UBS, India

UBS, India

I recently visited Mumbai, India to talk to architects and designers about the impact that Design Thinking and Agile PM is having on workspace. What is amazing about this place is the scale, the chaos and the clear direction to lead the world in knowledge work.

From a physical perspective they are still a way behind Australia, but it was pleasing to see how quickly they brought into the ideas behind mobile work walls as an essential element on open plans where Agile methodology is used and these are both trends in the large campuses of India.

UBS and their designers chose the Y? System with e3 Ceramic (powder coated to suit their décor) for a trial space to support their efforts to become more collaborative.

Using the Y? System for their scrums was a key business requirement because it enabled property costs to optimised and the product was adaptable.

With benefits validated we expect future growth for this iconic product.

More on our Y? System >>

How to choose visual management tools

How to choose visual management tools

When it comes to choosing visual management tools it’s the little things that matter most.

When making your next purchase decision on how to support your visual management needs, please remember that effectiveness trumps efficiency.

The benefits of effectiveness are up to 7 times higher than the benefits of efficiency.

Visual ManagementEfficiency refers to how much do I need to pay to get the basic functionality. For example I need a writing surface that is 2m high x 6m across. I could do this with a number of products from whiteboard paint through to tempered glass walls all having a different price.

Effectiveness on the other hand will talk to things such as user experience – ease of writing, cleaning and capture – and the better the experience the happier your employees and more useful the purchase becomes.

So, like so many things that have used the Iceberg as an analogy, the same is true with your choice of work walls – the benefits of effectiveness are up to 7 times greater than the benefits of efficiency

I witnessed this in a fit out in Singapore where the walls were painted with whiteboard paint to be used for Scrums. The users didn’t embrace the walls because of the difficulty in cleaning so their adoption of Agile PM stalled.

Who knows if that meant a whole lot of lost opportunity but I would back effectiveness every time?

So how do you choose the best visual management tools for your organisation? Here are three things to understand and consider:

  1. How different writing surfaces perform over time.
  2. The small things matter disproportionally to user experience.
  3. The intersection of workspace, process and people is where you really make BIG gains.

If you want to know more about designing for effectiveness in an Agile world, call Vince Asdagi on 0414 831 894.

Herman Miller Caper: Why pay more than you need to?

Herman Miller Caper: Why pay more than you need to?

Herman Miller Caper and Mingle are so similar it’s actually hard to tell them apart… so why would you pay more?

Herman Miller Caper
To the left is an image of a Herman Miller Caper chair.

It is stackable, made from durable steel and polypropelene, has castors for good mobility, an ergonomic back support, and is available with or without arms.

The Herman Miller Caper chair is available from $400 RRP.


And to the right is an image of the Mingle chair by Collaborative Design Space.

It also is stackable, made from durable steel and polypropelene, has castors for good mobility, an ergonomic back support, and is available with or without arms.

But in addition, the Mingle chair has a sculptured upholstered seat, is ultra light (marginally more than many laptops) and much more cost effective!

The Mingle chair is available from $170 RRP.

Stacking castor chairsAnd when buying 20 or more Mingle chairs, we provide a free lightweight trolly (shown here) to stack and store 20 chairs at a time.

Request a quote here >>

Buy online now >>

Mingle chairs are used by the following successful companies:

JLL    UTS BS    Printvodafone             Gilbert + Tobin    electronic_arts

3 things to steal from Agile working.

In the continuous search for competitive edge, new organisational designs that are being explored, implemented and challenged.  What’s interesting is most of these aim to put more control in user-defined groups that are more or less self-directed and challenge the notion of hierarchy.

Agile innovation is one such approach.  It has traditionally been associated with the information technology and software industries but many organisations are now looking to see if the increased success rates in software development, improved quality and speed to market can be translated into other functional areas. Can agile values, principles, practices and methods be used and work outside of IT.?

Bain & Co, a consultancy, recently completed a study to look at the conditions needed for agile working to have the best chance of driving widespread value.

Market Environment

Customer preferences and solution
options change frequently.

Close collaboration and rapid feedback
are feasible.

Market conditions are stable and predictable.

Requirements are clear at the outset and will remain stable

Customers know better what they
want as the process progresses.
Customers are unavailable for constant collaboration.

Innovation Type
Problems are complex, solutions are unknown, and the scope isn’t clearly

defined. Product specifications may
change. Creative breakthroughs and
time to market are important.

Cross-functional collaboration is vital.

Similar work has been done before, and innovators believe the solutions are clear. Detailed specifications and work plans can
be forecast with confidence and should be adhered to. Problems can be solved sequentially in functional silos.

of Work

Incremental developments have value,
and customers can use them.Work can be broken into parts and
conducted in rapid, iterative cycles.Late changes are manageable.

Customers cannot start testing parts of the product until everything is complete.

Late changes are expensive or impossible.

Impact of Interim Mistakes They provide valuable learning. They may be catastrophic.

Source: Bain & Company “Embracing Agile” HBR May 2016 © HBR.ORG

So you have some favourable conditions for Agile?  If so what is easily accessible that you can take from it?

