GE – San Ramon Design Center

Rapt Studio has completed the design of GE’s Design Center located in San Ramon, California.

When tallied together, the software engineers of GE comprise one of the world’s largest software companies. Not just any software company, but one tasked with building CEO Jeffrey Immelt’s vision of the Industrial Internet. This new ecosystem pairs big data with big machines to redefine efficiency and sustainability on a global scale. In light of this the multinational conglomerate moved to locate the global center for their software and analytics group in San Ramon, close to California’s storied Silicon Valley.

At the heart of the facility is the GE Design Center. Rapt Studio was approached to design the space for hosting working sessions with teams and customers. Rapt’s design strategists quickly realized the potential was far greater. A custom tailored discovery and data collection process was developed to fully define the design problem and context, build consensus, and identify the path forward. Two critical success factors emerged–collaboration: decrease the length of the innovation cycle, and communication: increase the speed and rate of innovation adoption. Presenting an opportunity to implement and broadcast a fundamental shift toward design thinking and agile development, the Design Center breaks new ground for GE.

Focused on removing barriers and preconceived notions the space is designed to connect and inspire GE team members and customers alike. Human behavior dynamics and rituals were carefully considered in the service design for the project. To ensure success Rapt developed a full experience map paring physical and digital design components with specific project goals and use cases.

The space includes a briefing theater to kickoff new projects, a collaboration machine with movable walls to create custom sized rooms, breakout areas for idea sharing, and a 360-degree virtual environment for full immersion. Conceived as a network of component environments the user experience can be custom tailored to the task at hand. Both physical and digital components of the space were designed with modularity and evolution in mind. The anchor of the space, the collaboration machine, is constructed of a modular structural frame and skin that can be easily modified as technology evolves. The AV system is fully networked throughout allowing unprecedented configurability and access.

Through structured flexibility the Design Center exists as an interface between GE, it’s global network of assets, and customer ecosystem. The integration of digital and analog engagement with virtual and physical space enhances collaboration and innovation. The Design Center supports GE’s evolution into the future allowing strategic moves to yield significant gains at a global scale.

Design: Rapt Studio