Creative workplace: instrumental and symbolic support for creativity

Yuri Martens (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, London, UK)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Publication date: 1 February 2011



The purpose of this paper is to gain insight into the relationship between the physical workplace and creativity.


The paper summarises literature from business management, psychology, environmental psychology and facility management to define creativity, creative process and determinants of creativity, and their subsequent relations with the physical workplace. It describes a set of interviews with creative professionals on their understanding of the creative workplace.


The review of the literature reveals knowledge gaps and fragmentation in research about the relation between creativity and the physical workplace. The interviews provide further insight into the relationship between creativity and the physical workplace, showing its plurality and complexity.


Most of the literature about creativity and physical workplace reports on supporting communication. Creativity research is broad and recognises culture, process and activities as creative thinking and moments of insight, which can be supported with the physical workplace.



Martens, Y. (2011), "Creative workplace: instrumental and symbolic support for creativity", Facilities, Vol. 29 No. 1/2, pp. 63-79.

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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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