From Place to Space: How to Conceptualize Places for Design Thinking

  • Martin Schwemmle
  • Claudia Nicolai
  • Marie Klooker
  • Ulrich Weinberg
Part of the Understanding Innovation book series (UNDINNO)


More companies have begun to leverage the unused potential of place. By re-designing the work place or introducing new spaces that are dedicated to innovation projects, they are attempting to increase employee motivation, team performance, innovation management, and the overall innovativeness of the whole organization. However, companies often struggle with the proper conceptualization of the place. As a result, they copy spatial setups from other organizations. However, such copied places are often not linked to the corporate culture, do not match their users’ needs, and neglect the existing spatial structures; consequently, their effects remain below their actual potential. One reason for this problem may stem from a lack of knowledge regarding how to conceptualize places for innovation processes in general or Design Thinking in particular. This lack of knowledge also holds true for research because research on the place and its effects in both the organizational and managerial contexts is rather scarce. In this chapter, we address the question of how to conceptualize places for Design Thinking. We first provide relevant theoretical foundations and then explain the conceptualization of a Design Thinking place by using the example of HPI D-School Potsdam. This theoretically founded and practically experienced approach will provide the reader with basic knowledge of how to conceptualize places for Design Thinking and addresses both researchers and practitioners.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Schwemmle
    • 1
  • Claudia Nicolai
    • 1
  • Marie Klooker
    • 1
  • Ulrich Weinberg
    • 1
  1. 1.HPI School of Design ThinkingHasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems EngineeringPotsdamGermany

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