Technology meets humanism at Innolab Campus, a visionary hub in Geneva

Sneak Peek | 20 March, 2018

Studio Banana Innolab Campus Innovation Center

Designed as a catalyst for change in the buzzing Geneva region, Innolab is a future innovation center and melting pot of startups, big corporations, educational institutions and international organizations.

The Challenge

The Lake Geneva region, home of world-class research and education centres like CERN and EPFL, of major global corporations, a dynamic technology and life sciences startup scene and, of course, international institutions like the U.N. or the International Committee of the Red Cross, is a unique melting pot of talent waiting to be mixed together. And doing this with a humanist perspective in mind was the ambitious challenge the Nomads Foundation brought to Studio Banana’s attention. The spark: the creation of an Innovation Hub for these diverse communities to meet, exchange and collaborate in sustainable initiatives of societal impact.

The Outcome

The future Innolab Campus, a 34,000 innovation center, is the place for all these much-needed debates to happen. Inside Innolab Campus, all these actors will meet to discuss the latest topics and trends in sustainable and humanist innovation while looking for ways to bring the future closer. They will exchange up to the minute knowledge and wide ranging experiences through different social areas, including 4 thematic hubs that will act as catalysts for meaningful innovation on Mobility,  Cybersecurity, Consumer Goods and the Future of Work.

Studio Banana: Innolab Campus, a visionary Innovation Center in the international Geneva: Social Stairs

A fertile ground for co-designing the future humanist innovation

Staying faithful to our user-centred design approach, we found no better way to kickstart the Innolab Campus project than to bring together key stakeholders of the ecosystem (educators, entrepreneurs, philosophers, NGOs, corporates…) and to co-design the humanist innovation experience the centre should deliver to its users. The result of our effort was an extraordinary alignment of visions and interests in a record time.

In other words, by facilitating a connective intelligence process, we prototyped and beta tested to great results the high potential of the future campus. There was no better way to lay the foundations of the project than to actually practice what it preaches.

34,000 m² traversed by pathways and filled with encounters

One of the key objectives when designing Innolab Campus has been to avoid the all-to-easy segregation of diverse communities into knowledge silos. In order to maximise serendipity and creative frictions, we have opted for a far more complex programmatic organisation, one that promotes the mixing of seemingly unrelated activities.

This thoughtful combination exercise was achieved, while in parallel we designed a didactic journey through the whole building offering users and visitors a representative and rich cross-section of the different thematic innovation hubs within the campus.

Programmatic catalysts as community activators

Catalyst spaces to propel innovation

In order to activate the exchange and synergies between the different communities within Innolab Campus, we have proposed a series of catalyst spaces in a range of scales.

These activators include, not least, 4 thematic hubs focused on key innovation topics (Mobility, Cybersecurity, Consumer Goods and The Future of Work) and a monumental central atrium hosting large format open gatherings.

Studio Banana: Innolab Campus, a visionary Innovation Center in the international Geneva: la Plaza 2

Such an ambitious project could only be accomplished through a combination of efforts by different key actors of the dynamic Lake Geneva ecosystem. At this point the Nomads Foundation is paving the way to secure political, investment and operative engagement for the project, while Studio Banana continues supporting the initiative through our strategic design capabilities.

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