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Spacebase ExperiMENTAL

About The Project

Because Spacebase focuses on providing companies with inspiring and productive environments around the world, we set out on a mission to find the best ways to boost your creativity; thus ExperiMENTAL was born. In each episode, we take groups of complete strangers and give them each a stimulus to interact with. When they finish their activity, we measure their creative output with standardized creativity tests. In the existing four episodes, the participants were exposed to a TV-watching session, an exercise class, an unproductive meeting, an interactive meeting, copious amounts of alcohol and different lunch options. The results were surprising, interesting, and absolutely hilarious. Take a look for yourself, and stay tuned for more episodes of ExperiMENTAL.

Philipp Kraatz

Philipp Kraatz - Director / Co-creator

Philipp might have be background in Business Administration, but his passion has always been acting and performing. That’s why he happily accepted the challenge to revitalize ExperiMENTAL and organize and director the fourth episode on the impact on heavy lunch on creative performance. His experience in Design Thinking helped him to choose suitable challenges for the participants. He enjoyed writing the script and directing the project on the shooting day.

Dominika Czajak

Dominika Czajak - Facilitator / Co-creator

As CMO of Spacebase, Dominika is always looking for unorthodox methods to boost creativity- both of her team and the Spacebase clients. With her clear vision, she made sure ExperiMENTAL was continued and pushed everybody involved to make the fourth episode as interesting as possible. On set, she split up the groups, analysed their results and guaranteed the consistency of the outcomes.

Interview with Caroline Bienert

Caroline Bienert

Caroline Bienert is a qualified nutritional therapist, motivational speaker and detox expert. An internationally acclaimed metabolism expert, Caroline has been dedicated to health and holistic wellbeing for over 20 years to the benefit of her clients who come from a variety of backgrounds including royalty, entrepreneurs and CEOs, as well as celebrities and models. In New York she graduated as a nutritional consultant in the field of detox and orthomolecular medicine and gained further qualifications in Chinese dietetics and microbiological homeopathy in Munich, as well as Ayurvedic dietetics in Sri Lanka. In her book “Detox Body Book”, published in 2016, Caroline offers a real insight into her work and provides useful ideas for overcoming the obstacles on the way to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Caroline is a sought-after expert with the German and international press and has published health and beauty advice in magazines such as VOGUE, Myself, Gala and Healthy Living.

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Interview with Eliot Gattegno - NYU Shanghai

Eliot Gattegno

Eliot Gattegno is an entrepreneur, musician, and a professor. He’s currently part of the program on Creativity and Innovation at NYU Shanghai. Furthermore, he’s the Founder and former Director of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen Center for Innovation, Design & Entrepreneurship and was a professor at the CUHK Business School, where he worked with all Colleges and Schools to train the next generation of entrepreneurial-minded science, technology, and business innovators. Professor Gattegno’s research focuses on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship. He is an advisor, consultant and mentor to accelerators and companies throughout China, the Middle East and USA. His writing has been published by media outlets ranging from Oxford University Press to TechCrunch and Quartz.

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Interview with Dr. Joachim Krueger - Brown University

Joachim Krueger

Dr. Joachim Krueger is a Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he focuses his research on various topics of Social and Cognitive Psychology. His contributions include many publications pertaining to his research in social cognition. His book “The Quest for Happiness in 31 Essays,” has recently been published as a kindle edition on Amazon. Dr. Krueger regularly blogs on Psychology Today Online on a wide variety of topics, which is, as he puts it, “promiscuous, opportunistic, and heterodox.” One of his thought-pieces titled Dialectics of Creativity, explores the idea that creative thought and behavior arises from a set of psychological tensions. Because Spacebase is a driver in the creative industry we welcome enhanced understanding of creative output, and what better way than interviewing Dr. Krueger himself.

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Interview with Simon Dewulf - AULIVE

Simon Dewulf

Simon Dewulf is a researcher and entrepreneur. He wrote his PhD thesis on innovation and was given the INSEAD Innogator prize for Innovator of the Year in 2010. He subsequently founded his first company CREAX, which focuses on bringing together analytical thinking and creativity, which allowed him the expertise to develop the creativity test, TestMyCreativity.com, used during the making of Spacebase ExperiMENTAL. The test has been featured in BBC World and the New York Times helping it become one of the most popular online creativity test. Today, Dewulf continues to develop various ideas on the structuring of creativity while bringing a more analytical approach to innovation and inspiration. We caught up with Simon Dewulf, to find out how his research can be utilized and applied by anyone looking to for better ways to gauge, or integrate creativity.

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Why we did it:

Billions of dollars are spent on meetings every year, yet many companies continue to facilitate unproductive, repetitive, traditional, and non-thought provoking meetings in uninspiring locations everyday. We decided to experiment with various stimuli to create pathways that will lead to new ideas contributing to the future of meetings. Whether it be using your surroundings by drawing on the wall instead of in a notebook, or participating in a yoga class before a brainstorming session, we believe that the process of obtaining the highest level of creativity comes from provoking stagnant tendencies. The purpose of the web series, as well as the ethos of Spacebase are about breaking down the confines of traditional meetings, while congruently promoting innovation through environment.

How we did it:

We took two groups of strangers and asked them to perform an online creativity test from Kellogg Northwestern University (“Solving Problems Creatively” exercises taken from Developing Management Skills by David A. Whetton and Kim S. Cameron) which allowed us to appropriately distribute individuals to maintain similarly averaged groups based on their test scores (Figure 1). The test helps determining if individuals have the personality traits, attitudes, values, motivations, and interests that characterize creativity and scores current creative ability between 1-116.

