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Creative Space: Not Just Knocking Down Walls

Chicago Office

Companies are pining for open space and a “Google culture,” but they’re realizing you can’t just knock down all the walls and hope that will happen. That’s why we’re exploring the process, step by step, at Bisnow’s Chicago Creative Office Summit, Jan. 28 at Willis Tower, beginning at 7am. Space doesn’t drive culture, it’s always the other way around, Chicago Creative Space founder Max Chopovsky, one of our speakers (and busy dad with a nine-month-old), tells us. You have to know what your employees want and value, designing a space that “feels like home.” That focus on “building a family” does wonders for retention (and happy employees brag about the space on social media), Max says.


Some of his predictions for 2015: homey furniture (vintage, frayed rugs, etc); tools to combat sitting, the new smoking (think standup desks and treadmills); and creative coffee shop-type spaces (from nooks at Rightpoint to a luxe coffee bar at ContextMedia to inside a shipping container at Digitas, pictured). The key is employee engagement, Max tells us. (Because it’s more fun to have meetings in a speakeasy, like at Google, or on a fallen redwood tree in Groupon’s Enchanted Forest.) You can even keep it simple: Sandbox Industries’ office has a chalkboard with a fun question of the day, often buzzier than the water cooler. Max’s favorite feature: Motorola’s new themed micro-kitchens, ranging from ‘60s space race to a huge animated map of the "L." Bisnow’s Chicago Creative Office Summit is on Jan. 28 at Willis Tower, beginning at 7am. Get your event tix here!