CHAPTER 14Designing Physical Space That Supports Community

Physical space is more decisive in creating community than we realize. Most meeting spaces are designed for control, negotiation, and persuasion. While the room itself is not going to change, we always have a choice about how we rearrange and occupy whatever room we are handed. Community is built when we sit in circles, when there are windows and the walls have signs of life, when every voice can be equally heard and amplified, when we all are on one level—and the chairs have wheels and swivel.

When we have an opportunity to design new space, the same communal consciousness applies. We need reception areas that tell us we are in the right place and are welcome, hallways wide enough for ...

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