Apple’s spaceship campus was designed to promote collaboration

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What the finished product will look like.
Apple's new campus is all about cross-pollination between departments.
Photo: Apple

Steve Jobs was a big believer in great ideas coming from serendipitous interactions. So it’s no surprise that this concept was a central part of the design brief for Apple’s forthcoming “Spaceship” campus — one of the last projects Steve was actively involved with at Apple.

In a new (rare) interview with Phil Schiller, Apple’s Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing talks about the importance of collaboration, and how Apple’s new 13,000-person campus will help further that goal, despite its massive size.

Mashable editor Lance Ulanoff writes:

“The 2.8-million-square-foot building is a circle with a giant quad in the center. It’s hard to imagine how employees will get around it, let alone collaborate as they’ve been doing for decades at One Infinite Loop.

What, I wondered, would happen if one team was seated on one side of the circle and another all the way on the other side? Would collaboration suffer?

“Quite the opposite,” Schiller said. ‘The design of the new campus has been all about fostering collaboration.'”

According to Schiller, “[E]verything about [the new HQ] is designed for [collaboration]. From the fact that, on the ring, the internal and external surface of the ring are the hallways, and they completely traverse the space. So you can walk through the entire space, both on the inside and outside perimeter and go from section to section.”

Schiller also points to the open quad and wide staircases, as well as “large open spaces” between employee seating areas, which will become communal space. “This is going to be the most incredible collaborative space that’s been created,” he says.

Despite being infamous for not listening to anyone during his initial stint at Apple, Jobs embraced collaboration while at NeXT and Pixar. This was a concept he brought back to Apple for his ultra-successful run from 1997 to 2011. Disney president Ed Catmull has recalled how, “Steve was a big believer in the power of accidental mingling; he knew that creativity was not a solitary endeavor.”

Perhaps another reason why the new HQ should be called the Steve Jobs Campus?

Source: Mashable