Creating spaces that are functional involves a fair amount of psychology. For a space to "work," it's important to understand people's behavior and how they interact with their environment and one another. This is especially true in larger, more complex spaces where there is a co-division of labor among different departments.


Take the conference room, for example. Does it need to be closer to the break room or next to the CFO's office? Should there be a storage closet adjacent to the mail room? Everyone knows that there needs to be minimal proximity between the nurse's station and the exam rooms. But what about the restroom? Should it be at the beginning of the corridor closer to the nurses, or at the end of the corridor?

Questions like these are best addressed with an adjacency matrix and/or bubble diagram. In the hands of a certified space planner, these tools provide a quick visualization of the space relationships shared by departments and their occupants.

As a space planner, my goal is to maximize the potential of a client's space by facilitating occupancy and flow. Trying to do this without the proper tools (i.e. adjacency matrices and bubbles diagrams) is a recipe for poor planning and will most certainly lead to problems for the client.

The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. -- Hellen Keller

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