The global company 3M might be best known for creating a wide range of indispensible adhesive and stationery products, but its latest endeavour goes back to the spirit of problem solving and innovative thinking that set it apart in the first place.

3M recently unveiled a new Design Center, which is focused on enhancing creativity for its in-house design team. ‘The 3M Design Center enables colocation of designers from multiple creative disciplines – ranging from graphics to products, to user experience, materials, and packaging – across the company,’ says chief design officer Eric Quint. ‘The inspirational workspace offers continued advancement of collaborative creativity and design leadership. This studio represents a hybrid model of workspaces to accommodate creative activities supporting the 3M Design mission. The engaging space is a catalyst for creative engagement and dialogue for our design talent.’

Spanning 38,000 sq ft within 3M’s headquarters in St Paul, Minnesota, the colourful design hub is a mix of independent meeting areas that can be turned into communal and collaborative work zones. The design centre also takes energy efficient measures, such as climate control, efficient lighting systems and the use of recycled materials to create an eco-friendly and forward-thinking environment.

Quint continues, ‘The 3M Design Center is not just about a new space, but also a broader platform to strengthen the focus and orchestration of design across the enterprise. Previously, much of our talent was fragmented in different areas of the company, exposing the need for a strong design culture and mission going forward. Now, we’re able to bring far more strategic focus in an open and creative space that is four times the area previously occupied by our creative team.’

He adds, ‘The design centre itself was created by our designers, for our designers. Here, we also applied an interdisciplinary approach in the creative direction and design of the studio space to realise an attractive and engaging environment. This includes a fast prototyping lab, materials library, brand labs and an interactive area known as the "Design Hive", all to ignite cross-functional collaboration among partners, customers and colleagues at 3M headquarters.’