Space Utilization Patterns and Workshop Furniture – Affordances for New Product Development and Design

DS86: Proceedings of The Fourth International Conference on Design Creativity,Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, USA

Year: 2016
Editor: Julie Linsey, Maria Yang, and Yukari Nagai
Author: Florian, Rittiner; Johannes, Heck; Mirko, Meboldt; Martin, Steinert
ISBN: 978-1-904670-82-7


In this paper, we show how space utilization patterns afford ideation and prototyping
activities in the early stage of new product development and design. For this research, we
observed 18 product development teams of Swiss small and medium-sized enterprises during
standardized 2.5-days ideation workshops in a dedicated, well-equipped external ideation space,
and examined how they utilized the available spaces and artifacts, in particular workshop
furniture. We found that there occurs a constant matching between workshop activities, which
impose certain requirements on the space, and spatial patterns, which fulfil those requirements
and afford additional ones. Thoughtfully designed ideation spaces and workshop furniture are the
key enablers of this matching process and turn space into a valuable innovation tool.

Keywords: Space, creativity, ideation, prototyping, new product development and design

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