Enabling new business ventures through innovative design thinking

PwC,
Shanghai

PwC’s aspiration was to create a unique workspace -  a brand new 9,600 square feet space within a retail environment in Shanghai’s Central Business District - that would encourage new ventures and start-ups to grow, while infusing its expanding incubator business with fresh ideas and creative thinking.

As PwC is venturing and growing into new realms, exploring the various options and functions of the space was crucial to its future success. The Innovation Center, therefore, focuses on supporting four distinct functions: a co-working environment; a sandbox for client organisations; an incubator/accelerator space for start-ups; and an innovation centre for the consulting team.

Enabling new business ventures through innovative design thinking section
Enabling new business ventures through innovative design thinking section

From business function to scale and type of space, the project-client team was essentially handling an environment whose structure was different to any prior project.

This called for a bespoke and broader scaled visualisation of the future vision to help inform the team and client, providing alignment on function, scale and look and feel. 

A design thinking and strategy exercise was implemented to establish the business functions and spatial requirements through a workshop and Virtual Reality (VR) tour:

  1. Using plywood, curtains, light features, paint and cardboard, a physical mock-up was constructed illustrating function and scale
  2. This experience was further enhanced through VR to provide participants with an idea of the look and feel
  3. Through this engagement, the project and client team aligned functional and design understanding. Generating buy-in, a roadmap and way forward with the business. 
Enabling new business ventures through innovative design thinking section

Planning evolved naturally from the ‘rhythm’ of the site’s irregular floor plate and from security considerations. Thus, the front of the house, the most public and least secure area, became a reception and co-working zone. 

Sustainability

As a LEED Gold certified project inspired by a combination of art, design and technology, this space gives back to the community and the environment.

Key features include:

  • A high-efficiency lighting system (35%+ power reduction compared to US EPA standard)
  • 40% water use reduction compared to US EPA standard
  • Rigorous Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) management and fresh air provision (30% higher than US EPA standard)
  • Recycled content materials to reduce raw material extraction.
Enabling new business ventures through innovative design thinking section
Enabling new business ventures through innovative design thinking section

Flexibility

Not only does the space strike a perfect balance between freedom and security, but it provides clear access between different areas for different sets of users. From open public zones to incubator spaces with enhanced privacy, the structure enables users to gradually imprint their identity on the space.

Digital garden

Designed to be impactful and flexible, the sandbox is the centrepiece of the space,. This ‘digital garden’ features an acoustic canopy ceiling and a sliding curtain system to allow space to be divided. The design integrates the latest technology, providing a platform to create and showcase ideas while adapting to the changing creative needs of its users.

Enabling new business ventures through innovative design thinking section
  • Status Completed
  • Area 9,600 sq-ft
  • Completion date 2017
  • Location Shanghai

Contact

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