111 Eighth Avenue is a full-block Art Deco multi-use building located between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, and 15th and 16th Streets in the Chelsea neighborhood of the Manhattan borough of New York City. Former Port Authority building was created in 1932 to be a warehouse/union station to handle freight shipments consolidating shipment operations of railroad and truck companies. Later in 70s it became mainly an office space, leased by a lot of different companies, and in 2010 it was purchased by Google company. Giant tech company is famous for innovatively designed office spaces, and NYC’s office isn’t an exclusion. Since the moment Google moved in, they experiment and continue to redesign office spaces to provide experiences that go beyond regular expectations of what office should provide. There are meeting rooms decorated in various themes, multiple work areas that have open plans, as well as lounges and entertainment fun areas. Hallways decorated with conceptual art. Whenever you go, you experience a very well designed space.
Google does amazing job at office design and people who work there are proud of the space they spend their work time, although my interviewees reported that they desire more instant and smooth access to meeting rooms. Engineers do various tasks, sometimes they work alone, sometimes they need to collaborate. When they work alone, they prefer minimal visual and sound distractions. There are times they need to collaborate, and for that they go to some designated areas like meeting rooms or lounges, so they don’t distract colleagues who work alone in the moment. When engineers work alone on their part of code they recide at open space common area. There is a debate in the field whether open workspace is good or not, as it can be distracting, especially the sound, but cubicles are proven to make people more depressed. Taking in consideration that people work in open area, they need to relocate for collaboration. There are times when it happens fast, and there is a meeting room near by, but sometimes people have to walk pretty far, because there are some hours when meeting rooms are all full. Since there are already a lot of meeting rooms, and not a lot of space, it doesn’t make sense to create more of them, because in some hours they all stay empty and not in use.
Instant Collab Cocoon improves the workflow. It provides instant collaborative environment, that doesn’t require a long walk to meeting rooms during rush hours. Team of 2-4 people can quickly collect and discuss their work, while not distracting their colleagues. System can accommodate 2 cocoons per open workspace room. While not in use it remains hanged from ceiling in folded condition, resembling big origami flower. 111 8th ave has tall 10 ft ceilings that can easy accommodate that. Each person will have a software installed, that can call cocoon when needed. Cocoon uses system of coordinates and can come to any location within the room, drop down, unfold, and hide few people. Soundproof walls will keep participants confident that they can have a free discussion. While other colleagues can have initial visual distraction, over the time they will get used to the movement of cocoon.
Here is a walkthrough: