Creative Space in a Digital Context – a Critical Evaluation

DS 91: Proceedings of NordDesign 2018, Linköping, Sweden, 14th - 17th August 2018

Year: 2018
Editor: Ekströmer, Philip; Schütte, Simon and Ölvander, Johan
Author: Aschehoug, Silje Helene; Schulte, Kjersti Øverbø; Gamme, Inger
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: SINTEF
ISBN: 978-91-7685-185-2


Recession and global fall in oil prices have forced the industry on the west coast of Norway to restructure and find new business opportunities through the use of creative spaces in a digital context. This paper aims to investigate and perform a critical evaluation of the overall usefulness of a facilitated creative space in a Norwegian setting. The creative space is ""closed"", meaning it is open by invitation only. In this creative space, industrial companies are exposed to a design thinking internet of things (IOT) experience, with the aim to come up with new offerings; products, processes or services. The creative space has been developed based on best practice maker space studies in Europe. The current paper reports the results from interviews conducted with 7 different companies in 2017,who all have used this creative space, one or several times. The findings indicate different perceptions of the usefulness of the workshop sessions and the facilitator. Several companies found it difficult to permanently change their current way of working, into the design thinking inspired method taught at the creative space. This may be because only small groups of employees were introduced to the new method. Moreover, lasting individual and organizational learning was not much focused. Overall, the companies were found to be more interested in finding a solution to their current problem, rather than creating lasting change and learning in their organizations. Experiences related to the use of a facilitator, was found to vary, dependent on the companies' expectations to the workshop sessions and facilitators' background and experience. Overall, the study indicates that the creative space was most useful with regards to giving the companies better customers and user insight, access to an increased innovation network, and being an inspiring environment away from ""home"".

Keywords: Creative Spaces, IoT, Prototyping, Open Innovation


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