Years ago, Japan’s Honda Motor Company coined the word “waigaya,” which is conversation by a large number of people in an open and collaborative work space. The “waigaya stage” in Daikin’s new Technology and Innovation Center enables its 700 researchers and engineers there to more easily collaborate on the company’s innovations.
The primary goal for the Technology and Innovation Center (TIC) in Osaka, Japan, was to design the world’s best multipurpose work area including offices, meeting rooms, and open collaboration space, adjacent to a state-of-the-art, large-scale laboratory to encourage “open innovation”— gaining knowledge from both inside and outside the company. The TIC brings together employees who had been spread across three locations and serves as the chief location for Daikin’s collaboration and technology development.
The core work area of the TIC, which was completed in 2015, supports collaboration by using MIT professor Thomas J. Allen’s “30 meter rule,” which demonstrated that there is an exponential drop in the frequency of communication between engineers as the distance between them increases. The “waigaya stage” sits in an open area between floor levels in the center of the office work area.
The design process involved deep collaboration between the company’s engineers and the mechanical design team. The engineers developed innovative products for the new building, and the design team responded by taking advantage of product characteristics to maximize building performance.