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Community zones are the social hubs for IBM team members to unwind, reset and converse. The spaces can accommodate spontaneous or planned events that are intended to inspire and support the creative process while building relationships with teammates. The reference images and guidance here are a kit of parts designed to meet a variety of project needs. The goal is to maintain a cohesive experience for our team members and guests.


Signature moments

Community zones are centrally located. They can house events, programs and light refreshments to spontaneously bring team members together. The central purpose of this zone is to provide a sharp contrast with the work areas and support the freedom to have a change of pace within the workday.

Finish palette

For Community zones, bolder patterns can be featured on surfaces, including area rugs and furniture upholstery.

IBM workplace Community zone finish palette

Color strategy

As a backdrop to the collaboration and co-creation activities with clients that happen in Collaboration zones, a wider color palette should be used with restraint and for specific emphasis. Although we lead with blue in the Welcome zone, a richer spectrum of accent colors across architectural finishes, furniture and textiles in the Community zones can help fuel active, creative interactions.

Community zones can incorporate more color and pattern to imply enhanced social activity. A broader spectrum of accent colors in textiles, finishes and graphics reinforces our sense of diversity and underscores inclusion within our Be Equal® program.

large artwork on Community zone wall
enclosed Community zone with feature lighting
array of side chairs in 12 colors
slat wood partition painted in Be Equal® palette colors

Brand expression

Connect zones cover a broad spectrum of space types, from more formal, enclosed spaces, to open co-creation workspaces, where clients and IBM employees can innovate together. Calibrate the brand expression to fit these varied environments. For example, the formal space may use less overt brand elements, such as texture and pattern, but consider more playful, expressive elements to energize the co-creation environment.

These communal spaces are ideal locations to reinforce IBM’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Be Equal is an internal and external program designed by IBM to expand, enable and ensure equality for everyone. Be Equal can be expressed in the environment in a variety of ways, both large and small. We invite IBM employees and clients to make their own pledge of commitment within the program.

Other elements can also complement Community zones, such as our iconic Think® identity, typographic patterns or rebus symbol. Learn more about environmental elements and branding.

Bristol kitchen featuring Be Equal® pledge wall
IBM Be Equal® poster on wood feature wall
neon wall art featuring IBM rebus
Community zone room with tables, chairs and booth seating
3-D Think® logo sculpture installed on wood wall
IBM rebus distraction pattern on glass wall
IBM rebus on four different background colors
blue slat partition
custom brass wall art


The environment should offer a broad range of seating. Choose furniture that invites a variety of engagement opportunities. For example, mix intimate settings, such as banquettes or booths, alongside more open conversation-supporting furniture, such as sofas, benches and lounge chairs.

casual seating alcove with nature wall
detail of nature wall
modern metal mesh chair
side chairs in 12 colors
chairs of different heights and colors

Flooring and ceiling

Concrete flooring is appropriate for the Play zone. Care should be used to provide an appropriate floor surface for the activity of the space. The use of specialty felt ceiling systems or open ceilings can be used to help define this zone.

The lighting in the Play zone should complement the ceiling elements in this space. A combination of linear fixtures and downlights should work to illuminate special Play zone features and game activities. Decorative pendants should be suspended over the bar-height counters.

perforated metal ceiling with spot lights
pantry area with counter-height stools
colorful chairs at table in Community zone
linear lights integrated with felt ceiling
wood walls with perforated ceiling
wood slat wall and ceiling with integrated linear lighting
casual seating in meeting room
kitchen area with pendant lights over countertop
linear pendant lights under open ceiling