Lofty Spaces Foster Creativity

According to, Grey and/or DraftFCB could rule the ad world if they moved into a cool, funky, open-air space.

A recent study at the University of Minnesota suggests that ceiling height affects problem-solving skills and behavior by priming concepts that encourage certain kinds of brain processing.
“Priming means a concept gets activated in a person’s head,” researcher Joan Meyers-Levy told LiveScience. “When people are in a room with a high ceiling, they activate the idea of freedom. In a low-ceilinged room, they activate more constrained, confined concepts.”
Meyers-Levy and Zhu will publish their results this August in the Journal of Consumer Research. But Meyers-Levy thinks her study has wide-reaching applications outside the marketplace.
“Managers should want noticeably higher ceilings for thinking of bold initiatives. The technicians and accountants might want low ceilings.”

Actually, I’m one of those people that believes the particulars of an agency’s office space influence everything–overtly and subtly. What do you think?

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. I’ve gotten nausea from the office design and lighting in some agencies. Someone has to tell these people that cubicles, low, tiled ceilings and mauve colored office furniture is a creativity killer.

  2. I know I don’t want to be in a corporate holding pen, a.k.a. cube, ever again. At the same time, some great agencies like Goodby put people in cubes. So, never say never.
    From my perspective, drop ceilings are even more offensive. So any agency with drop ceilings and