Silicon Valley, CA
- Can the design of a physical space support and even promote creativity?
- When does too much flexibility become a distraction?
- How much time is lost to interfacing with technology?
- Does a meeting change once you move outdoors?
LinkedIn’s Global Workplace Services Team asks these questions, and hundreds of others, every day as they test and improve the company’s workplaces all over the world. When imagining the design of their own space in Silicon Valley, California, the team wanted to create a dedicated environment for ongoing experimentation and research. To achieve this goal, they selected M Moser, a successful, long-standing partner on many other LinkedIn projects around the globe.
Watch the video of LinkedIn’s Workplace Design Laboratory to see how the Global Workplace Services Team uses this unique space to test and imagine the workspaces of the future.
A safe space to experiment and fail
Key objectives of the Workplace Design Laboratory were to develop a culture of intelligent risk-taking and continuous experimentation in a safe environment where the team is able to experiment and fail fast – applying learnings in real time before rolling them out globally. Additionally, the team wanted to allow greater control for both individual and team environments, providing ample opportunities to flex, adapt, evolve and improve.
To achieve these goals, M Moser met with LinkedIn’s diverse team and discussed how they might use the space to advance and showcase the elements that influence LinkedIn’s work experience. Transportation, food service, technology, acoustics, graphics, wellness, facilities engineering and furniture were all considered.
“We teach ourselves to experiment often, fail quickly and evolve continuously. We test new modes of work, we build prototypes and we learn something new almost every day.”
– Brett Hautop, Senior Director of Global Design & Build, LinkedIn
A dynamic lawn
A central open area, designed as a dynamic lawn, anchors the space while providing a framework for flexibility and change. The lawn capitalises on large openings in the otherwise introverted warehouse space with new glass roll-up doors that extend the workspace outside and pull natural light and ventilation into the heart of the building. Further accented by a pixelated arrangement of skylights, this informal work area for free-address teams is easily transformed into display and testing zones for advanced furniture prototypes, open collaboration areas, or large event space.
Major areas for experimentation border the lawn including a food service kitchenette, an active maker space, video conferencing areas and social spaces. The lawn leads into a semi-private workspace featuring beta furniture test workstations, alternative open office work settings, and modular rooms for focused work.
Experimentation at all scales
Throughout the space, experimentation is happening at a variety of scales. The walls are lined with a custom wall hanging system with removable panels that are used for display space, storage, and testing of surface types. A variety of wall finishes are utilised including different brands of whiteboards, acoustic materials and graphic solutions.
Building materials are trialled throughout the space including trials and early-run flooring products for carpet, resilient flooring and adhesive strategies.
Explorations for advancing the building infrastructure include kitchen equipment, plumbing fixtures, light quality/colouration and natural vs controlled ventilation. Flexible work areas are supported by an overhead grid system of power and data provided through easy to use drop down reels.
Testing technology and custom furniture
Different IT & AV systems are installed in meeting spaces to facilitate initial test runs of equipment and real-time user feedback before being implemented in LinkedIn’s larger campuses. Specialised technologies including underfloor room sensors are used to track utilisation and validate the potential importance of the data collected.
In close partnership with the furniture manufacturer, Haworth, beta furniture solutions are tested throughout the space including new products and prototype custom solutions for LinkedIn workstations, alternative work settings and modular solutions.
LinkedIn’s Workplace Design Laboratory provides a focus on the experiences of the individual and the team, creating an ever-changing framework for ongoing modification and improvement.
- Status Completed
- Area 26,500 sq-ft
- Completion date 2018
- Location Silicon Valley, CA
- Photographer Emily Hagopian (photography + video)