The typical office of a Vectorian must make many types of things possible: sometimes it’s a very quiet space where one can think, sometimes it’s more turbulent – for example, in an ad-hoc discussion using the whiteboard. The usual phone calls and everyday tasks can always be done comfortably and ergonomically. A functional and modern office concept. Nevertheless, we asked ourselves: Can it still be improved? Or, more accurately: We asked the Heller Designstudio, in Stuttgart, if another concept might work even better. Especially in certain project phases. The result is simply called “Firestarter” and is based on the Agile Principles.
Agile Principles – you’re familiar with them, right? You’ve heard of them before? Probably in relation to software development and things like: small, self-organizing teams, a repetitive, step-by-step approach, as little bureaucracy as possible, high transparency for all those involved, values such as “individuals and interactions over processes and tools” – and, of course, Scrum.
Scrum is a model that translates Agile Principles into processes, methods and techniques and relies on highly-qualified, interdisciplinary development teams. Although the teams receive a clear target from the outside, they are solely responsible for implementation. They determine, virtually by themselves, the tactics for how to reach their common goal. Scrum contributes to fully deploying potential with regards to knowledge and creativity. And Heller Design has managed to translate Scrum into interior design with a spatial concept for us – the Vector Firestarter.
Besides Scrum, it relies on a working environment that quickly changes between “very private” and “very open.” Depending on the hourly, daily or weekly tasks. Depending on the desired number of possible collisions. Wait a moment, collisions? Though at first it sounds menacing, it basically just means crossing paths as often as possible. Especially at the beginning of the project, in the creative phase, many – and, most importantly, new – encounters encourage spontaneous exchanges. This helps to introduce different perspectives and bring new ideas to light. Ideas that might never have arisen in isolated, enclosed spaces.
Does it work? Well, currently there’s space to have one large or several small project teams with up to 18 members; a rolling use is planned for three months each. The first teams have already gone through their creative phase in the Vector Firestarter and have returned to their regular workplaces for the rest of the project. The feedback from them and their successors will be continuously incorporated into the improvement of the concept. Perfection from the start was never our aim; the goal is more that it evolves over time. And: what we learn through Vector Firestarter also helps us develop our existing and newly-planned buildings. This makes the 400-square-meter Vector Firestarter a tiny, but valuable, part of ↗️ the 44,000-square-meter Vector Campus.
+++ Vector FIrestarter wins the German Design Award 2019 +++ Excellent Communications Design Interior Architecture +++