You probably know WeWork – the co-working space provider, now creating co-living spaces.
You may think that providing co-living space is only about the tangibles (the rooms, furniture and fittings) but that’s just the start. Here’s why I think WeWork is an innovator – note especially the second paragraph (from the link above):
Positive social interaction is the priority to encourage strong communities to form in WeLive “neighbourhoods” – groups of apartments that share common areas.
In a smart design move that aims to avoid awkwardness, none of the common spaces have dead ends. So anyone who walks into a room and decides not to stay doesn’t have to feel gauche by turning around and exiting the same way – they can keep walking so it looks like they’re just passing through.
As I initially read the article I had my ‘meh’ hat on. But that focus on understanding people’s psychology turned it all around. They’ve nailed it, as everyone who has experienced that awkward ‘walking into a room full of other people’ will relate to.
This is innovation (and according to the fuller definition):
Innovation can be viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements, inarticulated needs, or existing market needs.
This is a better solution.