Workers at Davison Design and Development in Pittsburgh don't have to look far for creative inspiration. The product design firm recently opened "InventionLand," an innovative workspace where employees, known as "Inventionmen," can brainstorm amid waterfalls, moats, offices on the deck of a "pirate ship," in a faux cave, and in a castle built in the firm's 60,000-square-foot warehouse.
"Get creative people out of cubes," said George M. Davison III, the company CEO who founded the firm in a basement in 1989. "If I'm going to ask these people to put their hearts, bodies, and souls into a project, I'm going to recognize that, because that's a heck of a sacrifice. So, I wanted to give them the best possible place to create in."
InventionLand consists of 15 departments divided by focus, including automotive, outdoors, juvenile, home, and toys. Each department is designed to increase creativity and to offer an environment where the products being designed, created, and engineered can be used, tested, and photographed in-house.
Davison spends most of his time in "Thinktank Treehouse," a workspace suspended on a large faux tree above a stream fed from a waterfall in the rear of the environment.
"InventionLand is made to inspire creative people," Davison explained. "It was built to move belief out of the intangible mental realm and into the physical world. If you're walking in it and living in it, it's easier to be creative. It's more than a place -- it's a state of mind."
In addition to the unique, creative environments, InventionLand is part of Davison's factory, producing about 200 new product samples every month. The factory focuses on package samples, prototyping, and product construction.