Spacial Organization

Spatial Organization becomes crucial in any space. Spaces should have dedicted areas, but those areas should have multiple functions. The way in which a room is organizaed can be based on numerous factors. One of those factors might be program, others could be acoustics, lighting, etc. the following items are considerations for organizing any space:

Laptop Workstations: Since laptops can be used virtually anywhere, there should be accommodations for laptops everywhere within a space. Desk designed for laptops should have electrical hookups to decrease the distance a user has to extend their cord. There should be space for individual and group work using laptops.

This photograph was taken at YouMedia at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. Shown are desk that have electrical outlets built into their table top and wheel on the table legs so that the table may be repositioned freely within the space.

Desktop Workstations: The space should accommodate individual, group, and instructional usage for desktops.

The photograph to the left was taken at YouMedia in the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. The desktops sit on a circular table. This allows for collaboration among neighbors and is a great space for computer oriented group work.

The photograph to the right was taken in the Business Instructional Facility at the University of Illinois. Since this is a classroom setting the computers are all facing towards the front of the classroom, however the desk are semicircular in shape. This allows for better focus towards the instructor and sets the stage for collaboration amongst neighbors.

Printing Stations: Printing stations should be centrally located. They should be placed on a table with wheels so that the station(s) can be moved throughout the space.

This photograph was taken at YouMedia in the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. The printing station is centrally located and is not positioned close to any computers and therefor is not a distraction to the users. This station allows for up to three people to print materials at one time.

Individual vs Collaborative Space: The needs of the user may vary. Accommodations for individual usage should be made, but not limited to. A successful workspace is flexible enough to support both types of users collectively.

The photograph to the left was taken at the Skokie Public Library. These workstations are designed to accommodate individual users and their laptops or other mobile devices. The have screens for some privacy, however the screen are far back enough to allow for easy interaction with a neighbor.

The photograph to the right was taken at the Mary E. Brown Center in East St. Louis.  These individual computer desks are on wheels and can readily be rearranged.  The current configuration provides easy collaboration between colleagues while also facilitating individual work as needed.

Storage: In order to insure the comfprt of all users there is a need for lockable storage units. This will also help to control theft in high traffic areas and increase trust between users.

The photograph to the left was taken at Espresso Royal in the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois. This adjustable shelving unit works well for displaying artwork and products while providing storage cabinets below.

The photograph to the right was taken at YouMedia at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. This storage locker is there for the user of this library space. This is a great way to protect an individual’s belongings while controlling theft in a high traffic area.

Colored Floor: Having a floor with different colors that divide a multifunctional space into smaller spaces is a subtle yet successful way to organize a room. By creating a grid that will subdivide the room there is now an inherent division of program, however because the surface is continuous, these borders can be blurred when neccessary.

This photograph was taken at YouMedia at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. The rubber flooring used in this space allows for different colors and patterns to delineate smaller spaces within the large room. Here the yellow lines outline a pathway into the main library and the purple floor begins another section in the library.

One Response to Spacial Organization

  1. Jennifer Stasinopoulos says:

    I think health and posture could become a consideration as well. After speaking to a physical therapist about back and shoulder pain, I tried something new with my laptop that eased the pain tremendously. The simple solution? Place my laptop on 2-3 thick books and use a separate keyboard and mouse so that I could easily reach the keys and mouse but my neck and back wouldn’t have to suffer by constantly looking down. Perhaps in the future, pull out shelves with keyboards and mice as well as tables with sections that can be raised (in lieu of thick books) could be provided. Also, instead of having desktop monitors be attached to non-moving stands, the monitors could be attached to adjustable stands so that the monitors could be brought to the eye level of the users.

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