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Spaces for innovation
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. (Design and Visualisation)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0012-7127
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Rum för innovation (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Workspace design, as an enabling factor in innovation, is an emerging topic for innovation and design research. However, little research has been done on users’ experience on workspaces for innovation in a manufacturing industrial context. The aim of the dissertation is to develop knowledge and understanding of workspaces for innovation from a user perspective.

The dissertation is based on studies done in four manufacturing industries and in one design and innovation consultancy, with a focus on the employees' experience of the physical space in relation to innovation. The research method used was the photo elicitation interview. The 31 participants made photographs that served as a basis for verbal interviews to communicate the relationship they experienced between their workspace and innovation. The analysis and the interpretation of the material, supported by information, cultural and phenomenological theoretical perspectives, intend to contribute to the current scientific discourse in innovation and design.

A pattern was found in the results. In the manufacturing industrial companies, the majority of workspaces that users described as supporting or hindering innovation were motifs showing aculture promoting innovation in small steps. Their examples were found to be in close similarity to what previous research describe as characteristics of exploitative innovation. In the design company, the most photographed motifs were workspaces and objects that supported different variations of what previousresearch defines as characteristics for a culture supporting radical, explorative innovation.

The dissertation presents results contributing to the research on ambidexterity, with focus on a possible coexistence between different innovation cultures. The results indicate that spatial differentiation creates possibilities for coexistence between the two innovation cultures. Six spatial characteristics were found in the descriptions of the workspaces related to the marginalised explorative culture in the manufacturing companies.

The dissertation discusses the possibilities of creating spaces for explorative innovation (SEIs) and space as a tool for innovation. An initial version of a support for design is presented.

Abstract [sv]

Att skapa en miljö där både radikal innovation och stegvisa förbättringar kan utvecklas, det vill säga en ambidextruös miljö, är en av de största utmaningarna för ett företag eller en organisation. En ambidextruös miljö är en stor konkurrensfördel, men kunskaperna om hur man utvecklar och bygger upp en sådan är begränsade. Detsamma gäller hur arbetsplatsen formges på ett sätt som stödjer olika innovationskulturer, både för radikal innovation och inkrementell innovation. Arbetsplatsen och dess relation till innovation från ett användarperspektiv är ett förbisett område inom forskningen.

Syftet med den här avhandlingen är att utveckla kunskap om vad den dagliga arbetsplatsen har för förbindelse till innovation från ett användarperspektiv. Avhandlingen bygger på fyra studier inom tillverkningsindustrin samt en studie på ett designföretag med fokus på medarbetarnas upplevelse av arbetsplatsen i relation till innovation. I intervjumetoden ingick att de anställda fotograferade sina arbetsplatser. Fotografierna användes sedan som underlag för intervjuer.

I resultaten fanns ett mönster: i produktionsindustrin var platser för ett ständigt förbättringsarbete också de platser som uppfattades stödja innovation. Undantagen var få. På designföretaget exemplifierade de flesta fotograferade och beskrivna miljöerna olika varianter på en radikal, utforskande innovationskultur. Resultatet visade att de platser som kunde tolkas tillhöra en kultur för radikal, utforskande innovation var artefakter i en marginaliserad kultur i de studerade industriföretagen. Resultatet indikerade att en samexistens mellan olika innovationskulturer i en kultur som domineras av exploaterande innovation (industriföretagen) möjliggjordes på individuell nivå av rumslig differentiering. Analysen av materialet pekar på sex karakteristika i beskrivningen av användningen och upplevelsen av platser som kan samexistera och stödja en kultur för radikal innovation i kulturer som domineras av inkrementell innovation: Täckmantelplatser, Gråzoner, Satellitplatser, Kameleontplatser,Tillfälliga platser och Anslutningsplatser. Dessutom visade resultatet att användare beskriver påverkan av flera modaliteter i sin upplevelse och förståelse av en arbetsplats som stödjer eller hindrar innovation.

