Spatial shapes and layouts have an emotional and behavioral effect on employees within the workspace. These emotions are deeply psychological and rarely have any conscious effect. The goal of any office is for the entire staff to work in harmony. It might be helpful to think of the designing of these layouts as tuning piano strings.
Like colors, shapes have deep psychological effects on members of the workspace. Using these tools together can create significant change in the workplace and in your personal moods and emotions.
The Shape of Circles
Circles have freedom of movement. They’re associated with comfort, safety, and warmth. Due to the movement and completeness of a circular shape, power, electricity, harmony, and infinity are all associated emotionally. With all elements of the shape taken into account, like the movement, structure, and how it’s represented culturally, it’s often associated with protection, integrity, infinity, perfection, and harmony. Due to its geometry, it provides emphasis on improving concentration.
Circles are a very collaborative space. They create a rounded area where everyone has an equal place at the table. It removes the workers away from their other work stations, and puts them in a neutral room to focus on the meeting at hand. Because of the warmth circles bring, the staff working in a circular room actually began to care more about their work.
Honesty and Stability
Those are only a few words used to describe hard edged shapes like squares, rectangles, and pyramids. These shapes are rigid, and therefore represent order, rational, discipline, solidarity, equality, and security. That might be a bit too close of what you think of your office right now. Remember, these straight-edged shapes don’t have to be on the same latitude as the office.
Experimenting with the angles of these shapes can help fight off some of the boredom that we’re used to seeing in traditional office spaces. But since they stand for discipline, but also peacefulness, it might be a perfect fit for a new-take on an old-fashioned cubicle.
Growth and Dynamism
Triangles are built from the base up, so they have a strong foundation. This means stability and growth. Like circles, they have energy and power because of the way their shape indicates the movement from the ground up and strength because of the direction they are pointing. Because of their sharp points, each represents an idea like progression, direction, and purpose. Triangles are best suited for high-efficiency areas in need of dynamic solutions, accurate results, and dominant energies.
Creativity in Spirals
There’s no greater shape for creativity than a spiral. In nature, many growth patterns is indicated in a spiral shape. It takes on the warm and energy of a circle, while it spirals upwards. Because it does have an end to it, it also represents the cycle of birth and death, as well as evolution, fertility, transformation, and expansion.
A spiral becomes transformative in the journey, letting flexibility and release of energy through the life cycle. Spirals aren’t only helpful for creative spaces, but in any field help to unlock another part of the brain.
Transition and Balance
Vertical, horizontal, cross, and curved shapes represent not only transition and balance, but faith, unity, and hope, as well as relationships. They have a need for connecting to each other–whether in real life is a project, co-worker, or collaborative group. Vertical lines and shapes are associated with strength, whereas horizontal are seen as peaceful.
Curved shapes are musical. They represent rhythm and movement, happiness, pleasure, and generosity. Sharp shapes are very youthful and energetic.
Feminism and Masculinity
Rarely considered in the workplace design is the differences that masculinity and femininity associations have an area. It goes beyond the color blue or the color pink. It’s said that the triangle’s strength makes them masculine, so it’s not uncommon to see them in large tech startup companies or sales divisions. Like triangles, sharp shapes are also associated with masculinity, whereas curved shapes represent femininity. Something to think about culturally—and when designing an office!
Interested in learning more about how shapes affect your workspace? Connect with the industry’s most experienced team today to learn more.