Departments and public services don’t work if they are too large. When they are large, their human qualities vanish; they become bureaucratic; red tape takes over.


In any institution whose departments provide public service:

  1. Make each service or department autonomous as far as possible.
  2. Allow no one service more than 12 staff members total.
  3. House each one in an identifiable piece of the building.
  4. Give each one direct access to a public thoroughfare.

… all offices which provide service to the public - Work Community (41), University as a Marketplace (43), Local Town Hall (44),Health Center (47), Teenage Society (84) need subsidiary departments, where the members of the public go. And of course, piecemeal development of these small departments, one department at a time, can also help to generate these larger patterns gradually.

Arrange these departments in space, according to the prescription of - Office Connections (82) and Building Complex (95); if the public thoroughfare is indoors, make it a Building Thoroughfare (101), and make the fronts of the services visible as a Family of Entrances (102); wherever the services are in any way connected to the political life of the community, mix them with ad hoc groups created by the citizens or users Necklace of Community Projects (45); arrange the inside space of the department according to Flexible Office Space (146); and provide rooms where people can team up in two’s and three’s - Small Work Groups (148)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 404medium-confidence