Creative Tech and Creative Arts in the workplace

A Conversation with Aneta Popiel, Workspace as a service Manager at HB Reavis.

Posted by [Pauline Roussel] on Wednesday, August 19, 2020
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Aneta Popiel works for HB Reavis, an international real estate developer, and has experience with traditional coworking spaces. She is passionate about coworking and will be sharing her views on what she thinks could be done to transform the experience in coworking spaces. Her presentation will touch upon some of the things her company has implemented, but it will mainly focus on her personal views and aspirations for coworking spaces.

An Introduction to Creative Arts in the Workplace

Aneta Popiel is discussing the importance of combining creative technology and art. She believes that artists and scientists are not so different in their approach to problem-solving, with both displaying open-mindedness and a willingness to take leaps rather than incremental steps. The scientist’s laboratory and the artist’s studio are two of the few remaining places for open-ended inquiry, where failure is embraced as part of the learning process. Aneta believes that bringing together art, design, science, and technology to combine computer codes with traditional artistic techniques creates a new space for multidisciplinary hybrid exploration, which can lead to new ways of thinking and perceiving life itself.

This phenomenon is not new, as it harks back to the Renaissance, which placed knowledge at the heart of value creation. The Renaissance was a time when painters, sculptors, and other artists collaborated with architects, mathematicians, engineers, anatomists, and other scientists in the workshops of artisans and craftsmen, who were supported by wealthy patrons. These Renaissance communities generated aesthetic and expressive experiences while also addressing social and economic values, resulting in revolutionary ways of thinking, designing, and delivering new products and services. While the sophistication of science has increased since the Renaissance, the symbiosis between artists and scientists, and the weaving of cross-disciplinary exploration into various studio practices, are experiencing a new renaissance

Today, collaborations involving a wide range of artists, scientists, makers, and engineers who use exponential technologies to stimulate creative thinking and design innovation are becoming popular not only in creative industries but also in food tech, healthtech, medtech, retail, consumer marketing, and more.

From large companies to coworking spaces. How to?

Aneta then discusses how companies like Disney, Nike, Apple, and Virgin have shown that arts and design can significantly increase sales and customer loyalty by creating memorable experiences. 

She notes the importance of artists and animators in creating this experience economy and how technology needs grounding in human psychology and the arts. In her talk, she lists various technologies that respond to customer experience expectations, including immersive entertainment, AR, VR, and seamless service. She also mentions the use of 3D printers to create touchless door handle levers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aneta emphasizes the importance of providing facilities and amenities for artists and scientists in coworking spaces, including digital workshops and flexible spaces with less natural light and limited lighting conditions.

Her presentation then moves on emphasizing the importance of connecting creatives with other industries to unlock potential value and alternative problem-solving approaches. It highlights the need for partnership opportunities and business support beyond just providing space, such as facilitating exhibitions or hackathons to showcase talent and connect creatives with the right partners. Encouraging collaboration between different industries, including universities that bring together creative and technology programs, can lead to innovation and the creation of new solutions.

Working with Creatives

Aneta believes that it’s important to manage creative spaces in coworking areas, but space is not everything for artists. Creatives often lose their spaces to industries that generate more revenue. To unlock the value potential of both creative and tech industries, it’s important to facilitate collaboration between them. 

Creatives need partnership opportunities and business support, not just space. Exhibitions, festivals, and hackathons are some of the ways to facilitate collaboration. Universities are also putting together programs where creatives and technology are joined together to create something new. Scientists and artists are the main groups asking primal questions on how to make our world better. Aneta believes that bridging the best talent we have in both the quantitative and qualitative domains can help find new products and solutions to tackle important issues. Artists help bring the community front and center and make people care. 

Aneta sees the magic of scientists, mathematicians, tech people, and creative people collaborating at the Burning Man festival. The aesthetics of art can bridge those two groups together to show something more, question things, and answer certain things.

More Creative Experiences in The Workplace

Incorporating art into a workspace can improve people’s productivity and creativity. Aneta mentions that their company has a user experience team that uses art and inspiration as a tool to attract people to work. She explains that every building should have some sort of art content, whether it is a sculpture, a painting, or something else. She also mentions that art can be incorporated in different ways, such as for inspiration, movement, common mind, and identity. The speaker highlights their company’s practice of partnering with local artists to create a more enjoyable and inviting office environment.

“I think that there is more to be done in the workplace when it comes to Art. And this is coming from my passions around this subject, because to me, art can only stimulate you if you are the participator. So for me, that’s why this is so important that it’s not just a static art, but is a part of the space. It should be something that I can participate, that I can feel, that I can get my hands dirty or I can brainstorm with some guys and write a program that helps this to to change constantly because artists and creatives rely on this continuing stimulus and you have this kind of different feeling.”