Resultatet analyserades och tolkades med hjälp av tidigare forskning och begrepp från fenomenologi, informationsteori och kulturteori vilket bidrar till diskussionen om vad rum för innovation kan vara i den dynamik som uppstår i mötet mellananvändaren, den vardagliga arbetsplatsen och innovation. Som ett resultat av analysen presenteras i avhandlingen ett förslag till designsupport formulerat som inlägg i en diskussion kring hur arbetsplatsen kan stödja olika innovationskulturers samexistens. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalen University , 2014.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 163
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25031ISBN: 978-91-7485-155-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-25031DiVA: diva2:727763
Public defence
2014-09-26, Filen, Smedjegatan 37, Eskilstuna, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge FoundationVinnova
Available from: 2014-06-23 Created: 2014-05-23 Last updated: 2014-09-24Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Design as Information: How May Design and Information Relate?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design as Information: How May Design and Information Relate?
2009 (English)In: Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, ISSN 1833-1874, Vol. 3, no 4, 161-172 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

According to Pettersson, design may be a process and/or the result of the process, a product. The area of design is multidisciplinary and involves several notions. One is in the subject field of Information Design, which includes language, communication, art, cognition and information science. These disciplines refer to the concept of information differently. There is therefore a need for a fruitful theory of information, terms and concepts in order to enrich the reasoning of design as information. Bates presents a definition of information and several fundamental information forms. There, she offers a theoretical framework, the main core of which is that information may take different forms related to architecture, graphic design, interior design, and interface design, etc. Such a framework may contribute to understanding the meaning of design. Bates’ theory is applied in a study involving spatial design in industrial environments. The conclusions of the study illustrates how design and information relate to a design process and a design product that enriches the understanding of the meaning of design.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-9090 (URN)
Available from: 2010-03-03 Created: 2010-03-03 Last updated: 2014-06-23Bibliographically approved
2. Spatial design supporting the management of radical improvements within the manufacturing industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spatial design supporting the management of radical improvements within the manufacturing industry
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the 19th international conference on engineering Design, Seoul, Korea, Dem. Republic of: the Design Society , 2013, 129-138 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

It is important for the manufacturing industry to become more innovative. Doing what we always have done is not enough. External pressure and the required speed of change, requires industry to improve the management of incremental and radical improvement work. There is thus a need for new methods, tools, and processes to improve the innovative capabilities. In this paper we discuss the use of spatial design to support the management of radical improvement within the manufacturing industry. The designs of the physical spaces are in the paper presented as frames that are cultivating, facilitating and enabling radical improvement without imposing a regime of control and forced change. The spatial design enables the process and contributes to an ecosystem supporting radical improvement. To better manage radical improvement processes, one option suggested in this paper is to create five dedicated places - five enabling frames - for five phases in a radical improvement process, firstly to bring attention to the different phases of the process and secondly to support the actions in each part.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Seoul, Korea, Dem. Republic of: the Design Society, 2013
Keyword
Innovation, spatial design
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-23294 (URN)9781904670445 (ISBN)
Conference
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING DESIGN, ICED13 19-22 AUGUST 2013, SUNGKYUNKWAN UNIVERSITY, SEOUL, KOREA
Projects
KaikakuXPRESDeVIP
Available from: 2013-12-14 Created: 2013-12-10 Last updated: 2016-11-01Bibliographically approved
3. Spaces for Innovation: A Photo-elicitated Study in Three Companies from Manufacturing Industry and the Design Firm IDEO
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Spaces for Innovation: A Photo-elicitated Study in Three Companies from Manufacturing Industry and the Design Firm IDEO
2014 (English)In: The International Journal of Design Education, ISSN 2325-128X, Vol. 7, no 3, 49-62 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The possibility that physical space can support or disturb processes for innovation in production systems is overlooked in the manufacturing industry and in research. This article rests on three studies in manufacturing industries and one in a design firm, with a focus on the employees' subjective experience of the physical space in relation to innovation. The employees made photographs and used keywords (followed up with verbal interviews) to communicate the relationship they perceived between physical space and innovation. The study shows that there is a relationship between company culture and the individual’s choices of physical spaces understood to support or hinder innovation. From the results, it can be concluded, that manufacturing companies which were studied form cultures that produce few spaces that support divergent thinking, while such spaces are prioritized in the design firm. This article show clean and orderly spaces for innovation in the manufacturing industry; for the design company, informal, collaborative, and visually simulative environments.

