From offices and schools to restaurants and transit stations, most of us inhabit dozens of shared spaces every day without giving them much thought.
They’re functional places, usually built to accomplish a single purpose.
But what if a space could also change how you feel? What if it could make you happier, healthier or more productive? What if it could alter your behavior in positive ways, just through its design?
A new breed of architects, designers, urban planners and other creative types are reimagining the shared spaces we encounter each day. In their hands, hospitals are becoming more welcoming places that may help patients heal faster. Empty city lots are being transformed into homey public hangouts. Drab offices are becoming playful workspaces that foster creativity and collaboration.
All make you want to linger for a while, perhaps without even knowing why.
As part of our continuing focus on innovation, CNN is showcasing 10 examples of shared spaces – from airports to playgrounds to an experimental village for the homeless – being reborn through inventive design.
These diverse projects all aspire to be more than just passive spaces. They want to improve the lives of those who occupy them. We hope they do.



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