The Kool-Aid Kids

June 27, 2017

If you were inspired by the design solution that earned third place in BSB Design’s Plan Duel Innovation Lab design competition, you’ll love our next entry.

The honor of second place went to the Kool-Aid Kids – a team that leveraged BSB’s national talent pool with team members from Tampa (Ed Binkley and Turner Binkley), Denver (Josh Nieland) and Dallas (Dave Copenhaver). The Kool-Aid Kids were guided by a three-pronged philosophy of innovation:

  • To create change we must recognize there is a better way.
  • We must be motivated to seek out new ways.
  • Our environment can profoundly stimulate motivation.

    With that in mind, the team set out to create an Innovation Lab where creative people want to arrive early and stay late, a space that stimulates and encourages new ideas, free-range thinking and provides the tools needed to create solutions.


      The Kool-Aid Kids set specific ground rules before they got down to brainstorming: First, the space must be free of clutter and distractions. Second, the space must not be thought of as a playground and, finally, work areas should connect and flow to encourage collaboration. The ultimate goal was an Innovation Lab that would comfortably accommodate up to 25 people in an environment promoting free-ranging, open thinking with minimal distractions and maximum creative productivity. Lab users need a working environment where they can focus on the ideas and tasks that will produce the innovations that shape our future.


      The Kool-Aid Kids Innovation Lab design centered on zones for collaboration, innovation and demonstration. They set out to create a positive environment to motivate the BSB team to work smarter and work together. The use of convertible spaces allows their Innovation Lab concept to transform to fit the individual needs of the users. With interactive touch wall screens, users can present ideas in a revolutionary way, as well as transform their work environment. Simple, clean white walls, concrete floors and LED spectrum-changing lights provide users of the space the opportunity to create a work atmosphere tailored to the task at hand – from quiet contemplation to heart-pumping energy.


      The Kool-Aid Kids separated the Innovation Lab into three distinct areas.


      The Kool-Aid Kids’ concept for the Innovation Lab entrance was truly visionary. Because the lab is near the front entrance of BSB’s Des Moines office, everyone going in and out of the office, not just lab users, will visually connect with the face of the Innovation Lab throughout the day. The team designed that major focal point to be interactive and visually attractive to draw users into the Innovation Lab. To gain entry, users must engage with interactive touch screens that conceal the entrance until they discover the “key” that reveals the lab space.


      The interactive touch screen wall conceals the entrance to the Innovation Lab.


      A Collaboration Think Tank – the place where ideas are born – is central to the Kool-Aid Kids’ design. This is where individuals come together as teams to formulate new ideas and strategize how they can bring them to life. Comfortable seating, a refreshment station and a SMART Board create a casual, comfortable space for discussing and brainstorming ideas.


      The Innovation Workshop area of the design contains all the tools needed to make breakthroughs. In addition to multiple workstations, mobile cabinets/workbenches and screen wall, a 3D printer creates hands-on pieces to illustrate design ideas. Microsoft Hololens technology takes it a step further, projecting holograms of concepts onto a convertible Hololens platform.



      The final piece of the Kool-Aid Kids’ Innovation Lab is the Interactive Presentation Space where users present and express ideas on the interactive touchscreen wall. A Presentation Module with a collaboration booth and interactive table offers another option for demonstrating concepts. The interactive wall can also spark users’ creativity by allowing them to choose their virtual work environment – from outer space, to the beach to a city rooftop at night.

      Next week, we’ll reveal BSB Design’s Plan Duel Champions – bringing us one step closer to revealing BSB Design’s finished Innovation Lab!