Innovation for the nation
In such a challenging business environment where survival becomes an art form in itself, growth and success through innovation is often the last in a long list of management priorities. A consistent correlation between financial success and environmental impact has brought new focus on corporate responsibility programmes and sustainability management. It is encouraging to see innovation shine through, which is why for this post I thought I’d make an example of a great innovative project going on in Brooklyn, US which opened last weekend. Brooklyn’s DeKalb Market, a joint venture between speciality market developers Urban Space and Youngwoo and Associates, has been built entirely from discarded shipping containers. Designed by architect Thomas Kosbau, the market brings together local entrepreneurs and the local community to celebrate Brooklyn’s current economy and culture while referencing its heritage as a major manufacturing centre and commercial port. The containers house a number of food courts, coffee houses and restaurants, selling all kinds of fare from soul-food to cupcakes through openings that have been carved out of the sides. There is also a community farm with separated plots, allowing multiple urban communities to grow and showcase their own produce. Music is played from another container, where a DJ booth owner plans to collaborate with a fellow community art vendor to design some furnishings that will be housed in its extension. The DeKalb Market not only signifies a creative, up and coming economy that is flourishing in these times of restriction and negativity. The market signifies that true innovation harnesses the strengths, admits the weaknesses and embraces the opportunities of this challenging modern world to thrive in a period of environmental uncertainty.