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The Impact of Space on Innovation Teams

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Thinking in Potsdam Design thinking is an approach addressing wicked
problems in the age of disruption. A flexible working environment enables the
ability of teams to innovate, create and design. This paper outlines the impact
of space on the team wellbeing and performance as an outcome of the
interaction of team members with their environment. The pilot study used a
multi-method approach. It includes qualitative interviews with facilitators of
design processes and non-participatory observations of innovation teams in
design workshops while they set up and interacted with their team spaces.
The results indicate that conducting innovation workshops outside the usual
corporate environment in an atmosphere that is rather perceived as selfmade
than perfectly designed is very beneficial. Further promoting factors
include: access to raw material for prototyping, the spatial division between
different teams, the possibility to use walls as presentation surfaces and
flexible furniture. The opportunity to create the own team space proves
highly beneficial for innovation teams. However, evidence was found that
more advanced design thinkers showed a higher iterative interaction with
their environment throughout the process. The authors conclude that there is
a need for teams to develop a core competence in terms of creating,
adapting, iterating and evolving the innovation space due to the team’s
changing needs throughout the process.


PUBLISHED: Proceedings from the The 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference, 2014


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