Knoll r/evolution ( Pt 3 / 4 ) @ Neocon 2014

Knoll r/evolution ( Pt 3 / 4 ) @ Neocon 2014

knoll activity spaces

Every place is a work place

In today’s world, work takes place everywhere. Enabled by technology, work is no longer tethered to individual workspaces.

Organizations are becoming more open and collaborative to better foster innovation and productivity.

And new generations of employees are embracing these changes, creating a more social, diverse workplace of tomorrow.

The workplace has become more social

Knoll research shows that despite the fact that people can work almost anywhere, they choose to come to the office to connect face to face with co-workers and engage in both planned and serendipitous collaboration.

A more social and interconnected office can be a strategic tool for attracting and retaining the best talent.

activity spaces interactive layout

In the evolving workplace, Activity Spaces are ‘go to’ spaces accessible to everyone for everything from focused, individual work through large community gatherings.

Activity spaces vary in scale, formality, enclosure and flexibility. Invariably, they require proximity, privacy, and support for collaborative technology.  And while they may share components and aesthetics with primary workspaces, they may also offer a deliberate contrast as an alternative.

A variety of spaces for a variety of work

Office planning has evolved to integrate more collaborative work styles both in primary work spaces and in complementary activity spaces.

While there is a spectrum of needs—from casual to formal, impromptu to planned, open to enclosed—research confirms the importance of distinct choices for each type of interactivity.

Driven by the pursuit of innovation and efficiency, enabled by technology and expected by a new generation, the office has become more collaborative.

activity spaces knoll

Work takes place everywhere and anywhere. Ubiquitous technology enables distributed work outside the primary workspace, whether in a meeting room, café, offsite or even outdoors.

With workers spending on average half their time away from their assigned individual workspace, organizations are increasing the amount of unassigned activity space made available to everyone for both planned and spontaneous interaction.

The combination of smaller individual work spaces and a variety of shared activity spaces can reduce overall office space requirements and costs.

activity spaces interactive layout 2


Knoll offers numerous solutions for appropriately scaled activity spaces, offering refuge for one or two, enclaves for three or four, team meeting spaces for five to eight members of a team, and larger assembly and community spaces.

All encourage collaboration, improve workplace efficiency and productivity, and provide organizations the opportunity to express their culture and brand.



refuge image

The “get away” space for 1–2 people

One of the most important elements of successful activity spaces is privacy, which may be provided by walls and a door, by storage or furniture screens, by space separation or even by a set of headphones.


Refuge is a small space (about 50 sq ft) that enables focused or confidential work by one or two people.

A refuge may be an enclosed room with a video display, wall mounted whiteboard surface and adaptable furniture.

A refuge may also be an open area with furniture boundaries or enough space separation for a sense of privacy.




Knoll research confirms that technology—connectivity, display and adaptability—is the most important attraction of activity spaces that work

Enclave spaces are ‘get together’ areas for a collaborative seclusion, for groups of 3–4 people


Generally a small open or enclosed space (100 sq ft), three to four people can work together in enclaves equipped with a desk height table or lower table, wall-mounted whiteboards, and a video display.

Enclave spaces are small open or enclosed spaces (about 100 sq ft) available for collaborative seclusion by a group of three or four people.

Enclaves are usually equipped with a desk height or lower table, wall mounted whiteboards and a video display.

Enclaves are most successful when they combine ready access to technology with furnishings that provide a sense of boundary for shared work.


Team Meeting

team meeting image

Dedicated work areas for 4–8 people

Proximity to the primary work area is critical to the success of team meeting and other activity spaces.


For broader gatherings, Team Meeting spaces allow a larger number of people to come to the table.

Typically work rooms for four to eight people (200 sq ft), Team Meeting spaces may be open plan or fully enclosed, with a larger table or clustered tables, mobile and wall mounted whiteboards, and flexible seating options.

Team meeting spaces allow the whole team to come to the table.

Typically medium-size work rooms for four to eight people, team meeting spaces may be open plan or fully enclosed, with a larger table or clustered tables, mobile and wall mounted whiteboards and flexible seating options.

The most productive team meeting spaces include multiple display surfaces, convenient access to power and substantial enclosure to permit undisturbed collaboration.



assembly image

For groups of 10 or more

Successful activity spaces are scaled appropriately for the task or work activity.  Assembly spaces are sized for large groups, but are not well-suited to smaller meetings.


Assembly spaces are dedicated areas for planned interactions and collaborative work.

Usually large and enclosed group spaces (400+ sq ft), assembly areas are equipped with multiple display surfaces (tackable, whiteboard and video), credenzas for storage and tables for refreshments.

Conference rooms, sized for groups of ten or more, are typically formal meeting spaces for presentations.

Furnishings include a very large, fixed table with power, data and communications.

Training rooms—flexible spaces for multiple activities from education to informal presentations—typically include freely reconfigurable tables and agile chairs.

Lecture spaces, whether enclosed or open, are multiuse spaces equipped with flexible furnishings for accommodating large group presentations and adaptable to social events.



community image

The “town center” of the workplace

A “casual feel” attracts users to community spaces and other activity spaces.


As ‘town center’ spaces, Community areas encourage interactions where office culture can flourish.

Commons and Cafés are large, multipurpose spaces for social events or unplanned interactions.

And on a smaller scale, ad hoc spaces such as informal seating groups with small tables, lounge furniture groupings, and standing height counters with stools, encourage a similar sense of spontaneous, flexible use

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