Creative Workplaces

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Your workplace and the atmosphere surrounding you determine the way you work and explore your imagination. The more inspirational your workplace is, the easier it is to break the creativity block and discover new ideas. And apparently there is a number of things you can do to improve your personal workflow.

As a part of our Monday Inspiration series we present a dozen of creative and unusual workplaces; in the end of the post you’ll also find references to related resources, among them office design galleries and Flickr pools. They can serve as an inspiration once you’ve decided to spice up your work environment.

You can also click on the images — they lead to the sites from which the screenshots have been taken.

Inspirational Workplaces

Desc1

Lights2

PC3

The Milk desk: a design to match Apple gear; with white surface and rounded edges. As Alexander Kjerulf states4, “it lowers and raises electrically, it has ways to hide the cable clutter, and it also has four compartments at one end that can be configured for storage, trash or, em, as an aquarium.”

PC5

Pixar’s workplace: designers are allowed to design their workplace as they wish.

Google6

Google7

Google offers its engineers and developers full freedom. Not only bicycles can be found in the offices; also cats and dogs are quite usual.

Officee8

Green9

Stewart10

PC11

CEO12

Pistolette13

D1 Creative14

Figures15

References and Further Resources

Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenson/703710518/in/pool-inspiringworkplaces/
  2. 2 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mutematt/527382505/in/pool-inspiringworkplaces/
  3. 3 http://positivesharing.com/2007/03/12-ways-to-pimp-your-office/
  4. 4 http://positivesharing.com/2007/03/12-ways-to-pimp-your-office/
  5. 5 http://farm1.static.flickr.com/226/461586084_6745e69baf_o.jpg
  6. 6 http://www.officedesigngallery.com/template_permalink.asp?id=103
  7. 7 http://www.officedesigngallery.com/template_permalink.asp?id=103
  8. 8 http://www.thecoolhunter.net/design/CREATIVE-WORK-ENVIRONMENTS---Do-you-work-in-one-/
  9. 9 http://www.thecoolhunter.net/design/CREATIVE-WORK-ENVIRONMENTS---Do-you-work-in-one-/
  10. 10 http://nymag.com/guides/2007/officelife/30009/index3.html
  11. 11 http://www.flickr.com/photos/didak/477054638/
  12. 12 http://www.thecoolhunter.net/design/CREATIVE-WORK-ENVIRONMENTS---Do-you-work-in-one-/
  13. 13 http://www.flickr.com/photos/79428304@N00/431470359/
  14. 14 http://www.officedesigngallery.com/template_archives_cat.asp?cat=12
  15. 15 http://www.officedesigngallery.com/
  16. 16 http://www.flickr.com/groups/inspiringworkplaces/pool/
  17. 17 http://www.flickr.com/photos/79428304@N00/sets/72157600018042179/
  18. 18 http://www.thecoolhunter.net/design/CREATIVE-WORK-ENVIRONMENTS---Do-you-work-in-one-/
  19. 19 http://www.officedesigngallery.com/
  20. 20 http://on-my-desk.blogspot.com
  21. 21 http://positivesharing.com/2006/10/10-seeeeeriously-cool-workplaces/
  22. 22 http://positivesharing.com/2007/03/12-ways-to-pimp-your-office/
  23. 23 http://veerle.duoh.com/blog/comments/creativity_in_the_workplace/
  24. 24 http://tutorialblog.org/cool-workspaces/

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  1. 1

    that was so awesome!

    0
  2. 2

    Quite the list, eh? A lot of beautiful pics in there, but some are crap. Did you really have to sacrifice quality for quantity? Like, #2 and #10 was really crap.

    Linkbait is best left to SM, as they say!

    I see you are upto 3diggs in a matter of minutes, now. Only problem is, Diggers aren’t active at nighttime at US.

    Too bad ;)

    -3
  3. 3

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    December 10, 2007 6:14 pm

    @Sumesh: we publish articles not necessarily for Digg users, we write for our readers. Mondays in USA start later than in Europe and our European readers might want to get a bunch of Monday inspiration just as well as our American readers.

    3
  4. 4

    These are some extremely costyly setups. This also shows that how big is Google’s pocket that it invest so much in their employee statisfaction. But i were employeed in Google then i would only keep watching those bright colors rather than working :-)

    -1
  5. 5

    Wish I’d own such an environment… but I got to make my work done on a simply white desk.

