This month, January 2022, I became Acting Director of the Innovation Studio at The Creative School, where fabulous teams in the Design Fabrication Zone, the Fashion Zone and the Transmedia Zone support students, and others, to bring their brilliant ideas to life.
I made some notes about what’s most important for our Innovation Studio. I showed them to the leaders of the Zones within the Studio, and they liked them a lot. So that was a good start. It’s meant to be a sort of list of guiding principles. Here is what I wrote:
1. THE INNOVATION STUDIO IS NOT WHAT YOU EXPECT
The Creative School Innovation Studio is for everyone. Innovators do not all look the same. We foster a new kind of entrepreneurial mindset for anyone who wants to do things differently and make the world a better place.
2. THE INNOVATION STUDIO IS AN ENABLER OF SPECIAL THINGS
We support you to do the magic inspiring things that are not normally done.
3. THE INNOVATION STUDIO IS AT THE HEART OF THE CREATIVE SCHOOL
The Creative School Innovation Studio is the place at the heart of The Creative School where we generate new ways of working, new ways of engaging with real things and real issues, and where we make meaningful the promise of a university. In other words, it’s not just a business incubator stuck on the side of a school – its purpose is at the heart of things.
4. THE INNOVATION STUDIO IS A SITE OF EXPERIMENTS
The Creative School Innovation Studio is where you can try things out – things you couldn’t do elsewhere. In the Studio you will see what ‘transdisciplinary’ means in practice: it’s the inspiration and cross-pollination that happens when we have lots of different kinds of things under one roof, and have no interest in guarding the borders.
5. THE INNOVATION STUDIO IS A BEACON AND A DOORWAY
The Creative School Innovation Studio is where we help surprising ideas shine out across the university and across the city. Below this beacon is a doorway: the Studio offers this connection between students and working practitioners, and from the university campus to the wider world.
6. THE INNOVATION STUDIO IS INCLUSIVE AND ACCESSIBLE DIY CULTURE
Things happen when you make them happen. But not everyone has the confidence and privilege to feel empowered to just do stuff. Therefore, we will support you to have the confidence and insider feeling to do what you need to do.
7. THE INNOVATION STUDIO STANDS BY ITS VALUES
We support business ideas, as well as non-profit enterprises and other initiatives, where they align with the values of the Studio and the School. We will say no to projects which do more harm than good, or which are part of long-term harm even if there seems to be an immediate benefit. Our values are important to us and we work with like-minded partners.
Any comments about this list are warmly welcomed.