Go to Xanadu for a description of the architectural concepts
Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1797
The Xanadu Project
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This site describes the development of a series of environment concepts for the Open Innovation Park. The purpose is to give expression, starting with prior concepts from the last 20 plus years, to the various specific ideas being developed for the Innovation Park. These will document one possible THERE to HERE path.
It is possible that some of these architectural concepts may survive and become built. New ones may be developed as work progresses. More importantly, however, is that they contribute to a the creation of a BRAND concept and image - a unified architectural theme that can permeate each environment that the OIP actually employs.
This page will focus on two aspects of the opportunity. First, the Trade Dress and Brand issues as they relate to Open Innovation Park environments and, second, the THERE to HERE steps associated with creating a series of environments that provide increasing functionality (through a series of iterations) while maintaining and developing a consistent Brand essence throughout the process.
An explaination of the basic architectural concepts and features of the End State concept can be found eleswhere. The programmatic and process related aspects of the design will be covered here.
The physical layout of Xanadu work areas is based on the Open Innovation Park concept of the HP Star Team which was further developed in the May DesignShop experience. Go to the event Documentation for details. In essence, as users develop their ideas they travel through different zones that are arranged, equipped and staffed for that specific stage of their process. Four of the five outer Domes are set up for this function. This is compatible with Patches in the PatchWorks Design process. The layout, therefore, is a metaphore of a global work experience and process.
An early expression of this kind of layout schema was the proposed but not built Vanguard NavCenter 1995 which had clusters of Power Teams doing rapid prototyping surrounded by support facilities of all kinds.
The large hexagonal platform, indicated on the Plan View and shown on the Section, is dedicated to client/partner incubation areas. There are other platforms in the various geodesic spheres not shown on these drawings (for clarity and scale reasons).
The larger center dome houses the KnowZone the main circulation paths and other commons. The large platform (in place of where the 6th dome would be) is an elevated indoor/outdoor area that serves a variety of recreational, entertainment and logistical functions.
Xanadu also has extensive live in facilities in the three Towers that rise above the domes and in mini-towers that are scattered about the site. This aspect of the program derives from the Knowledge Factory concept of 1986.
END STATE MODEL:
The End State Model embraces a full venue 24/7/365 operational model. A complete environment for creativity. Specifically, the Park directly supports the innovation process through prototype and business planning and formation.
The End State environment is populated by ValueWebs whose various members come to play the innovation game every day. Only a very few of the total population are OIP staff who function in the System Keeper/Integrator and KnowledgeWorker roles. All support services, for example, are performed by ValueWeb members according to the performance specifications provided by the OIP Team. This is true for hotel and food services, for design expertise, for physical prototyping, as a few examples.
Therefore, the exact configuration of capacities and people change on a daily, weekly and monthly basis as is required by the work. Users pay a daily cost to come - this pays the overhead. The Park then participates (in some way) in the outcome of the work.
At the End State, the word Park is not a metaphor but an exact description of the environment. A Park of innovation with all the components there necessary to test and prove out concepts and to create a real organization.
TRADE DRESS AND BRAND ESSENCE:
Exuberance, abundance, creativity, playfulness, other-worldly-ness, unlimited opportunity, sensualness, natural setting, recreation, renewal, exploration, cityscape, technological (and seamless) wizardry, integrity, extreme sense of shelter, and deliberate ceremony and ritual make up the major theme elements of this design. While being an environment that is deeply integrated with nature, it must strongly execute the deliberate thematic elements of being an innovative and artistically executed human artifact. This is integral to the purpose of the structure which is to house the innovation process.
These themes are reinforced, at every opportunity, by use of denotation and connotation in the design, by the stressing of specific programmatic elements and by the extreme viewpoint expressed by the structure. This later aspect is easy with the fully developed version shown. It becomes more difficult in the earlier, more simple and modestly scaled works that can easily default to a common or conventional viewpoint. This is a critical thematic element, however, and each work - no matter where on the iterative development cycle - must express a clear, unique, idiosyncratic view of the world. Innovation comes from such a attitude. This must be done while, at the same time, accomplishing Pattern Language values and employing solid architectural principles. In other words, the environment must not be merely showy or eccentric.
