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I had the pleasure of going to a lovely networking event this evening. Okay, maybe it wasn’t lovely, but it was a nice event – as those things go. Free wine, good food, friendly faces, new contacts. No complaints. Well, except for one.

As I approached the building, I could hear a low roar coming from inside. I thought to myself, “Wow, it’s either really crowded in there, or it was very poorly designed.” (Yes, I actually do have thoughts like that. I’m not exactly sure what that says about me. Uh, let’s not go there right now.)

Anyway, I was right – on both accounts. It was a well attended event with quite a few people. But as I entered the octagonal space – maybe 25 feet in diameter with a 25 foot ceiling, I immediately saw the problem. It had a huge volume of space with hard surfaces everywhere – no carpet, no cushy furniture, no sound absorbing material anywhere.

Aesthetically, it looked perfectly well designed. The travertine flooring, the wood beamed ceiling, the granite bar top, the giant windows – all very attractive. I’m sure that if there hadn’t been any people in there, you wouldn’t even have noticed the architect’s and designer’s mistakes.

But there were people in there – just the way the space was intended to be used. Unfortunately, the design professionals forgot to take all these talking, walking, noisy people into consideration when they chose the design of this space. Hmmmm… pity. It could have been such a lovely place for our networking event.

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