Keyword
Visual Communication, Spatial Design, Photo Elicitation
National Category
Humanities Design
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25032 (URN)2-s2.0-84904514757 (Scopus ID)
Funder
VinnovaKnowledge Foundation
Available from: 2014-05-23 Created: 2014-05-23 Last updated: 2014-12-19Bibliographically approved
4. Tool complexes of innovation:: Spaces for explorative innovation in four manufacturing industrial companies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tool complexes of innovation:: Spaces for explorative innovation in four manufacturing industrial companies
2014 (English)In: DRS 2014, Design´s big debates: Pushing the boundaries of design Research / [ed] Design Research Society, Umeå, 2014, 663-676 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Providing an environment in which both radical innovation and continuous improvement can exist, i.e. an ambidextrous environment, is one of the biggest challenges manage­ment faces. While having an ambidextrous organisation is of central importance to the competitive advantage of a firm, there is limited understanding of how to manage it.

In this article, we are reporting on our research on the design of workspaces and the relations between design and ambidexterity in innovation. We studied the workspaces as artefacts in innovation cultures. We analysed relations between users and spaces that could enable an explorative innovation culture to emerge, and found spaces related to explorative innovation that coexisted with an exploitative innovation culture in production in the manufacturing industry.

The results indicate that to develop ambidexterity on an individual level in a culture dominated by exploitative innovation, one strategy is spatial differentiation. The result shows that artefacts relating to a culture for explorative innovation in the studied manufacturing companies are artefacts in a marginalised culture. We present six spatial characteristics for artefacts in the marginalised culture: undercover spaces, grey zone spaces, satellite spaces, chameleon spaces, temporal spaces and accession spaces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: , 2014
Keyword
Innovation, Workspace design, Emergence, Manufacturing Industry, Innovation, arbetsplatsens utformning, produktionsindustri
National Category
Humanities
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25356 (URN)
Conference
DRS 2014 Design’s Big Debates, June 16-19, Umeå, Sweden
Funder
Vinnova
Available from: 2014-06-23 Created: 2014-06-23 Last updated: 2014-10-03Bibliographically approved
5. The method of photo-elicitation from a phenomenological perspective.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The method of photo-elicitation from a phenomenological perspective.
2014 (English)In: Proceedings of 13th International design conference Design 2014, 2014, -58 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

There is a growing interest in the relation between workspace design and innovation. On the one hand, is the idea of designing an “innovation lab” that supports innovation. There are substantial financial investments involved when creating an innovation lab and there is evidence that such spaces can have short useful lifespan and some of them fail because they are not used as intended [Lewis and Moultrie 2005; Fayard and Weeks 2011]. On the other hand, workspaces can be altered by the users for short or long terms to support innovation activities. The users hence become spatial designers themselves. A gap exists in research on the underlying mechanisms, architecture, and dynamics by which organisations can create an environment supporting continuous improvements and radical innovation on both individual and organisational levels [Turner, Swart and Maylor 2013, Turner and Lee-Kelly 2013]. From design research we can contribute with a perspective on the underlying mechanisms and the dynamics in play in the area of workspace design and innovation. We can form the design research for the innovation labs, i.e. utopian specifically designed spaces for innovation, or the relationship between innovation, users and daily workspaces. We have chosen to acknowledge and study the complexity in relations between users, daily workspaces and innovation. Our hypothesis was that photo-elicitation could be a method to study that weave of complexity and research underlying dynamics.

In this article we discuss the method of the photo-elicitated interview (PEI), as a tool in human-centred design research with respect to context and workspace. A phenomenological perspective focus on the human experience, examine and clarify situations, events and experiences as they occurs spontaneously in daily life (Seamon, 2000). This article intend to provide background theories from phenomenology and examples from an empirical study to discuss if and how PEI is instrumental in getting information from interviewees about their relation to their workspaces and innovation. Although the phenomenological theoretical perspective is relevant and therefore used here to describe human relation to workspaces and discuss the method, our use of specific notions from phenomenology aims firstly to support the analyse of the method to inform design research, and is not intended develop the phenomenological concepts themselves.

National Category
Humanities Other Humanities
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25358 (URN)
Conference
13th International design conference Design 2014
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2014-06-23 Created: 2014-06-23 Last updated: 2015-11-04Bibliographically approved

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