These thematic elements must be handled in such a way that two usually opposite experiences are integrated and predominate for the users: excitement and serenity. Excitement is roughly related to the use of Prospect; serenity to Refuge.
Denotation and Connotation are the principle means (language) by which thematic ideas are translated into architectural reality. The basic how of this is covered elsewhere. Roughly, denotation is the what; connotation expresses associations related to colors, textures, forms and masses; together, they convey meaning. A building (or complex) that does not focus and express meaning is devoid of art and defaults to utility (at best), a mere building - it has no memory. This is not the purpose of architecture.
MATURE PROGRAM ELEMENTS:
The Park is a place where someone could live and work for an indefinite period of time. The layout is designed to accommodate individuals, teams and groups in various combinations and with varying degrees of separation and privacy as required by their work. This separation function, however, must not translate into isolation nor does it prevent mixing in the Commons areas. The energy generated by different groups as they work must be, as is appropriate, be available to all. This is a scaling up of a principle long understood and facilitated in Taylor environments.
All the program elements required of a first class resort have to exist at Xanadu: sleeping, food, recreation, entertainment, support services and so on. These services and facilities will, of course, be positioned and delivered differently (than a resort) given the main mission of the Park and the requirement of seamless integration between creation and re-creation. Xanadu is a large structure but designed to be surprisingly intimate in scale. The square foot per person ratio is low. Spaces are design to provide a great sense-of-space while being, in fact, intimate in physical scope. For these reasons, and for reasons related to the program itself, the degree of integration of the living accommodations to recreation and work is very high. These are not isolated functions or places. Individual rooms, for example, will be set in suites of various sizes to accommodate teams when necessary. There is, given the program, a natural hierarchy in the relationship between these functions. This promotes interface and navigation and make up a major aspect of the environment memory.
The work areas are organized into four meta-process Zones: Future World - Innovation Zone - Treasure Island - Voyage to Reality. These Zones are large - each housed in a 150 foot diameter Dome that contains several levels and horizontal areas. While functionally dedicated, each of these Domes (Zones) can be configured to serve more than one group at at time, as well as, provide open commons dedicated to its specific function. These Zones will be oriented to the site in a way that reinforces their purpose: light, views, access to and from the Commons, and so on. Because of this orientation and certain site conditions (such as slope), the actual square footage of each Dome area varies and can be matched to its functional requirements. The intersections between each of the four perimeter domes and the center dome, create transition zones that can be configured in a variety of ways. One use is to expand the area of any one Zone as activity levels might demand. Another is to make full us of this transition element for facilitating migration between the various process Zones. Another, to set up support tools and services as might be apporopriate from time to time. The basic Zone-based architecture schema, as aoutlined, will form the floor plan of every OIP facility no matter its size or dedicated function (see: There to Here).
There will be total techological transparency between all of the areas of the Park and the outside world. This transparency can be gated as is appropriate. It can be configured right down to the individual level by each user.
THERE TO HERE:
The objective of this exercise is to create a clear End State vision that drives every intermediate design decision. Then, to define a series of intermediate projects that will progressively provide the OIP with greater and greater functionality and experience of park-ness until a full scale version is possible. Every element of the End State version should find itself, at some scale, in some way in every built iteration. This way the full venue of the Park is created in the beginning and develops, organically and by feedback as we progress.
Five projects are the minimum required steps to accomplish the End State: Inside KnOwhere , RDS Inside, RDS Snowflake, Park One and Xanadu. This is not to say that only these five will be built. Many versions of any of these steps may be executed. However, it is the five, each an order of magnitude more complex than before, that constitues the innovation path to the full concept.
These numbers are order of magnitude estimates and not fixed. The RDS Inside could be a little smaller or twice as large, for an example. However, the basic size and costs outlined are necessary for the functionality that is described.
An alternative to an RDS Inside, is to secure a traditional building and bridge to RDS Snowflake clusters as illustrated on the left. This strategy has many interesting ramifications and can work where the opportunity is to hold an historical house or church structure and develop the property over a period of time.
