In Physics, we understand that an object maintains a certain amount of energy and that this energy changes based on the relative position of the object. In other words, a drawn bow will contain more stored energy than if the bow were resting against a tree — the physical interaction of objects creates a heightened environment. We call this potential energy.
Our shared office mirrors this phenomenon. Within one communal space, we find a diverse grouping of industries, creative projects, working methods, thinking styles and personalities. An editor might find herself seated next to an attorney; a designer might sit across from a computer programmer or literary agent. A group of friends who work independently might elect to share resources.
The air is filled with the sounds of work and collaboration: fingertips on keyboards, a phone call or video conference, and conversations across the desk that spark a new idea. This soundtrack is universal, but the work created using these shared tools can vary greatly.
At this nexus of cross-pollination, a new form of energy is created. Overheard phone conversations, a shared lunch break in common areas, a glance at a neighbor’s pin up board: ideas begin to rub up against one another and we find new ways of working, both as a group and independently.
These conversations spill over into a dinner after work where stories are exchanged. This shared collaborative workspace creates its own friction — you never know what might develop. We call it potential.
“Often the biggest moments of insight can come from other disciplines. Whether it’s inspiration on a unique approach to solving a problem, or just being able to get the perspective of someone less close to the work, having a mix of backgrounds can rejuvenate the creative process.”.
Brief N°4 Vol. I — Life/Work