The participants were then put into groups (Team A and Team B) of 15 individuals each and provided with various stimuli to determine the effects on their creative output.

Team A Team B
Average creativity score 62,36 62,46
Lunch served Proteinbowl with Avocado Cheeseburger with Fries

Both foods were provided by our partner, food delivery platform Lieferheld.

After each stimulus activity, the groups were given three creative challenges to solve:

  • The 30 Circles Challenge - participants individually had 90 seconds to turn as many circles as possible into unique, recognizable objects, using only pen and paper
  • The Marshmallow Challenge - each team had 10 minutes to build the tallest freestanding structure possible with very limited resources: 20 uncooked spaghetti, 1 meter of string, 1 meter of tape and one marshmallow.
  • The Alternative Usage Test - participants had 3 minutes to come up with as many alternative use cases as possible for a common everyday object: a frying pan

For the Marshmallow challenge and the Alternative Usage Task, the teams were further split in three sub-teams of equal size. The groups were scored on whether they were able to complete the tasks with various solutions, the quality of their solutions and how many suggestions were given by the group as a whole. We evaluated each of the three challenges individually. All calculations were adjusted for number of participants in each group.

What we found:

There is a statistically significant difference between Team A and Team B in the Alternative Usage Task (AUT) such that group A performed better:
Group A = 142, Group B = 85. Chi squared equals 14.313 with 1 degrees of freedom, The two-tailed P value equals 0.0002

There is a statistically significant difference between groups A and B in the Marshmallow test such that group B performed better:
Group A = 166, Group B = 253. Chi squared equals 18.064 with 1 degrees of freedom, The two-tailed P value is less than 0.0001

Based on 3 independent coders' coding of the data, there are no significant differences between groups in the Circles test for number of circles used:
Group A = 10.82, Group B =10.18, t(1,22) = .25, p = .750

Based on 3 independent coders' coding of the data, there are no significant differences between groups in the Circles test for number of recognizable objects:
Group A = 5.85, Group B =7.27, t(1,22) = .25, p = .278

Test result

Participants from the Team A (which ate the Protein Bowls) reported feeling more energized in comparison to the participants of Team B (that ate the burger) and fell in the typical, infamous “food coma” state. Surprisingly, these feelings did not result in Team B performing worse in the creativity challenges. In fact, Team B clearly outperformed Team A in the Marshmallow challenge and built the tallest freestanding structure.

One the other hand, Team A performed significantly better at the Alternative Usage Task and came up with not only more, but also more unique ideas on what to do with a frying pan other than cooking.

In the 30 circles challenge, there was no clear winner. There were people performing extraordinarily well in each of the two teams.

Why this is interesting:

Many companies are looking to maximize creative output from their employees, which is more relevant today than ever before, as all companies strive towards innovation. Offices have changed their culture to accommodate the various work habits of their employees, as this often translates into increased productivity. The ethos of Spacebase were built from the ideology that meetings should be effective and inspiring to encourage creativity, as that is where most companies facilitate brainstorming and decision making.
We conducted this study to bring awareness to the potentially drastic effects on creative output when given subtle changes to traditional and unstimulating meetings and the circumstances they are affected by.

Contributors: Eliot Gattegno, NYU Shanghai and Philipp Kraatz, Marketing Manager Spacebase

Show / hide methods and results of episodes 1-3
GUICE

GUICE, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

This cozy workshop location owes its name to what it used to be in the past: a cafe called Green Juice. Situated in beautiful Prenzlauer Berg, it offers plenty of space for the development of creative ideas, as the groups in Episode 4, “Does Food coma kill your creativity?”, proved.

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Rent 24 Coworking

Rent 24 Coworking, Schöneberg, Berlin

Rent 24 is a leading provider in productive and inspiring workspaces, which is exemplified in their community ethos. This unique location embodies the perfect stimulus when considering a creative and inspiring environment. The team at Rent 24 provided Spacebase not only with a film location, but an all around experience that included hospitality and endless support with the ExperiMENTAL project. The spaces are featured in all three episodes, as well as the hosting location in episode 3, Sober vs. Tipsy vs. Drunk.

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Ahoy! Coworking

Ahoy! Coworking, Mitte, Berlin

Ahoy! Is a coworking space that supports up and coming businesses with an innovative focus. The Berlin location has an undeniably attractive esthetic with a seafaring perspective. The space entails office rentals, desk rentals, and the ability to host meetings in their brightly lit conference rooms. Ahoy! provided Spacebase with a film location for the intro to episode 1, Netflix vs. Zumba.

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Village

Village, Tiergaten, Berlin

Village is a uniquely designed, open concept multipurpose space bordering Tiergaten and Schöneberg. Their space provided the perfect situation to host the Zumba fitness group in episode 1, Netflix vs. Zumba. Seeing that team Zumba had the highest score compared with all of our participating groups, it is clear the effect this space has on creativity.

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The Apartment

The Apartment, Neukölln, Berlin

The Apartment is a quaint location provided by the co-founders of Spacebase. This cozy meeting room located in Berlin's trendy Neukölln district was the space used to host the Netflix group in episode 1, Netflix vs. Zumba.

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Sankt Oberholtz

Sankt Oberholz, Mitte, Berlin

Oberholz is a known for its multiple cafes in the trendiest areas in Berlin; however they are equally known for their coworking spaces that inhabit the most eclectic group of entrepreneurs in the city's 12 boroughs. If you are looking for an intriguing and productive workspace you can also host an offsite meeting in one of their classic workshop rooms. Their generosity allowed for us to film the interactive meeting in episode 2, Unproductive vs. Interactive.

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