Creating effective space is divining a compromise between your purpose with the space and what the space puts forth. The reflection of your purpose in the space should manifest according to your wishes, but must be tempered within the domain of the space.

It so follows that most rules are common sense in accordance with ones wishes for the space. That is to say, form follows function. But the form as an aesthetic mean does not suffer for this any more than a sculptor suffers from the veins and swirls of marble. Rather, they are the medium of one's work. Ideally, one chooses a space to match one's intent. But once the space is chosen, it becomes the working means of the occupants and a reflection of their intent.

In order to make an effective environment, one has to understand the space one is in and the purpose of its structures and their relation to one's intent.

For a work environment, the structure is generally dynamic, aimed at specific ends. The space should support a busy environment not only by giving infrastructure by which business may be carried out, but also at optimizing individual and group productivity towards these ends. If a space is too noisy, business suffers in that everyone will need to deal with additional distraction as well as raise their own volume, exacerbating the problem. A work environment must support aim of intent as well as stability in order that dynamism does not go out of control.

To this end one wishes to best use the supporting space as a platform for infrastructure and also to minimize chaos so to heighten efficiency. In order to maintain a dynamic work environment, constant maintainence of the space is necessary so that entropy does not win locally. The space reflects the occupants and the occupants reflect the space -- they are mutually-supporting. If the space suffers, productivity suffers, often in a feedback loop. This constant polish lends to a space the professional look that reflects good business.

Space is a commodity, beyond the extent of scheduling conference rooms. In order to make effective use of one's environment, one must plan space so as best to support one's intention. Space planning is the interaction of the working environment with one's commodities, both inanimate and living. It is to say space reflects the organization as to say space is the organization in the physical plane.

One common mistake in planning an environment is to not leave spaces where spontaneous activity can occur. Both in the workplace and in the household, a dynamic environment will generate activities that require unanticipated working room. This can be anything from having space on one's desk to put a sketchpad to capture a fleeting idea to a separate room that may be easily repurposed to house a newly created group seen to be vital to a company's needs. Creating a vacuum of unused space instead of trying to maximize occupancy supports spontaneous creative endeavors and will make a dramatic difference in perception of a space as well-filled instead of too-filled.

One common mistake in making use of an evironment is to use items with cross-purpose to their intent. It may be convenient to make use of a stove as a table when nothing is cooking, but then one has invalidated the use of the stove. To use the stove, one must first repurpose it, by moving whatever is on it to whatever destination it is bound.

In order to set up an active space such that it may be maintained, one must establish a workflow. The workflow should be designed such that tasks pass through it as simply as possible without being blocked. If I seek to wash my dishes and find the sink full of dirty dishes, several negative messages are inherent. In order to do my dishes, I must first wash the existing dishes, then time and effort is extracted from me through no fault of my own. It occurs to me that I could add my dishes to the existing load. Then the blockage will be worsened.

It follows that maintainence should be carried out expediently such that a smooth overall workflow be maintained. While few actively enjoy chores, most take some satisfaction in knowing that their space is polished and chores are not piling up and distracting their thoughts from work. Constant expedient maintainence has the added benefit of reducing the ephemeral accumulation of clutter (dishes, garbage, books not put away) and thereby cuts the psychic chaos of a space. Ephemeral piles of clutter by justification give rise to less ephemeral clutter. In the end, it is the same amount of work to keep a space in top shape as it is to bring it back from the grip of entropy after neglect. Constant maintainence shows that you respect a space and what it reflects in you; it allows you to always be in a polished place; it encourages deep relaxation when the day is done for it is nice to settle into a well-kept space without looking about and seeing chores that need doing in the surroundings.

Most of the rules for arranging space come from the twinning of practical purpose with the psychic extension of that purpose. Cords should be tucked away not only because they look chaotic but also because they get in the way and can be tripped over. Don't keep items on top of other items that you need access to. Keep items needed together together. Keep items needed in a particular place as close to that place as convenience justifies. Items at cross-purposes should not be directly juxtaposed.

