s absolutely empty other than the two meal times. In addition to this, the cafeteria’s aesthetics are significantly outdated:

1) The floors scream 1980’s high school basketball court (there are even trophy cases along one wall!)

2) The furniture is firmly grounded in the 1970’s vision of 1950’s practicality

3) And, with the wood floor, glass and sheetrock walls, and high ceilings, it’s more than a little noisy, too

Deliverables

What now??? Please provide a detailed proposal as to what we should do with this space. What are the elements which need to be included to make this an inviting area? You may submit your proposal in any format you choose, but design mockups, floor plans, and visuals are encouraged! Refer to the linked pictures for the current layout… essentially, it's a box with windows on two connected sides.

Criteria:

It must continue to be useable as a place for eating (although, frankly, we’ve never seen more than 50 people eating at one time). But, we want it to become the go-to space for collaboration, for talking, for those chance meetings that produce new ideas! We need a comfy living room...

Simple Rules:

1) You cannot bust out a window for a patio

2) We’re not looking for “throw beanbag chairs in the corner, add a white board and amp up the WiFi volume… we’re looking for productive and feasible solutions

3) The walls are rigid, and cannot be moved… you must “stay in the box” as that goes. (OK, we would consider some sort of fireplace…)

Oh, and this isn’t Google or Apple… we don’t have unlimited funds. We’re a reasonable conservative Midwest company!

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