IBM Studio’s Modular Office Helps Design Teams Focus on Innovation

The fourth floor of IBM’s Watson HQ in New York’s Astor Place is home to IBM’s design hub. More than 200 staffers make up design teams for IBM’s products and digital services as well as IBM’s brand experience designs.

It’s in this space that some of the company’s most creative thinking happens—design teams work on projects ranging from IBM Interactive Experience, reportedly the largest digital agency in the world, to Internal digital platforms like the IBM Think Academy, where employees go to learn about the company’s strategy.

Teams tackle projects that push the rest of the company to adopt new and entrepreneurial ways of innovating, and the space has to facilitate that lofty mission.

“The goal of IBM’s space at Astor Place is to be multifunctional, modular and adaptive,” explained IBM environmental experience design manager Kevin Chiu. “Almost everything can be rearranged for how people work, with both open areas for collaboration and private spaces for heads-down work.”

1

Stadium Seats

Stadium-style mediascapes are designed for presentations, brainstorming and videoconferencing with remote team members.

2

On the Board

Whiteboards are essential at the studio. The rolling multipurpose boards function as walls and work equally well for magnetic presentations.

3

Booth Review

The breakout booths allow for on-the-fly collaborations.

4

Sticky Notes

The walls of Post-its serve as functional decor.

5

Locking It In

The first-come-first-serve lockers ensure that workspaces are kept clear of clutter.

This story first appeared in the Sept. 21 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.