We have had a few questions in regards to design trends and how to break out of bad design work habits but I was curious to know if there is a terminology or process for the design environment such as:

  • Paint has been considered to provide a mood.
  • The right odor or scent can relax the body.
  • Lighting

How can one create a great mood work environment for designers?

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    isn't this "feng shui"? Oct 18 '13 at 9:52
  • One thing I've heard is that big open spaces are good for creative thinking and narrow confined spaces are good for focus. No idea if there's any evidence behind that, but it matches my experience: Oct 18 '13 at 10:54

Is there a design terminology for developing a quality work environment?

The correct term for this is Office Space Planning.

How can one create a great mood work environment for designers?

This is very subjective to the environment and corporate culture. If you search online for Office Space Planning on Amazon or Barnes & Noble you will see numerous books dedicated to the subject.

You can also find numerous research papers through Google Scholar that are focused on how Office Space Planning can change things like efficiency, productivity, retention rates,


From a productivity point of view, I find two things exceptionally necessary when I'm working by myself.

The first one is order. I try to keep a minimal and clean setup, because clutter distracts me, both on a conscious as well as a subconscious level. The things I keep in my desk are just the computer, paper, and a selection of pens, pencils and colors. I use paper a lot, I usually have a big sheet around the keyboard, and I write related and unrelated stuff in there. This might be of help: 3 Steps to a Permanently Clear Desk.

The second one is beauty. Beauty is a principle of design, and as silly as it sounds, I find it essential. I find beauty in symmetry, for example, so I've decorated most of my walls around the working area with my collection of "inspiring designs" (in a symmetrical pattern :D).


"Great mood" isn't all that definable. My guess is that it's going to depend on the particulars of your team's personalities.

Things to consider:

  • private space vs. public. Collaboration is important, but so is focused solo time. Try to make spaces for each.
  • a war room. This can just be a conference room, but any place small teams can get together and be loud and animated if necessary to hash out ideas.
  • white boards, black boards, cork boards, magnet boards. Put them everywhere. They are great for war rooming, design reviews, general inspiration, research, etc.

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