When more than half a dozen people work in the same place, it is essential that they not be forced to work in one huge undifferentiated space, but that instead, they can divide their workspace up, and so form smaller groups.


Break institutions into small, spatially identifiable work groups, with less than half a dozen people in each. Arrange these work groups so that each person is in at least partial view of the other members of their own group; and arrange several groups in such a way that they share a common entrance, food, office equipment, drinking fountains, bathrooms.

… within the workspace of an institution - Self-Governing Workshops and Offices (80), Flexible Office Space (146), there need to be still further subdivisions. Above all, as this pattern shows, it is essential that the smallest human working groups each have their own physical space.

Lay the workgroups out with respect to each other so that the distances between groups is within the constraints of Office Connections (82), and give each group office space which leaves room to expand and to contract - Flexible Office Space (146); provide a common area, either for the group itself or for several groups together or both - Common Areas at the Heart (129). Treat each small work group, in every kind of industry and office, as a place of learning - Master and Apprentices (83). Give it its own stair, directly to the street - Open Stairs (158). Arrange the individual workspaces within the small work group according to Half-Private Office (152) and Workspace Enclosure (183)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 701high-confidence