From January 16 -19th, 2020, the Interior Design Show (IDS 2020) brought together over 53,000 of the world’s leading products, companies and change-makers to inspire and transform the future of design. The Trade Days included nine feature spaces including the Learning Lab designed by B+H, powered by Microsoft, and furnished by Steelcase. By creating an inviting and flexible space, the Lab was built with the future of learning in mind – where lifelong education will take place anytime and anywhere through seamless connections between people, spaces, knowledge, and technology.
The ultimate flex space, the Learning Lab complemented surrounding Exhibitors’ booths by providing an area that was easily transformed to suit a variety of uses including six sessions and workshops ranging from a panel discussion, to workshops envisioning the future. During sessions, the space was quickly converted to support engaging conversations and connections between participants, speakers, and facilitators while the porosity of the design encouraged onlookers to partake in happenings from the sidelines. While sessions weren’t underway in the Lab, its permeability invited IDS attendees to use the space as meeting place, a work area, or simply a comfortable spot to rest their weary feet.
New Ways of Thinking
In our current rapidly changing and highly dynamic world, leaders and organizations that take a business-as-usual approach will find themselves lagging behind the innovative thinking required to thrive in extremely competitive markets. We all rely on things that have worked in the past and in time of less change, that worked just fine – but that’s not the time we’re in now. At B+H, we believe we need to shake things up and our own conventional design thinking to find a different approach that can truly benefit, and protect, our clients.
The best solutions are innovative and resilient. They sidestep the obvious, find opportunity in overlooked places and move flexibly into the future. Rooted in data and informed by insight, they have the power to transform spaces, communities, and economies. While the future of any industry or discipline is impossible to predict, we can scan macro drivers in our external environment for emerging themes to help shape our future strategy efforts.
B+H invited IDS 2020 attendees to join us for a workshop in the Learning Lab to explore change catalysts across large-scale drivers to envision the future of learning. Facilitated by Peter Heys, Stephanie Panyan and Corinne Korytkowski, the workshop began with a presentation that exposed participants to approximately forty trends across macro drivers including societal, technological, economic, environmental and politic issues. Participants were then asked to break off into small groups to select their favourite top four trends and share what they thought those trends meant for the future of learning. Many of their thoughts were also extrapolated for the future of work.
Translating New Thinking into Strategic Design
Trend deck exercises like these are the first step in engaging our clients and design teams in different conversations – conversations that encourage us to look beyond what’s possible within a traditional process of design that might typically silo our thinking to one area of expertise. Following an exercise like this, we would then engage in a rapid prototyping exercise to further flesh out ideas and explore how innovative thinking translates into smart space solutions. Our goal is to get the team thinking differently and playing with possibilities prior to committing to a final route for a design solution.