The spaces we occupy everyday influence our learning experiences, behaviors and feelings. They affect the way we interact with each other. Then, how can we design a space that is interactive, creative and successfully facilitates the purpose? What are the key factors that the designers need to take into consideration when designing a creative space? For SAP Design, it starts with finding the right problems from the real users.

Earlier this year, the SAP Design team consulted a group of students and professors from University of Suwon (USW) on the topic of creative space. After visiting the AppHaus Korea office, the president of USW and faculty members requested through SAP Korea for the SAP design team’s engagement in the space design. The goal of the USW was to become a SAP reseller partner and delivering SAP authorized educations and design thinking not only to the students but also corporate and government organizations in Suwon area. However, they were lacking a collaborative space, thus approached SAP for advisory.  

The SAP Design team journeyed through the design thinking methodology with USW students and professors. The design thinking created an environment where the participants felt free to share their ideas and embrace the mindsets required at each step of the process. Moreover, in order to accomplish a successful workshop, we involved the real users and conducted a deep-dive user interview.

User interviews were a great way get to know the basic requirements for the space. One of the staff members from USW commented that their previous assumptions were so different from what they found out during the interview and the users’ painpoints, thus the insights they collected from the end-users were so valid and meaningful.

Whereas the faculty members wanted more open space for community gathering, the students wanted more private space that was comfortable for them. Some other key findings were that the professors wanted students to move around to post ideas but often frustrated at the failure to bring students engagement, but the findings were that the current chairs and desks in the classrooms were mostly fixed, making it hard for the students to move or stand. All of the new findings were prioritized and developed into the new ideas and visualized in low-fidelity concepts using papers and post-its.

The design thinking methodology worked very effectively during the workshop. Both the students and professors were deeply involved, engaged and co-creating while having fun. One of the student participants commented that “Unlike previous meetings where I usually felt pressure to speak and was stressed out, the new way of collaboration was very fun.” Sun-Ik Kim, who is a graduating senior at USW, mentioned that, “the workshop made me feel happy that I did something innovative for school and my fellow students and I can’t wait to see the space coming to life.”

The prototypes with basic requirements and restrictions for space will now be delivered to a design agency for the implementation part and the final workshop space is expected to open by mid-March.

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