Beauty & Innovation | 20% Time Rule

18 Oct

The office I am interning at right now develops a monthly lunch program called “Beauty & Innovation”. The idea is from Google’s 20% time rule, which allows (mandates) 10% of every employee’s time to be used for non-projects. The goal of the rule is to stimulate innovation, give employees more freedom, and encourage leaderships.

The “B&I” session of today’s lunch was awesome. It won’t necessarily bring more business opportunities. But when there is no business in between the architects and the client (or more precisely, the property owner), the conversation can be more frank and direct.

The other thing touched me the most is that, those designers take ownership of th things they built, at least emotionally. When we walk to the City Hall today, I saw Stephen taking pictures of a piece of rain garden along the sidewalk on 12th Street, like he was taking a picture of his child. I’ve always been admiring those multi-national design companies which are doing projects all over the world. But at that moment, what seemed more precious for me, was a company’s conscience on taking care of a place, or a simpler version, its conscience towards place.


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