The small cubicles do nothing for your creative capacity. Communal environments such as conference rooms where there is a door so that the group can concentrate helps. I can remember working in a bull pen with others that were not part of your project it was a very disruptive environment. When our cross-functional team got together to work we always sequestered ourselves in a conference room where we would collaborate for hours.
New York City-based think tank and fabrication laboratory Collab is founded on a simple premise: Creative people work better when they’re in proximity to one another. The lab, located in a 5,500-square-foot loft near the Holland Tunnel, serves a rotating membership of designers, architects, scientists, and engineers—and is home to some really cool toys.
Collab members have full access to an advanced 3-D printer, a laser cutter, an industrial sewing machine, fully operational wood shops, and model-making studios, among other great tools (that would never fit in most New York apartments). Cofounder Adina Levin calls it “an interesting community of people that come together in a space and work on their own endeavors and collectively work on projects together.” Members have access to the space 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and are encouraged to work on interdisciplinary projects.