Co-creating an idea lab: lessons learned from a longitudinal case study

Katja Thoring, Roland M. Mueller, Carmen Luippold, Pieter Desmet, Petra Badke-Schaub


This article presents a longitudinal case study of the development process of an idea lab—from initial planning to final implementation and usage. The research approach comprised various methods, including a user study with cultural probes and a visual canvas, a focus group co-creation workshop, and a follow-up evaluation, two years after the space’s implementation. We identified 15 relevant themes and 39 spatial characteristics that constitute the individual users’ preferences, as well as several insights from a corporate point of view. Our gained insights on the role of the physical workspace extend the current research on idea labs. Furthermore, our findings corroborate the suggestions from related literature in terms of an idea lab’s capability to facilitate external input, experimentation, and employees’ autonomy. The presented co-creation approach and the developed spatial recommendations can be adapted for other contexts and act as guidelines for others who want to develop creative spaces.


Creative space; idea lab; longitudinal case study; co-creation; cultural probes; focus group workshop; requirements analysis; visual canvas

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