When you’re in the business of turning ideas into reality, working in an uninspiring office space isn’t the first step to success. Made, a design and innovation studio based in Antwerp, Belgium, has upped their collaborative session game with installations of Motif in common areas around the office. Not only are they working better together, but they look great doing it. Made had an expansive wall they wanted to convert into a hub for teamwork and idea-sharing. The challenge was to find a writing surface large enough to cover the space without compromising visual interest or adding another boring, white plane. The Made team found that Motif “floats away from the wall, providing an intriguing shadow play and lightness while the spacing between panels breaks up the monotony and adds interest.” It was the ideal balance between form and function.
One of the greatest challenges for Made was determining the best configuration for their panel installations. The possibilities are endless, but there were several factors to consider including size, usage and height. If separate panels were installed too low, they would be unusable, and equally if they were installed too high. Abstract patterns and asymmetrical installations were also options to consider for a great design approach. The Made team settled on compositions that blended panel sizes, colors and patterns based on what they would be using Motif for on a daily basis.
PolyVision asked the Made team to share their experience installing Motif. The short response: “Installation was a breeze! We installed the full wall in less than an hour.” Mounting Motif was designed for ease. Installation templates are applied to the wall for foolproof mount positioning, and because the panel system is lightweight, it doesn’t require specialty equipment for lifting onto the wall. Specialty spacers ensure an even gap between each panel, and 3M interlocking mounting hardware secures the installation in place while allowing for removal if repositioning or replacement is desired.
Once resorting to sticky notes and scrap paper for brainstorming and spur-of-the-moment ideation, the Made team can now collaborate more comfortably and effectively on a greater scale. The design-focused organization has named the Motif space their “stand-up area.” It is the focal point of drive-by sketching, team meetings and a place to leave thoughts to get back to later. Different panels are often dedicated to different purposes. Separate smaller panels serve as spaces for meeting agendas, long-standing project notes, and one houses a friendly push up tally among team members. Sometimes, Motif is even used to create a stir by posting a controversial idea or visual out in the open collaborative space. It’s common for creative directors to lose sight of the everyday activities of their teams, but it becomes challenging to resist when they see new concepts popping up in the common areas. It becomes a form of guerrilla feedback-gathering by the designers when they need a reaction from others to instigate a response from different points of view.
These blocks of content keep subjects separated and organized in an attractive format. The larger panels are a favorite among the Made team for strategic meetings to develop timelines and wireframes. These deeper workflow tasks are reserved for the large and extra-large panels where there is room to spread out and expand on ideas. Team leader Teun Habraken, lamenting over past meeting spaces with traditional whiteboards, said “In our older meeting spaces, you would erase the full board before starting to write on it. Even if only 25-50% of the board was written on. It feels like you have to begin with a clean sheet before any ideation or clarification is possible. Not with Motif. The experience or perception of whether a board is part of a whole is continuously in flux and definitely not fixed. It has provided us with a lot of flexibility and freedom.”
Pattern + Color
The duality of Motif is that it can function as a high-performance collaborative writing surface when you need it, and a work of art when not in use. Standard, designer-inspired patterns on the small panels encourage creative thought; larger panels are available as intentionally selected neutrals for maximum versatility. Made selected patterned panels printed at a low opacity to allow for use as a functional perspective grid when needed without becoming a distraction when not in use.
Create a Collaborative Motif
Motif is a Collaborative Worktool designed to spark creativity and bring teams together to communicate and create more effectively. Made was no exception when it came to the need for a creative tool that made their teams want to collaborate. Teun said “More of our coworkers are actively engaging. There are more alignments and structured creative meetings. Instead of verbal ideas being thrown out and forgotten, they are being written down or drawn out to become something more. As a creative company with the responsibility of turning ideas into concrete and tangible designs or products, that is a crucial game-changer. We’re about innovation delivery, and Motif has helped tremendously with the delivery part of our work.”