Wednesday, February 18, 2004

NSF - OLPA - PR 04-10: Beyond Feng Shui: Designing for Innovation Umot Toker of the National Science Foundation posted this article which talks (albeit briefly) on the topic of building design on innovative capacity. In short (er), you should try to layout your offices in such a way as to increase the opportunity for chance encounters with people - the general premise being that it is these encounters that give you the innovative spark.

This idea is not particularly new however - the very same concept was being talked about in the Knowledge Management circles some 7-8 years ago for example. Professor Clive Holtham of the Cass School of Business used to talk on the subject of the environmental impact on knowledge flows within an organisation - and several buildings in the UK were even designed with this in mind - The British Airways headquarters, just outside of London was designed with glass covered atriums, cafes, and several communal spots to encourage people to accidentally meet and thus enhance the flow of knowledge from one individual to another. Nevertheless it's interesting seeing some old ideas from one subject re-emerging in another.

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