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Interactive Design Center Cultivates New Models of Working and Inspires Collaborative Design

Rendering shows the interactive area, known as the “Design Hive,” at the 3M Design Center
(Photo: MSR Design)

ST. PAUL, Minn.—3M recently announced the development of its 3M Design Center, which the company describes as “an incubator for progressive ideation and the creative heartbeat at 3M.” According to a release from the company, the new facility underscores “the 3M Design mission that revolves around collaborative creativity,” and will serve as the central hub for design professionals with multi-disciplinary expertise. It is expected to help drive competitive advantage, customer experience, and positive global impact.

“This important initiative will elevate design and propel dynamic opportunity to enhance everything from branding solutions to product innovation to sustainability and social impact,” said Eric Quint, chief design officer at 3M, in the press release. Quint is at the helm of this design transformation. “Design Thinking is about unlocking future value in partnership with research & development and marketing,” he continued. “Our collective goal will be to deliver transformative value for 3M, its partners and customers.”

Located at 3M headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., the 3M Design Center will stimulate creativity as an open, multi-level studio environment, four times the size of the current design space. The interior architecture will incorporate use of 3M solutions and technologies throughout, as well as energy efficient systems and recycled materials demonstrating that sustainable, smart design supports a better future. Flexible spaces—including a fast prototyping lab, materials library, brand labs, and an interactive area known as the “Design Hive”—will foster spontaneous connections and ignite cross-functional collaboration among partners, thought leaders, customers, and colleagues at 3M headquarters, connected to 3M Design studios around the globe.

Design helps translate insights into useful solutions, bringing meaningful experiences to life every day. “With our diverse product portfolio, Design represents a critical and strategic platform to define and differentiate 3M, bridging our strong legacy of innovation with creativity toward the future, uniting purpose with partnership,” Quint said.

According to 3M, the development of the new 3M Design Center builds upon recent momentum that is driving design forward at 3M, evident in the elevation of design leadership and governance, which yields business value and impact on a global scale. Its award-winning design team continues to receive international recognition for design excellence. In 2014, 3M Design is reported to have received more than 25 awards across multiple creative disciplines, and, recently, two 3M products received Red Dot “Best of The Best” design awards for product design among nearly 5,000 entries. Earlier this year, 3M Design was also presented with a Top Winner International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) by the Industrial Designers Society of America.

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