IMI - Innovation Management Institute

Test-Bed Report

Authors Hiltunen Elina
Project BIFE
Type IMI Project paper
Release date Feb. 6, 2006
Publisher Innovation Management Institute Working Paper 38


The aim of this report is to research needs for teamwork spaces (so called test-bed spaces) for student projects carried out in International Design Business Management (IDBM) -program. This project is administrated by IDBM-program, which combines three leading universities in Finland: Helsinki University of Technology (HUT), Helsinki School of Economics (HSE) and University of Arts and Design, Helsinki (UAIH), and TAI-Research Center of Department of Industrial Engineering, HUT, especially the Innovation Management Institute, IMI.

IDBM-industry projects are usually concerning about early stages of product development, combining engineering, marketing and design aspects, so certain needs are required from the teamwork space. The project groups work also as virtual teams together with people from the industry and people from abroad. This set certain needs for teamwork tools (Internet, email, videoconferencing etc.).

There exists projects around the world concerning about "the office of the future". Examples of these projects are described in this report in chapter one. Usually these projects deal with future possibilities of information technology and computing as tool for more efficient team work and information exchange in (virtual) groups. Also some interest lies on the issue of ergonomics; how to combine new technology efficiently with furniture to make the working more pleasant and efficient. However, there was little evidence in projects that were dealing with the problematic of a teamwork (especially in distributed teams) from the point of view of design; design that is increasing the level of creativity, innovativity and efficiency of the team.

The purpose of this report is to combine these two aspects; technology (hardware and software) and design; to find needs for both of these issues to build an efficiency increasing teamwork space. The report includes six chapters. Chapter 1 is describing examples of some projects around the world concerning about the issue of the future office and theory about virtual (or distributed) teams. In chapter 2 courses of distributed product development work in universities in USA and Finland are discussed. The issue of these courses is raised because the similar courses might be the future users of these IDBM test-bed spaces. In Chapter 3 interviews of experts in the areas of interior design, product development, virtual teams and innovative spaces are concluded. In the chapter 4 two cases of innovative, future oriented workspaces are investigated. In the chapter 5 conclusion for the needs for the IDBM team work space is drawn from the bases of the needs recognized from the chapters one, two, three and four. Chapter 6 suggests some issues for future studies in this subject.

Download publication [Public]