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Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration Paperback – January 3, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1118143728 ISBN-10: 1118143728 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118143728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118143728
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From the Author: Hide & Seek Inspiration:

Visitors to the d.school frequently ask us where we find inspiration for the spaces we design. Here are a few places we look:

-- Retail Experiences

Restaurants, Hotels, & Stores
Restaurants & boutique hotel lobbies are almost unparalleled in the moods they create. Retail stores are full of display implementations that can be co-opted for display of creative work.

Specialty Hardware Retailers
Marine hardware outlets, antique hardware stores, and industrial kitchen suppliers stock all manner of novel gadgets to inspire new possibilities.

-- Public Gathering Places

Parks & Playgrounds
Endless interactions of all sorts occur in these spaces that provide insight into natural postures and the nuances of group interactions.

Airports & Parking Garages
Guiding travelers is a door-to-door experiment in designing way-finding. Parking garages in particular feature innovative uses of signage, color coding, and memory cues.

-- Places Where Things Are Made

Prep Kitchen & Food Trucks
Food prep is creative work that occurs under great time pressure. Cooks consitently invent ways to produce during the constraints of a mad dinner rush.

Sound Stages & Theaters
Sound stages are designed to support the realization of imagination. Everything about them is tuned to support the construction of novel designs.

-- Learning Environments

Museums & Galleries
Art is inspirational but so are the galleries themselves. Gallery spaces are constantly reconfigured to adapt for the needs of a show.

Pre-schools & Kindergartens
Learning environments for young kids are one of the few places where physicality is embraced -- kids love to move around. These spaces are also full of materials to engage in playful building activities.

-- Service Industries

Emergency rooms in particular are filled with clever solutions to coordinate action among staff and service the often complex emotional needs of patients.

Repair Shops

Bike mechanics, oil-change garages, tailors, and shoe repair shops all have unique tools & configurations for optimizing space, time, and money.


"By actively thinking about the implications a space has on its inhabitants, we can create great experiences for those who enter. Make Space is an articulate account about the importance of space; how we think about it, build it and thrive in it." -- James P. Hackett, President and CEO, Steelcase

“If you are determined to encourage creativity and provide a collaborative environment that will bring out the best in people, you will want this book by your side at all times. You can browse it for tools to enhance teamwork, configurations to enable activities, insights about communal behaviors, design templates and first person stories. The way we design our spaces can help us or hinder us, inspire new ideas or stifle them, make it easier to work together or set us apart. Discover here how to improve team dynamics by altering your physical environment.”
— Bill Moggridge, Director of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

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Customer Reviews

Overall, this book is full of ideas for making a great working space.
K. Peterson
I can't think of an audience this book is not for... If you are alive, can read, and have a place that you want to do something with, just get this book.
This is a brilliant book on designing space to nurture creativity and collaboration.
L. M. Keefer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Celeste Thoms on January 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Completely not what I expected to read, and that's a good thing. This book acts more like an instruction and construction book to creating the space that you work in. This is a book you pick up and start building the right space immediately. There are so many creative ideas about creating a space that encourages creativity, productiveness, organization, and collaboration. It's not just for businesses with large teams, I've found a lot of useful ways to organize my space when I'm working on a project alone and it's nice because you don't need a construction team to create spaces in your work space. These are projects you can implement on your own by just taking a trip to home depot. There is nothing like this book around that I've seen, I've absolutely loved it.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My job as writer-and-editor shifts from internally creative (I work inside my head) to actively collaborative (talk with the writers who work for me, learn what my clients want). I work with people all over the world from the comfort of my home office, and I depend on the wonderfulness of instant messaging, shared online storage, and e-mail. I prefer my quietly creative cocoon in which to do my thinking and lure the muse (Here kitty kitty... Well, the muse doesn't come when I call either). Yet, I'm inherently an extrovert. I love to go into create-mode with other people, so every time I've had the opportunity to visit the Home Office (for clients or employers, as the case may be) I actively notice how well their space is designed. How much does the office encourage people to work together? How does it help people to focus when they need to work alone?

As a result, when I saw Make Space on my list of Amazon Vine options, I was attracted to its premise: "an inspiring guidebook filled with ways to alter space to fuel creative work and foster collaboration." I love its goal. Its execution... not so much.

The book comes from the "d school" at Stanford University, and perhaps that academic background colors the way they think of colloborative space. The book has a few sorts of information: tools (stuff to build), situations (such as easy-to-reorganize spaces... think "use beanbag chairs draw people into a circle"), case studies. A section on the "design template" identifies the elements that go into a shared place, what they call "breaking down this spatial grammar into manageable bits" such as the actions that will take place there, the importance of thresholds and transitions, the need for everyone to have a "home base.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Henrietta VINE VOICE on June 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Each time I go to read this book, I feel inundated with coolness. Like I'm at a club that is so cool that you don't know what you're supposed to do. If you think the cover is a little confusing..as in "what is this book really about?" then a quick browsing the inside is not going to improve on that.

Instead of a table of contents, you get "instructions". And on the left of those is a dialogue of what the book is for, starting with "make space is a tool for using space to shape the culture and habits of a creative community."

The two sections of the book are
"tools: Make the useful things that fill up teh space--furniture, storage options, materials, etc" and "situations: Quick, repeatable configurations or patterns, usually at the scale of the room."

Honestly, I cannot get into this book. Each time I turn a page, I start reading a new idea and cannot get inspired. The idea flow from page to page is disjointed and it is not written by someone whose goal is to be as clear as possible to the average person.

Here is the start of "the white room" section. "An immersive experience is one of the quickest ways to transform behavior." what does that mean???? then following by "The White Room concept creates an environment with a singular finish and function that focuses on team members on particular activities. Their ideas become the only color that fills the space." Ok. reading it a few times, and looking at the picture of the white room, i can now understand it. But it's certainly not written in a way that the average person will understand easily.

There is some fun eye candy. The book is chock-full of creative endeavors to improve work areas both in function and appearance.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Prepare to be inspired!

Scott Dorley and Scott Witthoft (Directors of the Environments Collaborative at Stanford University's d. school - the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design) have written a book titled "make space" which is about designing and creating environments to support creative collaboration.

Although I am not an architect, engineer nor do I build a lot of objects, I am a designer (digital and print) but I do appreciate space and the creativity of those who can take advantage of it. And even I have had ideas of wanting to experiment with my own creativity for surrounding space around my home.

And as I was reading this book, there is this sense of enthusiasm and knowledge that Dorley and Witthoft shares with the reader but also backs it up with photos of people who attend d. school using the techniques taught and showing the reader examples of how they were built, why and a picture of how that creativity was applied to a business setting.

The five types of content mixed into the book are tools (stuff to build), situations (quick, repeatable configurations), insights (ideas to consider), design template (a simple breakdown of how the properties of places can spark actions and attitudes in people) and space studies (true stories about making space and living in it).

Included are more than 100 mini-entries that can be read in any way a reader likes. So, you can jump chapters or pages and use this book as a creative and idea resource.


Although the majority of what I design is for print, "make space" is one of those books that made me feel, "Arghh... I wish my university had these type of classes" because after reading this book, I was very inspired. There is no denying that the students at d.
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