The Lab recipe in conjuring creativity

Creativeland Asia's foray into Kochi sees them setting up India's first creative laboratory for communication, brand and marketing ideas. I guess, its India's first 'Idea shop'. The CLA Lab is something akin to what Nike calls 'Innovation Kitchen'.

Nike Inc.'s Innovation Kitchen is a throwback to the company's earliest days. Located on the ground floor of the Mia Hamm building on Nike's 175-acre headquarters campus in Beaverton, Ore., the Kitchen is where Nike cooked up the shoes that made it the star of the $35 billion athletic footwear industry. In this think tank for sneakers, designers find inspiration in everything from Irish architecture to the curving lines of a Stradivarius violin. One wall displays models of every Air Jordan ever made, while low-rise cubicles are littered with sketches of new shoes. The Kitchen is off limits to most visitors and even to most Nike employees. The sign on the door says, only half in jest: "Nobody gets in to see the cooks. Not nobody. Not no how."

Maybe the CLA Lab wont be as severe as the Innovation Kitchen. The lab in fact is meant to be a dedicated space to generate workshop ideas, test new ideas, and test and launch new advertising and marketing concepts and strategies. The lab intends to serve as a place where young people can stay and think up ideas and create content. It proposes to be an ideal location for international and domestic creative and marketing conferences and workshops.

Which brings to me to my point. Can environments nurture creativity? If yes, will man made environments do? Now we have something to fall back on. The 'Innovation Kitchen' did work for Nike churning out brilliant product designs. But I still have to persist with my question. Can such environments at times stifle rather than propel creativity? Or can they at least fashion a certain pattern to one's thinking making it staid and predictable? Creative Environments can sure help creative juices run. But its only normal that at some point, our senses will adapt to the environmental stimuli. Wouldn't a change of scenery become imperative at times for one to be inspired? Maybe then it should be about walking on to the outside, and watching the traffic. Maybe its about lounging in a road side 'thattukada' (as they call it in Kerala), taking in the scenery. Or maybe the Fort Cochin beach in Kochi beckons.

Creative Labs sure help in creating environments that propel creative ideas. But my guess is, they can at times even stifle. CLA must alter environmental stimuli to ensure sensory adaptation does not dull the creative senses.

Something tells me they will. Thumbs up to India's first creative Lab. :)


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