We didn't plan for our creative space to become what it has become. When we were looking for an office, we chose a space based on limited criteria: lots of light and very open. The rest was based on our confidence that filling it with the right people, who are creative wherever they are, would make it ours.
Subsequently, our New York workspace has become a product of the many individuals our company comprises. There are no partitions between desks - just a floor, a few walls and a bunch of wooden tables - which means that everything in the office was put there by someone who wanted it there. Desks and walls are covered with personal belongings, so the composite of individual styles has come to define the area.
The few offices within the space have taken on the identity of the people who use them. And they all have glass walls, so even those spaces have become part of the whole.
Because our people are free to customise their surroundings, they are able to create environments that help generate good ideas and good ads. The result of so many uniquely created spaces existing together without borders is a macroenvironment marked by comfort and personality. It's still work, but it's a place that makes it easy to forget you have to be there because you feel that you really enjoy being there.
The aesthetic of our conference and boardrooms counterbalances our common space. Mostly bare rooms with large communal tables leave space for people to stretch themselves, in every sense, and cover the room with ideas and concepts.
Because the space belongs to whoever is using it at any given time, its emptiness allows people to make it work for them while they are in it. There is nothing to take down from the walls or to try to ignore - just a canvas. And when clients are in the rooms with our teams, the space is free to become whatever the task at hand requires it to be.
Back outside those rooms, we are rapidly outgrowing our creative space, so we are kind of a packed-in little hotbed of activity. A place for shared experience. Sometimes that's shared work; other times it's just a sense of shared energy. In the midst of that community, our layout also fosters a healthy sense of competition. People are invited into others' workspace by the nature of our floor plan, so everyone becomes part of creative ideas and their development.
Everyone wants to do well and wants others to do well, but when we see others' successes we are also pushed to chase our own. We share celebrations and disappointments and use both as leverage to continue making ourselves better.
David Droga is the founder of Droga5.