Sunday, February 13, 2011

Using metaphors to shape conversations

"More a poem than a house;" that's the way that English poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti described the home of his colleague William Morris, according the Financial Time's Emma Mahony. Think about how this metaphor can work, not only for "love nests" but also for developing space to shape conversations. Innovation is all about conversations, and the probability of having really great conversations can be increased by the ways in which we design the spaces in which our conversations will occur. We've seen this in the design of Singapore's "Futuropolis" and often in the work of MIT/Sloan's Tom Allen, specially in his book on "The Organization and Architecture of Innovation. The point here is to think about the metaphors that best capture your conversational intentions and then use them as the leitmotif to shape the space in which these conversations might best take place.

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