    0
  6. 6

    I should show those to my boss, to remind him about the new office plans …. ;)

    0
  7. 7

    Quite a list, loved the Google offices, but Sumesh has a point: some of those are a bit…light. I mean:

    Tree through a desk = cool
    gonks on a desk = samo samo.

    0
  8. 8

    nice creative stuff here. ideas for inspiration :) btw, last two years we’d designed and create our custom furniture for our office places

    0
  9. 9

    As usual, great list and great photos. I did a remodelling job at my workplace a couple of years ago and now I can vouch for the effect of environment on work quality. It’s so much easier to think in a place that makes you want to create.

    0
  10. 10

    Those are all spectacular work spaces. They would definitely inspire me if I were to work at those locations.

    0
  11. 11

    Just like everything else, I’m sure it gets old after a while. I can’t find the article, but I read a while back that changing your workspace/work area every year is more satisfying than sticking with the same “awesome” space in the same period (I think the study was 3 years). Of course it’s opinion, but I tend to agree. Especially with creative people, keeping it fresh is always a good idea. There was also a study done that shows it’s boosts productivity as well (this particular study was done with a change to the environment lighting a few times over a period of a year I think).

    0
  12. 12

    Sign me up, I would love to work at any of these locations. Back lighting the computer was a pretty cool idea, Its how I have my setup at work. Its also alot easier on the eyes.

    0
  13. 13

    Thanks for the Monday inspiration…no’s 2 and 10 might not be as impressive as the Google offices but they are a bit more within reach for most office workers…can you really take your cats and dogs to work at Google…that would be great!

    0
  14. 14

    WOW! the offive desk with the orange table and blant going through it is awesome! I wish i could have something like that in my room :(

    All have to wait to i get my own place!

    1
  15. 15

    Don’t forget all the great offices at http://aintnodisco.com/ too!

    0
  16. 16

    The top one is the best. The one below, which is just a Mac on a desk…? How is that inspirational other than being a symbol of corporate Marxism?

    0
  17. 17

    Looks like someone pissed in Sumesh’s coffee. Most likely him. I guess you didn’t get the inspiration on here quick enough…

    These are pretty cool. I have seen a few more cool ones, but I’m sure they’re included in that Flickr link you provided.

    Keep it up!

    0
  18. 18

    Love those sheds!!!!

    0
  19. 19

    I already knew about Google and Pixar’s space. I’m more interested to see how other smashing magazine fans workspace looks like. The links were cool though!

    0
  20. 20

    I love the design of the first one and the light in the second one …we work every day in artificial places build by us, but we need to see some nature chaotic forms…

    0
  21. 21

    Some of these are amazing. I can only dream…

    0
  22. 22

    Damn I really wish I could work in those places. Seems really fun and cool!

    1
  23. 23

    Wow I really love #4. The outdoors indoors thing. That would be sure a great Idea for an apartment with friends. You’d have to have a great place to start with though.

    0
  24. 24

    I would love to work in a place like this

    1
  25. 25

    Holly cow, 8 lcd screens? That’s 4 times what I have :(

    0
  26. 26
  27. 27

    google offices are just great, also pixar’s, 8 lcd monitors 8 times more than I have, if you want creative people, give them time to have fun ;-)

    0
  28. 28

    Those are all spectacular work spaces. They would definitely inspire me if I were to work at those locations.

    0
  29. 29

    Love how Google treats their employees… all of these workspaces are pretty awesome, although I do agree with one of the comments that it’s probably better to change it up every year than to keep it a certain way all the time… after a while you forget to notice how “awesome” your space is.

    0
  30. 30

    Ther are a few very slick ones in between… a specialy the pic with the blue screens..

    0
  31. 31

    great list and great photos! you guys always leave me super inspired!

    0
  32. 32

    Oh my, I want to take my pet to work!!!

    1
  33. 33

    I love this one and also all the inspirational articles i have been reading on this page. Thank you Smashing Mag!

    0
  34. 34

    okay list, the ones in your “references and further resources” are better

    this place has become a “monday inspiration” and free fonts blog

    had something good going for a while

    0
  35. 35

    I think that most of thease workplaces aren’t comfortable for working. They are just for saying: “Oh, wow, cool. But I’ll use my own, not that one, thank you.”

    0
  36. 36

    looks good, how your workplace looks. really tells a lot about your aproach to work. -check this page on my site.http://jackie-b.com/cubion.html

    0
  37. 37

    orange desk + white mac…thats hot

    0
  38. 38

    Great roundup. Thanks for the links. Please all do come by and see all of our other offices on http://www.officedesigngallery.com

    0
  39. 39

    Anybody have a good website which shows creative HOME offices? I have a new room I’d like to make into a great 2-person office (for graphic designers).

