Imagine trading your white-walled office space for a treehouse. That's just what Pittsburgh-based product design firm Davison Design and Development did. The company, a provider of innovative designs for products such as toys and hardware tools, has found creative workspaces like a treehouse, the innards of a robot, and a pirate's ship, refresh the brain and spark the imagination. With a unique (to say the least) space for each of its divisions since the beginning of September, the company's headquarters is now known as "Inventionland."
"We wanted to build Inventionland to foster creativity, increase quality and productivity in our organization," explains President and CEO George Davison. And, there is really a "treehouse," an area composed of a few trees, the first of which is estimated by Davison to be about 20 feet in diameter with a tunnel carved into it so that workers can pass through on their way to the elevated "house." After they walk through the tunnel, employees proceed across a bridge over water and up a staircase that circles around yet another tree, and leads to a deck that gets them into the approximately 15 foot-high elevated "office." The treehouse houses the tool designers, while toy designers are aboard a stationary ship that sits in roughly 10 inches of water, and was built to look as though it was shipwrecked into a rock face.
The company, which has tentative plans to team with a local university to quantify the effect of this unorthodox office space on its workforce, already counts the experiment a success. "Our people are most comfortable thinking outside the box," Davison says, "so we want to create a workspace for them that's outside the box as well."