One of the world’s leading graduate business schools, INSEAD, asked experience design firm, Eight Inc. to help create a home for all creative activities at INSEAD’s Asia campus in Singapore. The new environment is a social space for collaboration, emotion, creation and change.
Named Creative Garage, the space is open to all students, alumni and friends of INSEAD. The 1,400 square foot Creative Garage can be a classroom for action learning, a design studio for creative projects, a gallery of innovations, and a community space to get inspired, generate, try and exchange ideas.
The raw, industrial materials create a bold contrast to the traditional school setting, making the Creative Garage a unique experience on campus. This new design studio creates space for learning through creating and collaborating. Each detail, from the moveable tables and presentation boxes, to the flexible hanging gallery, allow for a transformative space. Tiered seating on the perimeter provides a relaxed social area where students can take a break and doubles as event seating.
For over ten years, the creativity-business programs did not have a dedicated space, although the courses were taught through a focus on team design projects using an ad-hoc design studio in an old flat-room. INSEAD knew that soon enough they had to have the right infrastructure to support these increasingly popular innovation-related courses.
“This space is going to help us elevate the learning experience to a completely different level,” says Manuel Sosa, INSEAD professor of Technology and Operations management, and Director of INSEAD’s MBA Creativity-Business learning platform. The Creative Garage serves purpose to the students and the experience of the daily activities and the space become more meaningful to all those that use it.
Eight Inc. principal, Richa Menke and INSEAD MBA’12J alumna adds, “Manuel’s course on the intersection of business and design was unlike others in the MBA program, as it was not focused on the right answers, but the right questions. Our collaboration with Manuel has been about designing a new classroom experience at INSEAD that inspires these new behaviors through an immersive and inclusive environment”
The INSEAD program has also been partnering with Southern California’s ArtCenter College of Design for over ten years by sending design students from the U.S. to participate in the program each year. “I had the wrong impression of design as something related to aesthetics. It’s so much more comprehensive and it involves the whole experience of the consumer and the deep understanding of people and it is essential for any business.” comments Carolina Almeida, INSEAD MBA student.
In the Creativity-Business learning Platform, MBA and design students have the opportunity to work together and exchange their different approaches and perspectives to solving problems and creating solutions.
“By allowing people in this space, they collaborate in a more fluidic way, free themselves to try things out and to share new things they are trying. I think enabling that in a very honest, transparent and tangible way is something that requires a dedicated space because those are things you don’t need all the time, but certainly when you are innovating. Which is what we are trying to teach.” Sosa concludes.
The Creative Garage launched in April 2016.