Space and Place Matter

by Autumn Rich, CEO, Autumn Rich & Co. and Panacea Collection, Culturati Summit Planning Team Member

Culture in the workplace is the hottest trend in conversations today. Culture building is paramount in attracting and retaining the best talent. Designing space & place can be a secret ingredient in culture building.

The descriptions are endless but the impression is vital.

Each time you enter into a space you immediately get a vibe of what the personality of that space is. Conservative. Artsy. Modern. Fun. Whimsical. Serious. The descriptions are endless but the impression is vital.

When I am designing any space be it a temporary event or an office or a house I think of the way people will experience it. What they need it to do for their mindset, their creativity, and the social value — how it looks and how it feels, the tone it sets for conversation or for listening, how a dinner party progresses, and how people interact with each other.

The Summit’s intimate dinners in CEOs’ homes the night prior are a signature event. The setting is casual, embraces free conversation and thought; it’s a culture-building activity at Culturati.

The vibe of a space is important especially when it’s where you spend a great deal of time — your house and your office. In consulting for office settings, each team member needs their own space to get their day-to-day work done. And, there should be common meeting spaces conducive to creative collaboration — space for small conversations or relaxing team building time.

When building out any space for a client I take all that into consideration especially when in an office environment. We are finding it better to have multiple spaces for team members to work, contributing to creativity and innovation.

In developing Culturati Summit, the first consideration was a typical hotel meeting space. In discussing the goals of the Summit we quickly realized that a unique space and unique setting was in order. That’s why we hold the Summit at the historic Brazos Hall in downtown Austin and offer a variety of seating including comfy sofas, community tables offering a more conversational tone, cocktail tables for standing, cozy vignettes, and a coffee and breakfast bar.

As a veteran event producer who produced the LBJ Presidential Library’s Civil Rights Summit, the White House Easter Egg Roll and the VIP areas of music festivals like Austin City Limits Music Festival and Lollapalooza and many others, I found that the experience of the participants was of utmost importance. I constantly found myself disappointed at the lack of diversity of furniture choices so I started the Panacea Collection, which specializes in unique, one-of-a-kind event furniture. In doing so it gave me the opportunity to create much more effective environment to learn, listen, and experience whatever event it is.

Inspired spaces in the work place foster innovation and creative collaboration, while building connection and community, in addition to lowering stress levels, boosting energy, and increasing productivity. Spaces matter.