    0
  40. 40

    Dwayne Charrington

    December 13, 2007 11:56 am

    Wow I wish I worked for Google seriously. Just the satisfaction of knowing you’re working for Google is enough to make you feel inspired. Oh and of course working for Google would have it’s bragging rights associated with it as well ;)

    I would love to see more pictures of inspirational offices that one with 8 LCD’s was mind blowing, at my work I only have 2 of them :(

    -Dwayne Charrington,
    http://www.dwaynecharrington.com

    0
  41. 41

    Cool, This story seems different from all SM articles !!
    Truly the designer ready workspaces ….inspiring.

    0
  42. 42

    I love to see people being creative with their space, a plain cubicle just isn’t good for productivity. A little visual interest goes a long way in all applications, whether it is a workspace or your home. I’ve never seen a blog post or magazine article for boring, safe, unoriginal rooms.

    0
  43. 43

    These office spaces are the COOLEST, i work from home and love it, but if I knew my office space looked like that, i’d want to go to WORK haha- It creates an environment you want to excel in.

    0
  44. 44

    Couldn’t agree more that the environment that surrounds you termines the way you work, some truely excellent examples.

    0
  45. 45

    Phil From Loreauville

    December 15, 2007 12:52 am

    Wow. Now I know why my sites look so crappy. All I have is a busted-up old desk I got from my employers warehouse in the corner of my bedroom.
    I’d be the first to agree that the condition of our workspaces can be seriously under estimated at times. At my house, when the wife and kids pick-up something that they don’t know where it goes, it usually winds up on my desk and nothing is as detrimental to me as trying to work on my website surrounded by piles of junk.
    But to comment on the pictures. Some of these are pretty cool. I could really get into some of these offices. I wonder how much productivity Google credits it’s lavish offices to. It’s definitely something to think about.
    But I got to say, a couple of those pics look like they were set up specifically for a photo shoot — like they belong in a computer ad.

    0
  46. 46

    It appears your site is loading up worse now with your new hosting provider… Also I agree with many of the above posts this wasn’t a post that really meets the quality I’ve seen from SM. Seems like you guys are running out of ideas?

    0
  47. 47

    I love these workspaces. Google looks so open and fun (and I would love to bring my cat to work). But I also appreciate the coziness of Pixar’s. Working as an animator or concept artist for Pixar would be a dream come true.

    1
  48. 48

    Very Impressive spaces! This makes me realize how depressing my office environment really is… :)

    I second Sam’s comment above, I’d really be interested in seeing some examples of creative home work spaces.

    0
  49. 49

    I love the table in penultimate picture….

    1
  50. 50
  51. 51

    I heard that the Yahoo offices also have a creative workspace setup… but yes Google does score here.

    0
  52. 52

    It’s really very cool and nice designs in this post. I love the whole designing work and the post is really very innovative. Great work.

    0
  53. 53

    Hi,
    could someone tell me where I can find last picture toys (monsters)?
    I like very much and I would like to buy :)
    Thanks,

    0
  54. 54

    Really cool! It inspires me to look for a new office for my own ;)

    0
  55. 55

    really cool workplaces and love the inspiring art placed in each dept. Wouldnt it be such a horrible job working at Google!!

    0
  56. 56

    love google

    0
  57. 57
  58. 58

    When you travel to São Paulo, Brazil, you can work at a creative coworking office called Beans! see more at coworking.beans.net/en

    0
  59. 59

    Some of the coolest office designs I have seen are by this company:

    tagofficedesigns.com

    0
  60. 60

    I love the office designs in this post.
    Here are some excellent dental office designs: sidekickmag.com/gallery

    Though having a fun environment at the workplace is great for employees, when it comes to clients the office should be comfortable and inviting. This is just my opinion.

    0
  61. 61

    Pixar’s workplaces are so creative and colorful that it makes me wanna go there!!!!!
    (Wish I CAN!!) but anyways, I think the designers worked hard to make these kind of rooms!!!

    0
  62. 62

    I love seeing others work spaces, it helps me gather ideas for what I would like to do with mine. I came across another blog article about their own work spaces, I thought they were pretty awesome.

    The Coolest Office Space
    back40design.com/news/m.blog/22/the-coolest-office-space

    0
  63. 63

    Hi, does anyone know who makes those cool looking plastic ugly doll toys (last photo on the post). Thanks!

    0

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