Plenty Monday August 27, 2012, 0 comments

Imagine you’re tasked with designing a new educational space. It could be a kindergarten classroom, or maybe it’s a common area for an inner-city community college. Money is at this point no object (it is a hypothetical situation, after all). What do you see?

Large open spaces? Bright and airy and filled with clusters of seating and tables that foster and promote innovative thinking and collaborative idea generation? Smooth, organic surfaces and materials that feed the imagination? Maybe a fountain or a waterfall creating a gentle background white noise?

I think that’s what most people see. That’s the sort of space in which real, innovative and creative thinking can occur.

Or does it? In an environment of plenty do the seeds of new ideas plant themselves and grow into the mighty ideas they could be, or do ideas eat too quickly, grow sedentary, and eventually die of excess?

I’d argue that real innovative thinking doesn’t happen in environments that are too nourishing to such pursuits. I think that real, powerful innovative thinking happens in environments where every thought must fight tooth and nail with its peers to find purchase and drag itself above the fray, where the light can feed it and start making it stronger. Truly great ideas are born of necessity.

I’d wager more great ideas have been created in crowded classrooms and labs where there’s no air conditioning than have ever been incubated in chic open concept collaboration spaces.

I sure like those open spaces, especially ones with water features. Water features promote peaceful contemplation. I wonder how many great innovations were born in peaceful contemplation.


Comments

Commenting has ended for this post, but I'd still love to hear from you.

The website of Adrian Lebar

A Rain of Frogs is written, designed and built by Adrian Lebar, a twenty(!) year veteran of web design and development. He is currently managing web and mobile development teams at Canada’s largest and most beloved classifieds site, Kijiji!

He is a father, sailor, snowboarder, skier, cyclist, writer, artist, graphic designer, classically trained musician and afraid of heights.

Adrian is not currently available for freelance and contract work. Learn more.

Provoking a response is different from saying something significant.”
- Unknown

Twitter

  • There’s an important difference between an inexperienced developer and a bad developer. Tuesday December 3, 2019
  • This is utterly unacceptable, GO Transit. Should we expect an apology for the inconvenience, coupled with a statem… t.co/lSux4a9mbM Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Note that it wasn’t even possible to discuss this with someone at Union. Instead we were just given a card with the… t.co/b6BtE7uUUW Thursday November 21, 2019
  • And why did she feel justified in chastising them? She ever ejected a guy off the train who stepped through the doo… t.co/rdWrnDA3AA Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Why didn’t anyone announce the carriage was closed while the train was pulling in? Or even once the doors had opene… t.co/AWJz8RM0aD Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Then she yelled at them over the loudspeaker to tell them how rude it was to have tried to hold the doors open and… t.co/SYDQ0NCUpF Thursday November 21, 2019
  • She just shut the doors on them with barely 3 seconds warning (including one woman who got her bag knocked into the… t.co/9kydaITveC Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Hey @GOtransit, want to explain to all the people who didn’t get on the Lakeshore East 4:10 today train why it was… t.co/4w4lbSMQCa Thursday November 21, 2019
  • Hey @devinwenig. It was great to be a part of the @eBay family under you. Though I left that family more than a yea… t.co/qChpcb22Dr Wednesday September 25, 2019