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Harri Kulovaara - The Lab's Virtual Reality Cave will bring spaces to life with 3-D immersion, and a large space will enable full-scale mock-ups of staterooms and other designs

RCL's Innovation Lab will be incubator for novel ideas

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s new Innovation Lab at PortMiami will fuel collaboration and bring together 'novel ideas to inspire our inventive ships,' said evp maritime Harri Kulovaara, the mastermind of the company's next-generation designs.

The Lab will serve as an incubator for a multitude of ideas, initially for RCL's US-based brands, but with the potential to serve its other brands.

Located between the company's 1040 and 1080 buildings at the port, the two-story structure will house a 10,000-square-foot open warehouse environment on the ground floor where Royal Caribbean will construct and test full-scale mock-ups of cruise ship features like staterooms, suites and bars. Here, groups including newbuild, operations, IT and supply chain can work together to optimize ideas before they go to production, Kulovaara said.

The upstairs will feature a Virtual Reality Cave that brings spaces to life via 3-D immersion. Kulovaara said this will enable architects to better communicate ideas and help collaboration across departments and with shipyard partners.

Ignition Hubs, also on the second floor, will provide flexible spaces for multi-day work sessions and large charettes involving internal and external teams such as shipyards and consultants.

The second floor will be linked with Royal Caribbean's newbuild offices in the 1080 building, which will be remodeled to foster a more collaborative environment.

Additionally, Kulovaara said the company's existing training rooms in the 1080 building will be renovated to include auditorium-style seating and better audiovisual capabilities. The space will be able to hold 350 people for larger meetings. Several new conference rooms will be added to the 1080 building, as well.

Kulovaara envisions welcoming local students to the Innovation Lab to see the use of technology and innovation in real-world applications.

The Lab will be designed by local architecture firm Leo A. Daly, complemented by interiors firm Gensler of New York City, a leader in workplace design. The contractor is Turner Construction's Miami office. The facility is targeted to open by the end of January.

 

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