We are happy and humbled to receive the 'Festival State Award' at the Adelaide Creative Community Hub competition, commissioned by Bee Breeders and the SA Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. Our design was informed by the 'self-determination theory' (SDT). The perceptual elements of the form of the building were intended to strike a balance between simplicity and complexity to inspire creative thinking. The motif was a result of imagining neurons firing inside the brain, making connections to enlighten people and bringing to surface their creative impulses.
SDT is a motivation theory that has been under development for over 40 years, pioneered by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan and has been advanced in a cumulative, research-driven manner, as new ideas have been naturally and steadily integrated into the theory following sufficient empirical support, which has helped SDT maintain its internal consistency.
SDT has had a wide range of applications including education, healthcare, relationships, psychotherapy, psychopathology, organisations, sports and exercise, goals, health and well-being and the environment.
At the core of the macro-theory of SDT are three universal psychological needs: autonomy, competence and relatedness. Simply put, for psychological well-being to take place, people may need to be doing what they want to do, do it well and make significant connections in the process.
Experience of autonomy, competence and relatedness fosters volition, motivation and engagement, resulting in persistence towards the task-in-hand, and enhanced performance.
Our design is a vital interplay between three functions: public sphere, creative zone, and regeneration realm. They are not standalone segments; rather integrated across the hub to optimise autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
The intent of our design is to give people 1) a sense of autonomy/reduction of judgement by allowing people to ideate, concentrate, collaborate, work, produce, rest, restore, and communicate wherever they see fit. Our design allows for a variety of functions and affects to coexist in harmony. 2) A sense of competence by making environments around the hub: interesting, sufficiently complex, and sufficiently mysterious to encourage people to explore them. 3) A sense of relatedness by encouraging spontaneous and sporadic communication throughout the hub and facilitating meet-ups through strategically placed socialising areas.
Public sphere: a) A main café in the public space outside + a bunch of coffee-machine areas strategically distributed throughout the hub to ‘orchestrate’ serendipitous rendezvous and informal exchange. b) Open space for markets, performances and food stalls. c) Theatre for inspiring lectures, film screenings and performances.
Creation Zone a) Ideation Hub: a separate area with visual aids such as whiteboard walls and TV/monitor; height adjustable table and chairs; wall art; plants; and a treadmill to encourage movements such as walking while discussing if a person so wishes. In the post-Descartes world, we understand that the mind and body are harmoniously one and movement is a natural consequence of being alive. Ideation Hub is an example of integration between functions in our design, in this case, creation and regeneration. b) Common casual breakout spaces for informal collaboration and regenerative loitering adjacent to a coffee machine. These areas will ooze space so they can quickly become a makeshift yoga studio/exercise & stretching area and in the case of performers, a place they can conduct non-verbal collaboration to develop a routine. Some of the breakout spaces may also offer treadmills and no-time-limit-ideation-showers (thanks to recycled water system in the hub?). A group of Australian researchers found showering; exercising; and being-in-nature to be among the most popular ‘locations’ for having an ‘aha!’ moment.
c) General open plan hot-desking area with lockers on each desk: our research revealed that many users in co-working environment feel tied to the desk to protect their precious items. d. Several focus/quiet studios for focused work. These studios will alternate between ‘plants and sunlight’ feel and cave-like essence.
Regeneration Realm a. Respite/meditation/no-wifi space, including sleeping pods. While we imagine most people to use this space to rest and restore, many may choose to rest the brain hoping to access spontaneous thoughts related to a pressing question. Here again, we foresee a marriage between creation and regeneration. b. Body and Brain Gym. This area would hold a traditional gymnasium alongside comfortable seating facilitating ‘brain gym’ to exercise neuronal activity through board games and musical instruments. Ideation might just happen here too, so notepads and other writing aids must be made available in this realm. c. Bathhouse with sauna and showers. d. A Library to be a ‘sponge’.
In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.
Johann Wolfgang von Gothe (1749-1832) | German man of letters