Serendipity research

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Serendipity or chance encounters that lead to something are more likely in environments where things are not completely planned, where informal conversations are encouraged, and where the workspace design enables chance encounters.

“We need to be designing spaces that are not predictable and where there are unexpected, interesting things going on. It is about ensuring the environment creates a context where people are capable of being themselves, giving of their best and are not intimidated.”

Ubiquitous serendipity: Potential visual design stimuli are everywhere

‘Ubiquitous serendipity’ is therefore not an exaggerated way to describe the way in which designers capitalize on cognitive mechanisms to exploit stimuli everywhere and any time, to enhance their design creativity.

Strategic Serendipity

Strategic Serendipity: in the context of individual human development, a chance event that comes to completely alter the course of a person’s development. Among the many kinds of change such an event impacts, the common kinds result in changes in: key relationships; career; location; interests.

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Rescuing Design Mistakes: How to Turn Oops Into Oomph

Put the brake on mistakes before they become dismal failures. Fix them, modify them — or, better yet, use them as happy accidents to create imaginative new solutions.

Why You Should Plan for Serendipity

on a recent trip to Chicago, my colleague Aaron Ferber reminded me of the importance of leaving room in one’s personal and work life for serendipity.

“I’m the vacation planner in my family. My organizational approach is simple: plan every day, but not a single minute. I do enough research so we go to interesting places, but not so much that there’s no time left for the unexpected, because those chance moments are sometimes the most delightful and memorable.

So my question to you is this: How might you engineer some serendipity into your next vacation or into your day today? This could be a simple as taking a new route on your commute to work or asking someone on the street for directions instead of relying on Google Maps.


Serendipity is a hot concept these days. Chance encounters and random inputs supposedly lead to new ideas—which is one reason Marissa Mayer canceled Yahoo’s telecommuting arrangements last winter.

How to generate more serendipity

1. Spice up your commute

2. Visit different bathrooms

3. Start a lunch club

4. Take better breaks

5. Say hello in the elevator


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