1/ Embrace Kanban

Let’s begin with the Kanban board. As a part of our work we often roam the floors of the latest offices of blue chip organisations, late at night.  You can tall a lot about a company walking around their offices at night.

One of the first things that you notice in brand new ABW environments is just how fast a new norm of completely clear / paperless is established.  It’s strange to walk around a floor occupied by 100 people and see absolutely no sign of them.   Desks are completely clear.

But the walls aren’t.  Who they are and what they are up to is all on the whiteboards.  In the case of one of our largest clients, the project based ‘neighbourhoods’ are punctuated by Kanban boards.  These are mobile whiteboards that have elaborate Gantt charts, post it note cluster diagrams and histograms and status column diagrams.  They are a work of art.  They are also a focal point for  common purpose.

In agile software development, an information radiator is a (normally large) physical display located prominently near the development team, where passers-by can see it. It presents an up-to-date summary of the product development status.

Newer office designs are increasingly project based and co-located ‘neighbourhoods’.  These areas may have a clear desk policy but it makes great sense for teams working in many functional and project roles to embrace the idea of the Kanban board.  A collective effort to display the facts, numbers and storyboard for the work of the team.  Embrace craft in the electronic age.

2/ Scrum Down

The idea of stand up meetings around mobile work walls is expanding beyond IT.  There are obvious productivity benefits in not having to book rooms in standard 30 minute of 1 hr slots.  Spontaneous stand up meetings are a great way to foster creativity and engagement.  A welcome break from the enclosed stuffy room where everyone sits around a rectangular table nodding off to a powerpoint presentation.

3/ Face to Face  

Agile working advocates co-location of cross functional teams.  While IT and software is largely electronic, agile is all about face to face interaction. The big take away here is to invest in face to face meetings strategically,  and have an abundance of environments that encourage spontaneity and movement.

Collaborative Design Space was founded to help make these kinds of spaces.  Co-design is best done in big groups using a big canvas.  Spontaneity is achieved when two people can noodle over a whiteboard in the office just as easily as on a napkin at lunch.


Agile working, like design thinking, has a great deal to offer teams everywhere. Getting teams to create a very large infographic on the shared mission within the team is a great way to engage and make otherwise anonymous space align to the purpose of the team occupying it. Stand up meetings around a shared view of information saves time and encourages presence. Face to face is the only way to get some challenges overcome, opportunities realised and relationships forged.


How to create truly effective working environments.

How to create truly effective working environments.

Collaborative and innovative working spaces increase productivity and creativity, improve learning outcomes and foster innovation.

Better Spaces. Better Outcomes.

  • Collaborative Design Space will help you maximise your client’s space. We’ll work with you to strategically plan the most effective workspace solutions using the world’s best mobile work walls (large interconnecting whiteboards), comfortable, light, caster stacking chairs and organic table systems.

The collaborative workspace difference

  • Specialist unique collaborative furniture
  • Highly flexible and adaptable
  • Abundant vertical writing and display surfaces
  • Dynamic space partitioning
  • Mobile, reconfigurable and stackable enabling multi – purpose use
  • Ideal for innovation hubs and collaborative spaces

Make multi purpose space even more functional

Create semi private meeting spaces within open plan office areas

Think outside the square with organic table systems – shake up a boardroom

Create adaptable traditional meeting rooms / unplugged rooms – recapture presence

Who we work with

Architects, Interior designers, FM & fit out organisations including:


Create more value for your clients

The office of the past was just a place to work. Today it’s also place to gather, create and collaborate. The right design helps spark better innovation and increase creativity. Help your clients support staff behaviour change by introducing new ways of working – with our collaborative furniture.

Explore what truly collaborative space can look like Enquire now

An Introduction To Work Walls

An Introduction To Work Walls

Once you’ve experienced the flexibility, effectiveness and style of a work wall system you’ll never purchase another whiteboard.

[otw_shortcode_info_box border_type=”border-top-bottom” border_style=”bordered” border_color=”#F36C24″ background_color=”#F36C24″]What is a work wall? In many business and learning environments the need of a writing board, projection screen, and large format visual display still exists. Combine these needs with an interconnecting, flexible mobile partition and you have a work wall.[/otw_shortcode_info_box]

Until recently, work walls have been a specialist product found only at large management consulting organisations or at high profile meetings such as at the World Economic Forum. They have been big, heavy, hard to store and very expensive. Our mission has been to change that and bring the benefits of this way of working to a much wider audience.


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Because of their multi purpose function, work walls are at the core of a good collaborative space design. Work walls provide a grand canvas for collaborative thinking, as well create flexible spaces that move and adapt – from 1-to-1 conversation, right through to large scale discussion on complex projects.

We believe that the mobility and flexibilty of work walls support a whole range of collaborative behaviours, for example sharing information, open conversation and the respect of individual perspective.

Collaborative Design Space source work walls from the world’s leading suppliers and we also design and create our own.

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whiteboards whiteboards

*Ceramic steel is the world’s most popular marker surface. It is produced by baking glass particles at 8000 degrees creating a vitreous enamel coating. It won’t scratch, stain or fade. It’s also stronger, delivering unmatched erasability and a consistently smooth writing experience. more >>