28 / BUILDING DIALOGUE / March 2022 ELEMENTS Creative Design How Creativity Influences Design to Maximize Performance T he shoemaker’s childrenalways gobare- foot” is amid-16th century adage, where the shoemaker was so busy taking care of his clients that he neglected his own family. That proverb does not apply to the design ofWare Malcomb’s Denver office. Completed in 2021, our interiors team incorporated creativity research that is routinely integrated in our client work, to in- formnot only the interior designbut also theunique aspects of the Denver office’s organizational culture. Based on original research into spaces that foster creativity, our workplace strategy team presented findings at the Academy of Neuroscience in Ar- chitecturenational conference, andwill present at the upcoming Transdisiplinary Workplace Research Conference in with Dr. Sally Augustin, environmental/design psychologist. Neuroscientists have comprehensively as- sessed the design of environments that support creative thinking. Creativity linked physical design elements include color, wood grain, plants, natural lighting and exterior views. Cognitive design ele- ments include opportunities formovement, access to tools/task support, opportunities for restoration and nonverbal messages sent by a place, (Batey, Hughes, Crick, and Toader, 2021; Studente, Seppala and Sadows- ka, 2016;Weitbrecht,Barwolff, LischkeandJunger, 2015). In the Ware Malcomb research study, participants completed an online task that assessed their individu- al creativity at that moment in time. The study respon- dents then categorized their physical environment while undertaking the creativity assessment. This re- searchmethod, known as “Thinking CapPlus Thinking Zap,” originally was published in 2017 (Green, Spiegel, Giangrande, Weinberger, Gallagher and Turkeltaub). These real-world findings confirmed the link be- tween certain aspects of the physical environment that supported creative thinking. Those with the high- est creativity scores, the top 30%, performed the assess- ment in spaces with a greater concentration of plants, views out a window, cool colors, warm light, white noise sounds and sit-stand desks. In themerger of twoDenver locations intoone larger workplace, our interiors team integrated the corporate design standards alongwith unique opportunities pre- sented by the space. Planned pre-pandemic, the space has evolved and adapted to the demands of adjusted capacity, some sharedworkstations and hybridwork. Features specific to fostering creativity include: • Daylight and views: maximizing the view of the mountains from every seat in the house, provides a connection to natural light. • Interior plantings: connecting the interiors to na- ture, supports cognitive function. • Ceiling heights: opening to the structure without dropped ceilings, provides an enhanced sense of space. • Soundscapes: minimizing audio distractions by the incorporation of white noise. Cynthia Milota Director, Workplace Strategy, Ware Malcomb Alex Neujahr StudioManager, Interior & Architecture Design, Ware Malcomb “ The design team integrated the Ware Malcomb corporate design standards along with unique opportunities pre- sented by the space. Wood grains and live plants are featured throughout the space. The office design maximizes the mountain view with large windows, providing a connection to natural light.