Last summer, the Bloomington staff of the Offices of Online Education (OOE) and Collaborative Academic Programs (OCAP) moved from spaces in Poplars and Eigenmann to a more permanent space in the Smith Research Center. Designing the new space presented an "opportunity to bring together the collective mindpower of our functional areas and reassess the ways in which we collaborate," says Erin Edwards, OOE assistant director, finance and administration, who, with Sheryl Lentz, OOE executive administrative assistant, led the design project. The collaborative space brings together the formerly dispersed staff of the Offices of Online Education and Collaborative Academic Programs. It also provides a welcoming work and meeting place for IU faculty, staff, and collaborators and for colleagues from other universities.
The space is communal, flexible, and engaging. Multiple workspace configurations meet a variety of staff needs and preferences. Private offices, cubicles, and hoteling spaces host on-campus staff and visiting colleagues. The space is designed for communication, even down to the finishes. Large and small meeting rooms and focus rooms, as well as casual, interactive gathering spaces with comfortable seating are equipped with wall-mounted monitors with Zoom/PC/Solstice technology, touch screens, dry erase boards, and glass boards. Casual gathering spaces, each uniquely configured with comfortable seating, inspire informal gatherings and conversation. A floor-to-ceiling glass wall provides space for leadership to share facts, highlights, and milestones and for staff to post updates of all kinds. These visible spaces keep alive a stream of conversation and communication, which builds rapport and enhances creativity and collaborative work.