Last summer, I visited two design consulting firms in California: IDEO and Jump Associates. Visiting them raised several interesting research questions.
In the Jump Associates, I was impressed by its space. It occupies two floors in one building and the two floors are connected by a steel stair “inside the building,” so that employees can freely go up and down without using the external elevator (picture).
Besides, Jump Associates has several interesting rooms including “Zen Room” (picture). This room has a low ceiling with several cushions. The Zen Room is often used for consumers who want to express their needs and ideas in a warm, comfortable setting. This is interesting because I have not seen any work telling the value of small sized space with a low ceiling. Instead, much work suggests that high ceiling facilitates creativity.
I wonder if spaces (rooms and their ceiling heights) are carefully selected for different stage gates of a product development process. Designers may want to collect consumer needs in a low-ceiling, close space but they may want a high-ceiling, open space to generate concepts.