Collective Creativity

Evolving: Deerfield iLab

Evolving a traditional library into a dynamic hub of creativity

In 2015 Deerfield's Butler library was undergoing a long-awaited renovation when the head of school asked Kristian to work with the dean and faculty to re-envision how the library might evolve from a place of stored knowledge to a place where students were excited to come and be collaboratively creative.

Kristian worked with the faculty in a workshop to envision the new program and location of the space. He then worked with the school's architecture firm to further define program, schematic design and execution including FF&E. Kristian was able to bring best practices from similar build-outs he led for SAP, P&G, startups and CCA's Hybrid Lab, thus bringing both Fortune 500 and Silicon Valley innovation practices to the new space in the basement of the old library in Western Massachusetts. 

Today the school's Innovation Lab not only brings students to the library daily but is a also a thriving place for creativity and making. The lab complements the school's traditional liberal arts curriculum with 21st collaborative STEaM skills. This is important, many of these students will traditionally become captains of industry, grounding them in human-centered innovation is key step in helping ensure their energy goes into making a positive social impact.


Kristian helped us focus on the substance of what our innovation programs and spaces could do; he helped us distill value and focus from a dilute collection of opportunities, challenges, trends, and trouble spots.
— David Thiel - iLab founder and Deerfield design faculty


Learn about our services and how we might do this for you: