Monday, January 9, 2012

This Creative Space

For me, sometimes the best way to get started thinking about what I want is to simply visualize it, in its vagaries. So for the first part of my assignment, while I've honed in on what kind of business I want to build (I'm calling it IdeaSpace for's a Consultation Cafe), I want to envision what this environment will look like.

Source: DesignSponge

So, before laying out the nitty-gritty groundwork, I'm fast-forwarding to the future where this business exists. What does it look like? What does it feel like? What are the people in this space doing? Do they look happy, focused? Are they sitting or standing? What colors are strongest in the room?

I find that working backward like this sometimes helps you answer the nitty-gritty questions before you need to ask them by establishing what it is you really want. What your envisioned end result looks like informs you of what you need to get there.

Now, I'm more than happy to admit I could find out later that I'm wrong, but let's just play along for now. I'm not even going to get into exactly what I want this business to be just yet. I'll get there. Don't worry.

I love the idea of a space where people feel welcome and almost hugged by the room. What's that? Did you ask if I'm from Berkeley? Why, yes I am! How did you know? But what's really special about the beautiful room above to me is that as much personality as it has, it's also very barren when you pick it apart. This allows for flexibility of the space. People can arrange themselves in different ways and can sit where they'd like. I find that the more comfortable you are, and the more you're able to move around when need be, the more ideas will come to you.

I'm also thinking of the cafes I know and love around the Mission in San Francisco. These hip little junctures are striking the right cords for a reason. First up: Stable Cafe.

Source: Stable Cafe
What makes this place so special to me? It's very intelligently touching on a few important factors.

Number one: the homemade, craftwork feel in the small touches. We know from the wedding industry (ie, my current business POV) that this is popular because it feels like there's a lotta love in it. Number two: it's an incredibly sustainable and locally-focused operation. But number three, and most important to this post since this is all really about looks, here: the design of the space increases your brain power. I swear.


OKAY I CAN'T FIND ANY OTHER PICTURES OF IT, but you should go there and tell people you found out about Stable because of me. And then they'll give me free coffee forever. Basically, the ceilings are high and soaring (as high and soaring as your dreams, get it?), the light is natural and non-oppressive, and there's a lovely courtyard off to the right of where this picture cuts off. I've always found that having the ability to get some fresh air and contemplate something lovely for a few seconds can refresh your mind like nothing else.

This is what I want for my IdeaSpace.  Meetings and consultations can be held indoors or outdoors. You can sit or you can stand. You can lounge or you can perch. You can take a stroll. Just do whatever you need to unlock your brain and find a solution to what ails ya.

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