Looking into B103 on the IMSA campus, you can now see the first wave of furniture for a CoolSpot. The clutter of office chairs around a conference table has been replaced by sleek, modular chairs and 'crushed cans' both pictured to the left.
Each CoolSpot--there's another one in B101--has a similar configuration: a relaxed, flexible seating group for 8 arranged around a low worktable (this piece has not arrived yet) with easy access to a CoolPort, the large LCD display, netbook and audio-video system that allows collaborators to enter the CoolSpot from afar.
At present, we're trying two different configurations to see how they work. The first is in B103 and consists of 6 modular seats and 2 crushed cans in fairly conservative colors. The space is not particularly large, so we didn't want to over-excite it with color. In contrast is B101, the Mac Lab, where the other IMSA CoolSpot is located. Four bright colors combine to make this a dominant feature of a large, high-ceilinged space. The plum and turmeric wedges shown actually belong in B101.
We agree with John Kao that innovation is facilitated by a sense of space. Our first CoolSpots are experimental by design. We will use the data gathered from participants to ensure that big ideas, breakthrough thinking and impossible solutions feel at home here.
There's more to come: watch for oval worktables, writable walls, special lighting and manipulatives to round out the space.