Spaces for Innovation – The Design and Science of Inspiring Environments


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A research-based book about the relationship between the physical design of working environments and levels of creativity and innovation.

The conversation around the impact of the physical environment on workplace behavior has grown over the past few years. This has been aided by the changing nature of the way we work and the increasing importance of creativity in many industries. Spaces for Innovation explains the relationship between the physical design of working environments and levels of creativity and innovation.

Based on the available evidence, Spaces for Innovation identifies the physical characteristics of workspaces that are associated with high innovation potential and determine why they have an effect. A basic framework for the design of innovative environments, a ‘pattern language’ and a practical tool in this book, can be used in analysing ways to enhance physical space in the pursuit of innovation.

The book acts as a pattern guide, providing context, examples, inspiration and direction to help businesses explore and understand organisational challenges.

About the Authors

  • Kursty Groves is a design and innovation consultant and workplace strategy advisor to industry on innovation, capability and environments. She is an author of I Wish I Worked There! and an internationally-recognised voice on topics surrounding work, people and change.
  • Oliver Marlow is an author and designer with expertise in space, co-design and collaboration. He is a pioneer of the coworking movement and the creative director of Studio Tilt, a co-design practice enabling space to create experience, community and itendity. 


  • Stemming from research commissioned by innovation foundation Nesta, the book provides a framework for exploring the physical characteristics of spaces associationed with a new generation of pioneering companies
  • Provides context, examples, inspiration and direction to help users explore and understand the various organisational challenges that may be experienced in the creation of spaces for innovation
  • The content of this practical handbook centres around ten core themes and is brought to life with interviews and case studies from around the globe
  • Covers various organisational perspectives – from coworking networks and educational establishments to large corporations, such as Airbnb, Microsoft and Zappos
  • Builds awareness of the impact space has in different cultures with differing innovation ambitions
  • Strategic questions guide readers to formulate their vision for the space to support their own goals
  • A coherent narrative is supported with numerous infographics to visualise key facts in the themes
  • Foreword written by Jeremy Myerson

Publication Details

  • Release date: 14 June 2016
  • Frame Publishers
  • English
  • Written by Kursty Groves and Oliver Marlow
  • Graphic design by Barbara Iwanicka and Vincent Hammingh
  • 165 x 225 mm
  • 288 pages / full colour / soft cover
  • ISBN 978-94-91727-97-9


  • ‘A welcome addition to the literature that raises the argument about spaces for innovation off the office floor and into the upper echelons of people, leadership and strategy’ – Jeremy Myerson, Helen Hamlyn Professor of Design at the Royal College of Art & director of the Worktech Academy

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