Designing an office layout for innovation

–John Horner Photography

Office floor plans, desk layouts, and other key design decisions impact a company’s ability to innovate, collaborate, and drive the business forward. One leading architecture firm offered to take The Hive inside key decisions as it built an office with innovation as a top priority.

The firm Tsoi/Kobus & Associates undertook the project on behalf of Pfizer for its Center for Therapeutic Innovation at the Center for Life Science in Boston.

Some of the considerations:

Configurability: Hardware, workbenches, and even large equipment can all be easily repositioned to change with the office’s adapting needs, allowing the center to quickly pivot into new areas and techniques with ad hoc groups if needed.


Transparency: Not just a nice esthetic, the office’s ample use of glass allows visitors to safely see what’s going on in the lab, which helps keep workers accountable while also serving as a recruiting tool when visitors come and get a sneak peek at daily activity.

Flexible meeting space:Ever scrambled around for an open office for a quick meeting? Not at Pfizer: Open rooms of various sizes abound, for both private and public meetings of varying degrees of formality.

Check out our full gallery for other design tips and tricks.

What design elements would you include in your ideal office to encourage innovation? Let us know in the comments, or email

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