Comparison to Google Lab
As an engineer working at Google for the past 5 months, I've interacted with some of the most imaginative and creative thinkers in the country. While it is not surprising that a multi-billion dollar company can (and does) devote incredible resources to innovating, I was surprised to see firsthand how simply and playfully the process often begins.
Anderson University's IDEA-U Innovation Laboratory is structured very much like some of the design spaces at Google. Technology is minimized so that human creativity can pioneer unhindered. Yes, that's right, technology is minimized! One of the most engaging, thought-provoking, learning experiences I have had in my time here happened in a space where the most sophisticated tech devices were the phones and laptops brought by participants. We didn't even use those devices except in moments of weakness when we were distracted by texts and/or emails.
Creativity flowed from whiteboard sketches, post-it notes, tape, crayons, scissors, paper, straws, marshmallows, fishing line, yarn, chocolate, Legos, coffee, and most importantly, PEOPLE intent on learning and innovating together!
- Dr. Scott Kennedy, AU professor and Google engineer