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    • Space / 
    • Brand / 
    • Innovation

    Inspiring human centred innovation.

    Building a strategy to nurture our brightest minds.


    When thinking of innovation hubs, certain cities and regions naturally come to mind. So much so that other cities draft up bold plans to become, say, the ‘next Silicon Valley.’ Look around and it’s easy to see cities around the world that are looking at their own innovation strategies in an effort to stay economically competitive and to attract and retain the best and brightest minds. And more often than not, a component of these plans includes the construction of an Innovation Centre. 

    And there’s merit to this. Putting shovel to ground to create a new building is a serious commitment to the end goal. What’s critical to note, though, is that the creation of a new building (or the re-purposing of an existing space) does not itself create an “innovation centre.” People do. 

    But they only do so effectively and at scale if the right cultural elements are fostered, if the brand inspires, and if the physical spaces are methodically designed to accelerate human creativity and ingenuity. 

    It’s with this is mind, and based upon our team’s experience leading Startup Edmonton and the development of the Mercer Building, Makespace was brought in to lead the strategic direction for Calgary’s new 42,000 sq ft. PLATFORM innovation centre in the city’s downtown East Village set to open in 2020.


    This concept of space as a platform is our team’s way of focussing attention to the role space plays in facilitating the journeys of people and their ideas.

    Inside an innovation centre, this means enhancing serendipity among brilliant people and encouraging collisions, providing retreats for ideation and experimentation, community gathering and event space, learning facilities, workspace, and importantly - a high level of visibility into the entire living, breathing innovation ecosystem inside it.


    Designing for Impact + Culture.
    We helped to define PLATFORM’s brand story as one about the community’s innovation ‘movement’ and of cultivating a culture of creativity and entrepreneurship in Calgary. Once we defined the brand narrative, we built the project strategy upon the following five guiding principles;



    Highly visible.

    Gathering place.

    Neighborhood hub.

    By instilling these principles in the direction for both the innovation centre in its entirety as well as the design parameters of each area within it, the goal is that all partners in the design, construction, and future operations of the building have a shared vision of the energy and community that will bring it to life once construction is completed in 2020.