Space should be used simply within the intent of the user. Simple space not only lends a feeling of calmness to its organization, but is also cost effective, generally lower maintainence, and facilitates more open space, both physically and psychologically. Decorations may bring life into a space with considerate selection and placement, but the role of a decoration in accordance with its placement should be considered. Decorations should not be disruptive to the workflow of a space nor to its occupants. Luxuries, such as carpetting, drop ceiling, and cubicle walls, generally obscure a space rather than highlight it and such dressings also require maintainence.

Locations needing access should be kept accessible. They should not be behind things or concealed by things unless access should be difficult or unadvertised. One should not have to meander through rows of people, pardoning one's self on the way, to follow accessible paths. One should not have to invade another's personal space or work area to get what one desires. Don't put things that require access behind people. One should not have to step over or around items in order to navigate a space. Objects should be kept out of paths of navigation and should not be left there even temporarily. Keeping navigation obvious and uncluttered gives occupants an ease of flow through the space and might otherwise improve their moods.

The way to parcel a space into subdomains is to match the needs of the occupants with what portions of the space have to offer. The kitchen is for the serving and storing of food. A large floor may become a bustling office filled with desks. If the intent projected by the space tempered with your designs is clear, this will clarify and guide its use. A cloakroom is an advantage for a sizeable office, for no longer do occupants have to keep their coats at their desks, as they have nothing to do with the work desired to be accomplished.

When considering a space, it is prudent to ask what the purpose is of its dressings. Windows let in light and ventilate air as well as providing a glimpse of the outside world. Doors serve as barriers and delimeters of one space from another. Putting objects that obstruct doors and windows destroys their purpose and is an unwise use of space. Doors are portals to a space. They should not be always open as it makes ambiguous their adjoined spaces. If one finds that it is always desirable to have a door open then it is better to unmount the door than to have an extraneous dressing always clutter the space. Space is saved, for where previously one had to take care that objects were not in the door's opening path, now this is no longer a concern, and the door itself is gone. Blocking doors and windows in dreams represents avoiding the world at large. This purpose is reflected in the waking activity as well.

Furnishings should be installed to accentuate and make effective use of the space. Objects should be placed to take advantage of the flow of the environment with attention to inherent contours and shapes. Furshings should be sturdy, not rickety, as it is distracting to work on an unstable desk and brings a sense of instablity to one's work. Cheaply made furniture is rarely cost effective in the long run and says nothing positive for short term progress. Dead spaces should not be created in the placement of furniture, such as by putting a table diagonally in against a corner, unless the lost space is made living, such as by placement of a lamp that keeps with one's intent for that corner.

Carefully consider the neccessity of storage spaces. Storage space is essentially dead space. The prupose of a storage space is to pack as much in as tightly as possible, with the caveat that items may need to be retrieved. Storage spaces contain items that are not welcome and have no place in the space at large, such is their worth. Minimize what needs to be stored. Storing unused items in a corner, where by addition of items the pile may creep indefinately into adjacent areas, infects the space and is the worst option.

Even the smallest space can accomodate a great deal of furnishings if they are well arranged to compliment the space. But the more clutter becomes part of a space, the more diligent maintainence has to be. Clutter is not the same as simply having many things in a space. But having many things in a space raises both the possibility and the perception of clutter if the space is not immaculately kept.

Don't be afraid to innovate and build out the space to your intentions. The space is yours but it is something of itselt as well. A well thought-out space can help people feel at once at home, a participant of the organization, and a private individual. Feeling supported in this way, people will work more happily and productively. People are implicitly aware of the strong role environment plays in their activities, and the rules herein set down are largely matters of common sense. The only thing a text such as this can accomplish is to raise the concious awareness of these principals so that people become more enthused in bettering their collective space as an aspect of furthering their collective intent.