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Steelcase opens new Learning + Innovation Center in Munich

MUNICH, November 12, 2017

Steelcase, a leading office furniture solutions provider, has announced the opening of its newest Learning + Innovation Center (LINC) in Munich, Germany, capping a multi-year effort to bring together employees and propel global growth.

The new LINC is the latest extension of the company’s global network, part of a geographically distributed approach to innovation, said a statement from the company.

As organisations recognise the importance of face-to-face interactions and shift back to centrally-located business hubs, Steelcase designed this 14,400-sq-m space to promote learning and spark innovation within its own organisation—and to give customers a first-hand look at how space can impact work, it said.
This opening comes at a time when leaders and organisations worldwide are focused on staying ahead in a disruptive economy. To remain competitive and effectively innovate, organisations must become more agile and accelerate the flow of information and cycles of learning to take risks and make better, faster decisions, it added.

The LINC design is based on this principle—that rapid learning, creative work and agile teams are the building blocks of innovation, and the physical workplace can promote and nurture these kinds of activities.  
Jim Keane, president and CEO of Steelcase, said: “Creative work and innovation happens when trust is built. So, we designed a place where people could come together to build relationships, learn, fail and grow together.”

“We believe this is central to innovation, but it’s not just for us—it’s for our customers, too. It gives them a place to experience real work as its happening and to see how space can support and accelerate business results,” he said.
The centre brings together over 230 employees representing 25 different nationalities from groups previously dispersed throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said a statement.  

This European opening follows the successful Learning + Innovation Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, US, which serves as a hub for North American employees, customers and guests to explore how creative and innovative thinking can be nurtured and supported by physical space and technologies, it added.  

The three-building campus was designed by a diverse, international team of experts including Henn Architects, Munich (Germany); Patrick Jouin and Manku Design, Paris (France); and the Steelcase Design Team.
The centre’s features include:  

•A centrally located WorkCafé provides a dynamic space that revolutionises the traditional corporate cafeteria. With a coffee bar, barista and an eclectic collection of settings spread over two levels, the WorkCafé is a place for workers to interact, work or take time to socialise and rejuvenate.

•The executive team is located near the WorkCafé, on the first floor in an open-plan space where people constantly pass through and meet. Its location and informal design make executives more visible, encouraging frequent interactions with employees and visitors and helping leaders stay closely connected to the business.

•Cloud-enabled technology throughout the campus allow ideas to travel from space to space and make it possible to include remote participants from around the world in the innovation process.
•A virtual reality tour allows visitors to experience other spaces around the world, including innovation environments usually inaccessible to guests.

•An ecosystem of interconnected and interdependent environments was purposefully designed to support the needs of both individuals and teams by bringing them together and seamlessly integrating technologies they need to work.

•Multiple informal spaces throughout the centre and several specialised classrooms promote collaborative and individual learning. A distance-learning classroom and videoconferencing rooms ensure learning happens both globally and locally throughout the day.

•Customers and guests are also invited to attend workshops designed to encourage self-discovery, inspire, and learn new ways that place can help their organization drive purpose.

Keane continued: “People are more alike than they are different. We're all creative, we all teach and we all learn. So when we come together to do these things in one place, innovation happens more easily.”

“We're excited to have both Grand Rapids and Munich fuelling growth and can't wait to see the global impact of these facilities,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: | Munich | Steelcase |

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