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LandDesign launches new innovation incubator program, MatterLab

At LandDesign, we want to be the Best Dang Design Firm ever. As we continue to embody that motto, we are always thinking of new ways to grow big dreams, inspire new ideas and encourage our creative thinkers. For 40 years, we have been defined by our passionate people and do-er culture. We saw that our designers were craving an outlet to pursue their innovative ideas and passions, and were implementing grassroots efforts such as boosting GIS capabilities, diving into drones or exploring advanced bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. As a firm that is rooted in an entrepreneurial mindset, we wanted to find a way for these forward-thinking efforts to be celebrated and for others to be inspired by the innovation, curiosities and enthusiasm of those that came before them. Out of those efforts comes MatterLab, the newest wedge in the LandDesign Research and Development wheel.

MatterLab is an exciting opportunity for LandDesigners to explore their passions while having the support of firm leadership in the form of time, money and other resources. Whether they simply submit an application or pitch their idea Shark Tank style, each designer is given the chance to apply for a grant of $1,000 and 40 hours of work time to dig into their idea.

Open Q&A Session for LandDesigners to learn more about MatterLab.

A MatterLab committee has been put in place to fire up the staff and build a framework to put this initiative in motion. This diverse committee spans multiple offices and disciplines within LandDesign to give all team members unfiltered access to committee feedback and mentorship. The committee is passionate about this new R+D effort and has been hard at work coming up with creative ways to spread the word and enthusiasm. From hatching ideas with Easter Eggs, to asking what would someone do if they had the time, MatterLab has sparked interest across the long hallways of LandDesign.

Interactive display to foster open-minded thinking and generate potential MatterLab ideas.

The selected MatterLab recipients will spend the next several months honing in on their research and crafting a deliverable to present back to the firm, such as a design manual, prototype, vision board, video blog — just to name a few. Teams are forming, ideas are being fleshed out and pitches are being made — you can sense the excitement across the firm. Stay tuned as we continue a series on the selected MatterLab applicants, their journey and their findings and results.

Janalyn Newchurch, PE MatterLab Committee Member

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