The high Capital costs associated with Park One and Xanadu can be underwritten by ValueWeb membership developed during the RDS Snowflake phase. Throughout all phases of development, it is important that the IEP Team see themselves as Park designers and keepers not, exclusively, makers. The ValueWeb members will be the primary makers and users. It is anticipated that many materials, products, services and technologies will be donated by ValueWeb members for R&D, demonstration and feedback, and promotional purposes. This will reduce the capital costs associated with the various projects.
This architectural program, therefore, develops in concert with feedback to and from the business program. It is, essentially, a bootstrap process. Build the tool that makes the value that enables a better tool that creates more value that...
Architectural Elements That Can Migrate
INTEGRATION OF PROCESS(es), ENVIORNMENT(s) AND TOOLS:
Xanadu has a myriad of processes - formal and informal, directed and spontaneous. These processes are chunked into meta-processes - many of which are organized by physical location. Each of these process have a specific architectural expression, places where they take place, and configured tool-sets to support them.
These processes fit into an over all process Model that spans idea creation to the making of Intellectual Capital. For an example of this model-type see: Subsystem 6 of System and Method For Augmenting Knowledge Commerce. Many forms and sources of IP, from many organization and individuals, will eventually make up the formal processes of the IEP. A feature of any specific Park will be the close-coupling of the IP, the processes, the physical and virtual environments and the tool augmentation systems that support it all. This close-coupling, itself, is IP. All OIP environments will be engines of creation. Xanadu, as described, is one expression - one design - in a series of designed and managed (Design?Build/Use/Feedback) artifacts that will be created to augment and accelerate the innovation process. The innovation process, itself, will be used to create Xanadu.
No such integration, of such a wide range of processes, has ever been attempted as a formal system and on the scale of Xanadu. It is the goal of Xanadu, as a specific artifact, that this be accomplished with near total transparency. Xanadu will not feel like a managed environment on the level-of-experience of its individual users - this is an important principle for facilitating emergent Group Genius.. Much of the success of this seamless integration rests on the quality of design brought to the processes themselves, but even more so, to how well the physical environment and support tools explicitly support each process while maintaining transparency (Brin). This is an Interface Design Issue.
Processes are more fluid and mutable than technology which is more adaptable than architecture. To retain close-coupling over time requires a design strategy that takes into account the different mutation rates of these three major systems (processes, environments and tools). There are several aspects to this design strategy: de-coupling systems while integrating them; appropriate clustering of functions in non-competing levels of recursion; building an artifact of dynamic memory; organizing all components by amortization cycles are among them.
An example of de-coupling is making use of extensive plug and play between all components and never burying inside the structure anything that will have to be altered in the future. Functions have to be closely coupled, systems have to be integrated, units and components should be separated for easy recombination and exchange-out. A simple instance of this approach is a typical video conference room as distict to MagicWindows which brings the capasity to you.
An example of appropriate clustering of functions in non-competing recursion levels is...
An example of building the (total) artifact as dynamic memory is making every part, sub-component, component, subsystem and system that makes up Xanadu an AGENT. As an agent, it knows what it is, where it is, what it does, and what its prior experience has been. It is a rule-based system that learns from its experience and adjusts its performance through feedback. These Agents communicate with one another (by rules) and negotiate. In total, the are the memory of the environment. This method takes Brands philosophical perception of How Buildings Learn and adapt, and makes it useful in practical terms. This is accomplished by creating a language which codifies the experience. It is also possible, using this agent architecture, to build economy into the actual structure itself: each agent can represent the real artifact, know its state and status, and transact accordingly. Xanadu is an economy and an ecology.
A simple instance of this approach is for Xanadu to learn what specific combinations of temperature, humidity and light an individual finds comfortable (in a matrix of different activities and circumstances) and to adjust these factors (as possible to the mechanical limits of the system) for each individual as they move about the space.
An example of organizing components by amortization cycles is provided in the Program Statement of the Bay Area Studio Project.
voice of this document:
Team participating in this iteration of the project:
MG Taylor Corporation Core Staff
AI Core Staff
KnOwhere Stores Core Staff
Yolke Core team
HP Star Team
Matt Taylor 843 671 4755
posted June 4, 2000
July 11, 2000
note: this document is about 75% finished
Copyright© Matt Taylor, HP Star Team MG Taylor, KnOwhere, 2000