Creative Spaces in Innovation Processes – Understanding, Assessing and Designing the Impact of Mental and Spatial Factors (HPI)

PI: Prof. Ulrich Weinberg, Dr. Claudia Nicolai


The overall objective of this research project is to identify, understand and assess what are the ‘spatial key factors’ that foster team wellbeing and performance of Design Thinking and innovation teams. We define the design of innovation spaces as creating an environment to promote a state of contentment that allows people to flourish and achieve their full potential for the benefit of themselves, their projects and the organization. The important key questions are:

  • How do different spatial factors and settings affect wellbeing in innovation projects and innovation teams?
  • How does the different use of spatial factors and settings in different phases  of the design thinking process influence the performance of innovation teams?
  • How to effectively enable organizations to develop the meta competency of using  the space in the design thinking process as a facilitator to in order to increase team wellbeing  and respectively team performance and organizational success?

Ideally, the outcomes of this study will help to successfully plan organizational spatial settings that foster teams’ wellbeing and performance in order to leverage innovation and organizational competitiveness and success. In the second research year implicit best practice at the D-School in Potsdam shall be collected to set the basis for exploratory research. The new spatial tools, developed through this research will be tested in real business environments and subsequently complement the existing tools of Design Thinking.


Prof. Uli Weinberg

Studied fine arts and design at the Academies of Fine Arts in Munich and Berlin. 1980 to 1986 freelance work as TV graphics … > more

Dr. Claudia Nicolai

Dr. Claudia Nicolai studied Business Administration, Economics, and Social Sciences at the University of Hannover. She got … > more

Marie Klooker

Marie studied Arts and Cultural Theory in Maastricht, Madrid and Berlin, and Design Thinking in Potsdam. After her … > more

Stephan Matzdorf

Stephan is strongly interested in Urban Space and its (sub-)culture. That is why he studied Urban and Regional Planning at … > more