Over the last few months, I have been to a couple of co-working spaces like WeWork, CoWrks, 91springboard, Innov8 Coworking™ and few startup offices. A while ago when Freshworks Inc opened up one of their floors, a few folks in the startup community I knew were of the opinion that they were spending too much money on their workspace. Girish Mathrubootham showed me and few folks around the same floor before they opened it up for their employees to work there when we were at Freshdesk for an event around the same time. I was fascinated by the amount of thinking, planning, and effort they had put into design their workspaces.
Over this past weekend, I was in Hampi. Over the last few days, I have been reading up on the architecture and about the monuments built in the 14th and 15th century. I’m amazed at the level of planning that kings put into designing their palaces, temples, and cities in those days. Those structures were built not just as a show of their power and wealth but also for practical everyday use be it their palaces, temples or places of learning. As I look at the amount of planning, effort and money spent on co-working spaces and office spaces these days, I think its worth every penny and effort to shape spaces in which our minds dwell every day. Here’s why!
So I’m fascinated by the extent to which the environment we live and works in molds and shapes us. Our thoughts shape our spaces but our spaces return the favor.
If you want to shape minds, you got to shape spaces in which those minds dwell. We are designed by that which we have designed.
You know these feedback loops are where our thinking evolves and knowledge emerges. And it turns out who we are you know as living beings in the world exists in that feedback loop, emerges in that feedback loop you know we learn language but then that language molds our personalities and then our molded personalities use language to speak out and then that which we read, learn and speak in turn changes us. And there’s this circularity right.
So we build the tools but then those tools build us. We build these smartphones and then these smartphones change how we think and they change our behavior. As I mentioned earlier our thoughts shape our spaces. We design the spaces we live and work but those spaces return the favor. So we build these schools, colleges, workspaces, cafes, places of worship etc and then those spaces build and shapes spaces inside our minds essentially.
We mirror the environment that we create to live, study and work.
Everything we are as personalities or humans is being created by the active engagement between our mind, the world and a feedback loops therein. Our creative and linguistic choices transform….literally transform our minds from within. The choices we make today for our dwellings, our places of learning or places of work has to be designed knowing that everything that you’re designing is designing us back. So we are being actively designed by that which we have designed.
So what is our responsibility then, when we build spaces and cities in this century? As Constructors, Architects, Interior Designers, Builders, Engineers, Artists, City planners ….
We need to take it upon ourselves to shape spaces that inform minds, to shape spaces that engineer ways of seeing and ways of thinking.
I’m just a thinker neither an architect, interior designer or a constructor. If you know someone who is one or runs a co-working space or their own company, please tag them in the comments below. Would love to get their thoughts!