The design of our physical space is integral to how we build community, facilitate collaboration, and foster creativity and innovation. With over 10 years of best practices and lessons learned from the Impact Hub global network, there is a wealth of knowledge that we can draw from on how to create an inspiring yet functional shared workspace – everything from layout and materials to lighting and experience design. But the most important thing we’ve learned is that if the space isn’t designed and built with the community, it won’t be the shared home that Impact Hubs are meant to be.

That’s why we dedicated our first Member Town Hall on January 10th to engaging our members on the design of their physical environment. The discussion was facilitated by Jane Porter, one of our original cofounders, and was organized around the three primary areas or functions of our new space: a social zone, an open coworking zone, and a quiet zone for individual focused work.

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What we heard from members

Members identified their specific needs as well as the needs of visitors, and imagined what each area would look and feel like to optimize their experience. Some of the more popular ideas included:

  • The ability to move between traditional workstations, standing desks, and something more comfortable like sofas or lounge seats;
  • Dedicated space for personal reflection or relaxation;
  • An abundance of plants and greenery, including a herb garden in the kitchen;
  • Space for informal coffee chats that take advantage of the view from the floor-to-ceiling windows; and
  • A bold yet welcoming entrance area that makes it clear to visitors that they are not in a typical office!

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Next steps and opportunities to get involved

We also heard a lot of excitement around the possibility of creating distinct themes for our new meeting rooms, phone booths, and the quiet zone. If you are interested in helping us develop the look and feel for these spaces, please reach out to our Artist-in-Residence, Megan Monafu. She will be re-convening the artists, designers, and creatives in our member community to engage them on how we can incorporate and enhance art, community, and experience design in our new home, and would love for you to join them!

You are also invited to our next Member Town Hall on Feb 7th from 3-5pm. We will chat about how our community and membership will evolve in the context of our new home, and hope to hear from the sub group on space themes on their initial ideas.

As always, if you have any questions or thoughts in the meantime, you can always reach out to our team or share it with the community on our Inspiration Board. Hope to see you on February 7th!

James Chan