Bottom Up Innovation


Bottom Up Innovation is one of several standard talks given in a series of locations including St. Louis, Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix, Vancouver and Denver. Bottom up Innovation is a manifestation of research as an investment by Everyday practices of architecture, which could also apply to contractors and engineers. The proposition of Bottom Up Innovation exists in relationships to the more familiar notion of Top Down Innovation. Simplified, in architecture there are a very small number of starchitect firms which experiment with materials and form that are then mimicked by a very great number of everyday architecture firms on behalf of clients who want something but efficient but a lower price point than museums. This in turn catalyzed the large firm cohort, the presented here as the “Branded Band” firms such as HOK, SOM P&W and so on to institute large and well-funded technical research divisions (offsetting the territory of form based innovations of the starchitects) in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the market. Both these forms of Top Down Innovation are all but impossible for the everyday architecture practice to engage in as they require a great deal of investment in overhead. That is the opposite of what the service-based fee driven everyday practice can afford. The Bottom Up Innovation technique involves an applied research approach, working on modifying actual mundane project types with market advantageous modifications. Value Office™ is used as an example of innovation on a basic building type in real time for actual projects by adopting a market based value added proposition favored by clients combined with a creative capacity desired by architects. This particular iteration of the talk frames the Bottom Up Innovation concept around the research efforts into the distortions of tilt wall construction technology on both market commodified building types via Patents, technological modifications and increased density.

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bottom up innovation