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The collaborative work environment has become a mainstay in many offices across the country. While some tenants rave about the large, open spaces, flexible furniture arrangements, and sense of creativity it fosters, others are screaming for peace and quiet.

Earles Architects and Associate’s Ermin, Joan and Mark created a custom nickle backsplash for one of EAA’s clients, a trading firm with headquarters in Chicago’s Loop. See how it was made below. More pictures to come when it is installed permanently.

Want to encourage collaboration? Whether building new or retrofitting, it’s easy to create collaborative spaces into today’s offices with smart space planning and innovative products. Try these tips from our designers: Think flexible and impromptu. Collaboration is both impromptu and planned. Moveable furniture and room dividers create different spaces for different occasions. Create multiple spaces…

Collaborative space—a common buzz word these days. What’s the latest from tech companies who were a driving force of this movement? We’re finding a wide spectrum: Tech companies that places a high emphasis on collaborative areas. They want open and closed settings that can fit 2 to 20 people, plus small huddle and video conferencing…

What are the top things tech companies want in their space? Give us cool space, but also make sure it will showcase our company—from the front entrance—and give us the functionality we need. That’s what we’re hearing from clients. Consider these ideas: Branding—can take the form of a unique door entrance or a bold show of…