Starters-Writing on the Walls-December 2011
Need space to innovate? W.lab’s whiteboard walls are
designed to let your business make its mark.
Creativity in hotel conference rooms? “They’re awful—they’re soul sucking,” asserts Kai Worrell, CEO of the Northeast Minneapolis industrial design firm that bears his family’s name. For companies looking to brainstorm away from the confines of the office, Worrell (the company) has created a space at its headquarters called W.lab (worrell.com/wlab), that Worrell (the company CEO) says has been “crafted for ideation.”
The 2,800-square-foot space features white walls and floors, with stylish comfortable chairs and room dividers that allow for flexible, more intimate configurations. The walls themselves function as whiteboards. Before opening the space as W.lab in October, Worrell Design had been using this part of its offices for ideation gatherings for local Fortune 500s and several medical-technology firms. According to Kai Worrell, clients had found these sessions so useful that his firm decided to open up the space to other organizations—non- or for-profit, client or not.
In addition to renting time in the space, organizations can choose from a variety of conference-style amenities, such as audiovisual equipment and food service. Worrell Design also offers a nonstandard option—staff designers who can help direct the brainstorms.
The openness of the space is key to better ideation and more open thinking. “Everything about a conference room,” Kai Worrell asserts, “speaks to confinement and predictability. Everyone’s looking in the same direction.” —G. R.