Developments geared towards a thought economy are making completely new demands on us and our capacity for ideas. But how do you create environments that encourage creativity? In the run-up to its involvement in Milan Design Week, Kinnarps has investigated how design and architecture can create the conditions for creativity, and has identified five key factors that the Stockholm and Venice-based designer Luca Nichetto has visualised in an inspiring installation.
We are heading towards a thought economy that makes completely new demands on us. As our work tasks become ever less physical, greater demands are made on our ability to solve problems and think creatively. A survey carried out by opinion research consultants Demoskop for Kinnarps shows that 85 per cent of Swedes feel that their physical work environment affects their performance at work, and particularly their creativity. Back in 2006, researcher Gerald Steiner pointed out that conventional workplaces do not encourage innovative thinking.* Many people are now aware that our physical environment can both stimulate and block our creativity, and workplaces are consequently changing.
The office landscape, which was initially designed to supervise employees, must now make way for work environments that can inspire and challenge them instead. The creative process needs nurturing, and a well designed work environment can provide that energy. Kinnarps has identified five key factors that create the conditions for creativity. They aim at designing environments which make people feel safe to take risks, but also to encourage them to play and be involved.
Together with Stockholm and Venice-based designer Luca Nichetto, Kinnarps has designed an exhibition at La Pelota in the renowned design district of Brera in Milan. The exhibition, which can be visited during Milan Design Week, is named the “Scandinative Workspace” where Scandinative is a play on the terms “Scandinavian” and “creative”.
Visitors will experience a dynamic installation where Luca Nichetto and his design team has visualised Kinnarps’ five key factors; unexpected architectural paths that encourage creativity, risky choices that increase creative individuality, playfulness that neutralises social and hierarchical structures and encourages innovation, and finally informal meeting areas that facilitate the emergence of creative solutions. The goal of the installation, which is built on multiple levels and gives the visitor constantly different perspectives, is to link design and creativity with the work environment in an inspiring and dynamic way.
The setting features walking routes - leading visitors along maze-like paths which constantly change through the use of moving walls. Set up as a conceptual workspace, the installation is characterised by a variety of colours and textures, islands of greenery with trees and plants that divert the visitor in unexpected directions. A boardwalk on two sides of the installation creates a raised path from which one can get an overview of the different types of work spaces. There are areas for playing, concentration, meetings, relaxation and conversation. In the play area, a stretch of water inspired by the many lakes of Sweden picks up the childhood memories of skimming flat stones across the water.
“I really believe in a kind of organic workplace, something that moves and changes depending on the people that are living and working inside the space. There is a growing discomfort with the open plan offices, so in Scandinative Workspace I have visualised an alternative way; an unexpected combination of levels, rooms and paths that make people bump in to each other and start cooking up ideas. I like to think that the workplace is made from different macro and micro communities, a place where people interact and where creativity is encouraged”, says Luca Nichetto.
“We see that companies today increasingly need to create the conditions for innovation and imaginative thinking among their employees, and our work environments play an incredibly important role in this process. To initiate conversations and guide our customers, it was exciting for us to try and identify the constituents that underlie creativity and to visualise them together with Luca Nichetto,” says Paulina Lundström, Market and Communications Director at Kinnarps.
Kinnarps’ five key factors for creativity:
1. Build and change
Give people the power to change their surrounding themselves and create the conditions for free thoughts.
2. Disorient us
Unexpected architectonic solutions encourage creativity.
3. Out on a limb
Creativity flourishes in contexts where people dare to take risks. Why not create spaces that are designed to give its users freedom of failing?
4. Play hard
The whole office doesn’t need to consist of slides and TV games rooms, but areas where people are encouraged to play help to neutralise social and hierarchical structures and create conditions for innovation
5. Ecosystem of ideas
A majority of creative solutions stem from informal meetings. The coffee corner, a place for refreshment with seating areas where many employees gather, is a way to get people to meet spontaneously.
For more information, don’t hesitate to contact:
Ida Gustafsson, Kinnarps AB, firstname.lastname@example.org , +46 515 383 89
Kinnarps is a Swedish interior design company that offers innovative and inspiring total solutions for working environments. Our main office is located in Kinnarp, in the west part of Sweden, where the company was founded in 1942 by Jarl and Evy Andersson. We are still a family owned company that today is the European leader in our industry and are represented in more than 40 countries. Our starting point is sustainability, well-being and profitability for those using the environments we design. Today we offer solutions for different types of workspaces, offices, schools/education and hospitals/health care. We are in control of the entire process, from concept and production to distribution and installation. All to achieve maximum efficiency and top quality with the lowest possible environmental impact. Our more than 70-year tradition has given us solid expertise and experience. We also work continually to analyse what trends will have an impact on the working environments of tomorrow. With our product brands Kinnarps, Drabert, MartinStoll, Materia, Skandiform and NC Nordic Care we offer durable solutions with different expressions. We also have a wide supplementary range of products from a number of renowned partners. Kinnarps has about 2 500 employees and its turnover in 2012/2013 totalled SEK 3.8 billion. The Group conducts progressive and in-depth work to improve the environment and complies with the leading eco-labelling demands. Kinnarps is also certified in accordance with FSC®, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Read more at www.kinnarps.com
ABOUT LUCA NICHETTO
Luca Nichetto was born in 1976 in Venice, where he studied at the Art Institute. Afterwards he attended the University Institute of Architecture of Venice (IUAV), where he earned a degree in Industrial Design. He began his professional career in 1999 by designing his first projects in Murano glass for Salviati. That same year he began his collaboration with Foscarini, for whom he not only designed products, but also worked as a consultant on new materials research and product development (2001–2003). In 2006 he launched his own design firm, Nichetto&Partners, which specializes in industrial design and offers its services as a design consultancy. In 2011 he opened a second practice in Stockholm, Sweden. This is when he began to move beyond the object, reaching to interior design and architecture. Over the course of his career, Nichetto has been awarded a number of international prizes, and he has given numerous lectures and workshops at various universities both in Italy and abroad and was a professor at IUAV University of Venice Faculty of Arts and Design. Nichetto together with his colleague and friend Oki Sato -Nendo-, in 2013, co-designed and co-conceived, a collection of seven new products named Nichetto = Nendo, which leads, that same year, in an exhibition at the Milan Design Week and at Tokyo Designers Week. Today, Nichetto collaborates with a large variety of Italian and international companies. Read more at www.lucanichetto.com