The design function at 3M Company is led by collaborative creativity, informs Eric Quint, Vice President and Chief Design Officer
What, in your opinion, makes design a commercial success?
Good design is based on customer insights – it addresses their needs and results in meaningful and relevant solutions that resonate. Commercially successful products can be created and delivered only after keeping the customer in mind throughout all steps of the design process, from idea to commercialization. Truly commercially successful products and innovations will have a socio-cultural impact on people and will change their behavior. Think about innovations like cars, television, mobile telephony, internet and… the Post-it Note!
Please share your vision for the new 3M Design Center in Bangalore.
All of our 3M Design Centers are spaces for collaborative creativity that accommodate outside-in innovation engagement. These inspirational workplaces will stimulate co-location of design for cross fertilization among multi-disciplinary creative teams. The Bangalore 3M Design Center has therefore an open workspace environment supported by a creative hub for design workshops and a prototyping lab to make our ideas real in order to review with our customers and learn fast. It is a space for inspiration and cross-functional collaboration.
How do you define a creative space for a designer?
A creative space for a designer is made for collaboration; it is playful and secure in order to stimulate and inspire creativity. In our 3M Design spaces we have used the theme of the living room as a way to realize a comfortable and engaging environment for our designers. The open office space environment will foster spontaneous dialogue about technologies, brands, lifestyles and design.
What, in your opinion, is the role of design in shaping an organization?
The ambition of design at 3M is to enrich innovation and enhance brand experience. This goes far beyond the development of a design team and their design capabilities. It is about how the company works and collaborates across all levels. Design will impact the organization at large in how it works, thinks and acts across all functions to create ultimate brand experiences and impact people’s lives.
Tell us about 3M’s design philosophy.
Our design philosophy is based on Collaborative Creativity across disciplines. The next big idea will come naturally from a creative collision of many smaller ideas that build upon each other. This is what design thinking is all about – integrating diverse perspectives to ensure the outcome is not just about reaching the finish line, but also about the meaningful achievement of purpose that will make tomorrow better
This article was originally published in POOL 96.
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