Tag Archives: Collaborative

Experiment for collaborative office space in Seoul (2)

> Continued from Experiment for collaborative office space in Seoul (1)

The team discovered two issues for building a collaborative office space in Seoul.

  • First, people have a double standard. They generally use the open space for serious reasons such as discussing business issues or having meetings with clients. However, when they notice others occupying the space, the others “seem to” chat over a cup of coffee, read casual books, or just have fun. This unnecessary strictness of others inhibits them from visiting the open space.
  • Second, people prefer the sofas located next to the window over the white table located in the middle. This skewed flow does not allow accidental interactions.

The team decided not to attack the first, psychological issue but to attack the second, technical issue and then conducted a few experiments to smooth the flow with a hope to make the whole space more vital. For example, the sofas and the round tables with chairs switched each other. As shown below, many people followed the sofas and while doing so, they made some accidental interactions, which is a key feature for collaborative office spaces (see Adam Alter’s post).

Space design (1)Space design (3)

This project shows that a minor change in an office space determines the flow, which in turn makes the space where collaboration can happen.

Experiment for collaborative office space in Seoul (1)


Although many people want their offices similar to the Pixar’s office or the Google’s New York office, only few had them. Adam Alter, Assistant Professor of Marketing at New York University, wrote a piece of article on this issue at U99 (How to build a collaborative office space like Pixar and Google). In this article, he argues four key features of a collaborative office space.

  • An open plan and other design features (e.g., high-traffic staircases) that encourage accidental interactions.
  • More common areas than are strictly necessary—multiple cafeterias, other places to read and work that encourage workers to leave confined offices.
  • Emphasis on areas that hold two or more people, rather than single-occupancy offices.
  • Purpose-free generic “thinking” areas in open-plan spaces, which encourage workers to do their thinking in the presence of other people, rather than alone.


Dongwha holdings, a company selling interior items and dealing used cars based in Seoul, opened a space called Green Lounge in 2010. This space was dedicated to encourage collaboration among employees. It was equipped with sofas and tables, designer chairs, upscale coffee machines, and a plenty of casual books, etc.

20130306_Action Learning @ Dongwha (6)

This open space, however, was mostly empty. Very different from Californians and New Yorkers, people in Seoul avoided mingle with strangers and thus accidental interactions did not occur. Instead, they stopped by this space with their colleagues and picked up free coffee and left. Alternatively, they occupied meeting rooms for chatting with friends or keeping focused on their own businesses.

In order to revitalize this open space, a team of employees conducted research; they performed deep interviews with others, video recorded others’ behaviors, and collected and analyzed the flow in the open space. This research revealed two issues and the team decided to attack one of those issues by conducting several experiments.

> Go to Experiment for collaborative office space in Seoul (2)

Decision support tool for collaborative concept evaluation

Although concept evaluation has attracted much attention, collaborative concept evaluation has received minimal attention. In this work, we identify problems and propose solutions regarding collaborative concept evaluation. First, we reviewed past projects and interviewed evaluators with international design experiences to conclude that concept evaluation criteria are not established but constructed. Second, we apply the psychology of Brunswik’s Lens model to propose that providing multiple concept aspects improve collaborative concept evaluation. Three experimental studies demonstrate that our proposed Concept Aspect Profile (CAP) model (1) is superior to existing concept evaluation models, (2) differentiates between breakthrough new product concepts and incremental new product concepts, and (3) increases the likelihood that a concept receives the Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA). This work contributes to marketing research of concept evaluation as well as provides implication for designers.