Thursday, March 27, 2008

Innovation Spaces

A hot topic these days amongst managers in the Design business is whether a specially designed workspace can facilitate more creative thinking and thus more innovative designs. Case studies of IDEO and the like make people think this is the case.

The assumption is that traditional wisdom about workplaces measures only worker efficiency, economy of construction, maintenance, and similar factors that are easy for MBA managers to optimize. Creativity, Good Design, and Innovation cannot be quantified in a spreadsheet, so perhaps environment is the key.

23 years ago, I read this fascinating article.

The article cites some research that proved that changing conditions of a workplace does not have any real effect, and that while a poor environment can have negative effects, a good environment won't cause whatever it is you want {efficiency, creativity, etc}

Something to consider if you think throwing some money into a fun space is going to revolutionize your products and somehow make you the next Apple. My employer tried that. It doesn't work. :-)

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