Archives For April 2014

It’s remarkable how often, when asked to reflect on how to spur innovation, the most successful inventors wind up talking about architecture.

At its peak Bell Labs housed 1,200 Ph.D.s who worked in an ingeniously designed space created by modernist architect Eero Saarinen. As Jon Gertner’s book The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation points out, Bell Labs understood even back in the early 1940s that they would increase their odds of success by creating a space in which smart people naturally bumped into other smart people to have unplanned but potentially productive discussions.

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