Although the Bay Area is largely recognized as a technology hub that encourages innovation, the overall landscape of San Francisco and neighboring communities may appear like any other urban neighborhood. Filled with skyscrapers, shopping districts and historical attractions, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee wanted to change that.
A collaboration between the Office of Civic Innovation and the Exploratorium, a science education museum for children, will work on establishing zones for adults to play with science-related public attractions, Atlantic Cities reported.
“We live in this amazing tech kind of city, but when you walk down the streets you don’t really feel that,” Shannon Spanhake, a Deputy Innovation Officer told Atlantic Cities. “This [project] brings that layer of public innovation to that realm.”
Since the project began, there has only been a handful of “innovation zones” in the downtown San Francisco area. One specific landmark looks like two large bowls facing one another, but they are actually acoustic amplifiers that can send sound 50 feet away. Street performers specifically have benefited from using these dishes to “quietly strum a banjo on one, while hundreds of pedestrians are strolling past on the other side [of the street],” Jake Levitas, an innovation fellow added.
In the past, technology companies have requested to showcase some of their projects to the general public, but there was no avenue to display these large pieces. With these innovation zones, now executives can rent out the space for one or two years, the source explained. Perhaps, these popular meeting areas could be a great place to test prototypes outside of the company’s headquarters.
Other San Francisco-area companies can take this project and apply it to their own offices by creating their own “innovation zones.” These spaces can serve as a meeting or relaxation area for all employees. But before establishing this space, business owners may need to find office furniture pieces that support a fun environment.
Because this is an added expense, the price of creating a new work area will come with a cost — entrepreneurs can make the most out of their “innovation zones” with used office furnishings. These lightly-used commercial pieces can come in near pristine condition making them equally as useful as brand new items without the higher price tag.