Here I was thinking that the height of office luxury, excess and whimsy was a nap room, video game system and a foosball table or two, possibly lubricated with free beverages. Davison Integration, a Pittsburgh-based company that helps inventors prototype, manufacture and bring their ideas to market, has just raised the bar quite a bit higher with “Inventionland.” Housed in an industrial park warehouse six miles from downtown is a workplace that looks and sounds more like a theme park than a design firm.
Creative professions in particular are often at the forefront of redefining workplaces. Design firms like IDEO, animation companies like Pixar and movie studios like Disney all come to mind as exciting and fun places to work, where cubicle walls are neccessarily knocked over to make room for big ideas. Software companies like Microsoft saw early on the power of the corporate campus over the lives of their workers — give them hiking trails, soccer fields, showers, cafeterias, day care and other amenities and you can burnish employee loyalty while diminishing their urge to ever leave the office.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s coverage, including a video piece, serves as the best kind of recruiting tool for young engineers from schools like Carnegie-Mellon. It certainly does look like a whole lot of fun! And it also represents yet another step towards blurring the line between work life and play life, which is certainly something any World of Warcraft-addicted web worker can appreciate.